Antelope is a city in Wasco County, Oregon, United States. It had an estimated population of 47 people as of 2012. Take a look below for 20 amazing and bizarre facts about Antelope, Oregon, United States.
1. The town was incorporated in 1901, though it was founded earlier.
2. The City of Antelope was originally a stage and freight wagon road stop on the Old Dalles to Canyon City Trail.
3. Howard Maupin came to Antelope in 1863 to operate a horse ranch, becoming the caretaker of the stage station that was established by Henry Wheeler in 1864.
4. Maupin began raising cattle to provide meat for travelers. Nathan Wallace, who is sometimes credited with being Antelope’s first postmaster, acquired the Antelope stage station from Maupin in 1870.
5. Records indicate the community was considered to have been established in 1872.
6. In the early 1980s, members of the Rajneesh movement moved in and effectively took over the government of the city by outnumbering the original residents with new voter registrations.
7. On September 18, 1984, a vote was held and the city was renamed to “Rajneesh, Oregon”.
8. By 1985, after several of the Rajneesh movement leaders were discovered to have been involved in criminal behavior (including a mass food poisoning attack and an aborted plot to assassinate a U.S. Attorney), their guru left the country as part of a negotiated settlement of federal immigration fraud charges, and the Rajneesh commune collapsed.
9. On November 6, 1985, the city voted to rename itself back to Antelope.
10. The Antelope Valley was probably named by European-American members of Joseph Sherar’s party, who were packing supplies to mines in the John Day area.
11. Sherar became known as the operator of a toll bridge across the Deschutes River, on a cut-off of the Barlow Road.
12. There were many pronghorns (often called pronghorn antelope) in the area in the early 19th century.
13. In the mid-19th century, Antelope was along the wagon road connecting The Dalles on the Columbia River with gold mines near Canyon City. After about 1870, the wagon road became known as The Dalles Military Road.
14. The road crossed the Deschutes River on Sherar’s Bridge.
15. The Antelope post office was established in 1871, with Howard Maupin, founder of Maupin, Oregon, as the first postmaster. The town’s population peaked around 1900, shortly after the Columbia Southern Railway completed a 70-mile (110 km) rail line from Biggs, on the Columbia River, to Shaniko, a few miles north of Antelope.
16. The railroad timetable for September 9, 1900, lists a daily stagecoach run from the train terminal in Shaniko to Antelope and beyond. Antelope was incorporated by the Oregon Legislative Assembly on January 29, 1901.
17. The Rajneeshpuram, a commune started by the Rajneesh movement, was established near the town in 1981. The organization collapsed in 1985 following the discovery by the authorities of criminal activities, such as the 1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack.
18. On September 18, 1984, a vote was held and the city was renamed to “Rajneesh”.
19. On November 6, 1985, the remaining residents, which included both original residents and some remaining Rajneeshees, voted 34 to 0 to restore the original name, and it was subsequently restored in 1986. The U.S. Postal Service had never recognized the change of name.
20. Subsequent to the collapse of the commune, the property reverted to ownership by the State of Oregon for non-payment of taxes, and was sold to Montana billionaire Dennis Washington in 1991 for $3.65 million. Currently, the ranch, 18 miles (29 km) from Antelope, is operated by Young Life, a Christian parachurch organization. It has been converted into a Christian youth camp known as “Washington Family Ranch”.