Wallowa, Wallowa County, Oregon

Two theories exist in regard to the name Wallowa and its origin.  McArthur states that the name is derived from the Lewis and Clark journals in which they gave the name Wallowa to the present Grande Ronde river and to the tribe of Indians.  Early copies of the Chieftain insist that the name is derived from the fish traps that the Indians used to build along the streams.

Chieftain Building Erected in 1915

In 1915, George Cheney had the present Chieftain building erected.  Here works are in the process of laying the first stones of the new establishment.  Notice that Mel's Creamery building hasn't changed a bit in 47 years.



Chieftain Float in 1929 Parade

    Here is the Chieftain getting ready to display their float in a parade that was held in 1929.  George Cheney, walking towards the camera, seems to be giving the float his final inspection.  


Livery Stable once a Thriving Business

     One of the principal businesses in Wallowa valley towns 50 years ago or more was the livery stable.  Here horses were kept for hire, fed and maintained for travelers, and hay and grain supplies offered for sale.  This picture shows the livery stable at Wallowa when it was a thriving business.  Date of the picture and identity of the three men are unknown

First School In Wallowa Valley Was Started Near Wallowa Canyon In 1874

   (Reference:  Wallowa Sun July 8, 1937)

“Late in the autumn of 1874 an idea that the Wallowa Valley should have a school seemed to have originated in the minds of the two men who had the most children of school age, namely Winslow Powers and Jake Sturgil.

These two men took the initiative and with the aid of others went into the woods, cut, hewed and hauled the logs, and then with the aid of all the settlers in what was then known as a house raising the building was made ready for the roof in one day.  The next day a shake roof was put on it.  The floor, the seats, the desks, the door and the blackboard were all made of wood obtained by first felling a tree, sawing it into cuts, splitting the cuts into broad pieces, hewing these pieces with a broad axe and then planning them with a hand plane until they were as smooth as though they had been put through a mill.  The window frames and the window sash was made from the wood of the forest without the aid of the sawmill or the planning mill.

The location of the school house was about 450 feet east and a little north of the present highway bridge across Bear Creek.”

Contributed by Jim Reavis

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Oregon Obituary Database

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Contains obituaries for Baker, Crook, Grant, Hood River, Lane, Linn, Malheur, Umatilla, Union, and Wallowa Counties.

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