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20 Bizarre And Awesome Facts About Shaniko, Oregon, United States

Shaniko is a city located in Wasco County, Oregon, United States, on U.S. Route 97 and about 8 miles (13 km) north of Antelope. Take a look below for 20 bizarre and awesome facts about Shaniko, Oregon, United States.

1. The population was 36 at the 2010 census.

2. Shaniko is in Wasco County, in north-central Oregon, at the intersection of U.S. Route 97 and Oregon Route 218.

3. The city is 69 miles (111 km) north of Redmond and 131 miles (211 km) east of Portland.

4. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.50 square miles (1.29 km2), all of it land.

5. The city is at an elevation of 3,343 feet (1,019 m).

6. On the high plateau on which Shaniko was built, the soil is thin and the vegetation sparse, consisting mainly of sagebrush, bunchgrass, and occasional junipers.

7. Many peaks of the Cascade Range, including Hood, Jefferson, Adams, St. Helens and Rainier, are visible from the city.

8. The first European Americans came to the Shaniko area after the discovery of gold in Canyon City, Oregon, in 1862.

9. The route to Canyon City started at the early settlement of The Dalles, 190 miles (310 km) away.

10. Camps were made wherever water could be found. One camp, which became the farming community of Bakeoven, was closely associated with the future town of Shaniko, while another camp, Cross Hollow, was within the present Shaniko city limits.

11. In 1867, following complaints of hostile Indians and fear of robbery of those transporting gold, the State of Oregon received a grant from the United States government to build a military wagon road from The Dalles to Fort Boise, Idaho.

12. Following this road, homesteaders began claiming land in Central Oregon that had been fairly inaccessible.

13. One of these settlers was August Scherneckau, who came to the area after the Civil War, in 1874.

14. The spelling of the town’s name reflects local Native American pronunciation of Scherneckau’s name.

15. The town was originally called Cross Hollow, and a post office by that name was established in May 1879 with Scherneckau as postmaster.

16. Cross Hollow post office closed in 1887, and Shaniko post office opened in 1900. The first meeting of the city council after incorporation was March 16, 1901. The application to incorporate was submitted February 9, 1901.

17. The town’s heyday was the first decade of the 20th century, when Shaniko served as a transportation hub spurred by the presence of the Columbia Southern Railway, a subsidiary of Union Pacific Railroad, which built a branch from Biggs Junction to a terminus in Shaniko. That branch was completed in May 1900.

18. At the time, the city was known as the “Wool Capital of the World”, and it was the center of 20,000 square miles (52,000 km2) of wool, wheat, cattle and sheep production, with no other such center east of the Cascade Range in Oregon. The region served by the city even stretched into Idaho, south to Klamath Falls, Oregon, and beyond, because of rail connections to the main line.

19. The residents of Shaniko voted to incorporate Shaniko and elected a mayor, F. T. Hurlbert, and other city officials on January 1, 1902. It was Wasco County’s fifth largest city, boasting the largest wool warehouse in the state, from which 4 million pounds (1.8 kt) (2,000 tons) were marketed in 1901. It was surrounded by cattle ranches, which produced livestock for shipment that filled 400 railroad cars that year.

20. In 1903, when Shaniko gained the nickname, “Wool Capital of the World”, they shipped 2,229 tons of wool and 1,168,866 bushels of wheat. They made $3,000,000 in wool sales in 1903. The second sale of that year one warehouse deposited a million into the bank. There was a third sale that year as well. In 1904, total sales were five million dollars.

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