Joseph is a city in Wallowa County, Oregon, United States. Take a look below for 10 fun and interesting facts about Joseph, Oregon, United States.
1. Originally named Silver Lake and Lake City, the city formally named itself 141 years ago in 1880 for Chief Joseph (1840–1904) of the Nez Perce people.
2. The population was 1,081 at the 2010 census.
3. Joseph was platted in 1883, and the economy was originally based around agriculture, especially grain and stock.
4. In 1896 the First Bank of Joseph was robbed, one robber was shot and killed, another shot and captured, and a third escaped with the money.
5. On occasion there have been reenactments of the robbery.
6. After a railroad line was completed to Joseph in 1908, a lumber mill opened, bolstering the economy.
7. When the timber industry collapsed in the 1980s, local unemployment rate approached 17%. However, in 1982 a new industry was born as three bronze foundries opened in the local area.
8. The city sponsors the annual Chief Joseph Days Rodeo in late July, Bronze, Blues and Brews in August since 2001, and Alpenfest in September, a Swiss-Bavarian festival staged in Joseph and at nearby Wallowa Lake.
9. Alpenfest resembles an Oktoberfest but has more yodeling and alphorn playing, reflecting the area’s reputation as “Oregon’s Little Switzerland.”
10. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.88 square miles (2.28 km2), all of it land. The elevation is 4,190 feet (1,280 m) above sea level.