22 July 2017
The Oregon Trail Interpretive Center located 5 miles from Baker City on Hwy 86 it a must if in the area. It not only houses exhibits on the history of the Oregon Trail, but also has 4 miles of interpretive trails. It has been estimated that some 296,000 traveled to Oregon,California and Utah from 1840 to 1860. Some estimates put the number at 500,000. It is estimated that perhaps 10% died en route from variou diseases, dehydration, accidents, drowings, attacks and accidental shootings. Burials were hasty in primitive graves wrapped in just cloth or blanket in unmarked graves to deter grave robbers. The journey was 2,000 miles made by settlers seeking a better life, seeking fortune and land claims and the lure of gold.
The Center features 12,000 square feet of galleries with life size dioramas, replicas of the wagons and artifacts.Signage takes you through the journey,life on the trail and interaction between the emigrants and Native Americans.
The views of the Wallowa Mountains are magnificent.
The Baker City History Museum is housed in the former 1920 Natatorium and features many exhibits on the history of this area including mining, timber,ranching, agriculture, early Baker City life, Chinese culture and wildlife in the 33,000 square foot building. Baker City was the top gold mining area in Oregon with over 513 mines yielding over $3 million in gold.
One of the exhibits features the miniature set used for the movie "Paint Your Wagon" filmed here in 1968.
A huge collection of rocks, fossils,agates and minerals is featured.
This is also a museum worth visiting.