Wasco County Towns & Places

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Note: This page is under construction.

Antelope – This town received its name for the many Antelope that could be found here. It was named by members of the Joseph H. Sherar party about 1862.  The first post office was established August 7, 1871 with Howard Maupin selected as the first postmaster. Bakeoven – What an interesting name! The name comes from the time period about 1862 when a trader from The Dalles had his pack train run off by Indians. He was left with just his supplies. He built an oven from clay and sold his baked bread to the prospectors who were coming through for the mines.  The post office was established there on December 1, 1875.  Mrs. Ellen Burgess was the first postmistress.
Cambrai Station – is on the Burlington Northern Railroad just south of Maupin.  It received its name probably for the Battle of Cambrai in 1917. It was a major event between England and Germany during World War I at the French town of the same name. Celilo Village - 
Chatfield – is siding on the Union Pacific Railroad near Mosier.  It was named in 1920 for Roy D. Chatfield who was a fruit grower, and served as manager of the Mosier Fruit Growers Association. He was the donor of Memaloose Park along I-84 which is owned by State of Oregon. Company Hollow – Many sites obtained their names from who used the area, who bought or homesteaded property or from an incident that occurred there.  Company Hollow is a little vale located three miles south of the Fairbanks School.  It was used to graze horses by J.C. Ainsworth and the Oregon Steam Navigation Company.  The road that runs along this area is named “Company Hollow Road.”  The English post office was located near here.
Crate’s Point – local railroad station named for Edward Crate who was a French-Canadian who arrived in the area of The Dalles as an employee of the Hudson’s Bay Company about 1838. Criterion – The U.S. Post Office often determined the name of a new facility including shortening of the name and sometimes changing the spelling. In this case, they chose “Criterion” over “Three Notches” as the latter was more than one word.  The post office was opened in September 1913 and closed in June 1926.  “Three Notches” came from a sort of landmark of a juniper tree with three cuts on it
Dant – In 1950 the Dant & Russell, Inc. company arrived to establish a perlite mine near Frieda which was located on the Oregon Trunk Railway. Frieda was renamed for Thomas Dant, president of the company. Dillon – is a station on the railroad near Celilo Canal.  It was named for Capt. Theo H. Dillon who was in the Army serving as part of the engineer corp which constructed the canal.
Dixon  Emerson - was a community and station on the Great Southern Railroad along 15 Mile Creek. It was located about 18 miles southeast of The Dalles.  Chester W. Emerson had homesteaded the area in 1884; hence the name.  The railroad tracks were torn up in the 1930s.
Endersby – was named for W.E. Endersby who lived in the area. The Endersby School was located about 3 miles northwest of Dufur.  The Endersly post office (spelling correct) was opened on April 1892 with George W. Fligg as the first postmaster. It closed October 1906.  Knowing that the post office made arbitrary decisions on names, it could be that someone erred in how the Endersby name was spelled or it was poor penmanship that made the “b” look like an “l” to whoever processed the papers. English – the post office was located on the English Farm near Company Hollow; about 8 miles southeast of The Dalles.  The post office was established July 2, 1896 and closed August 12, 1898.  Christopher C. English was the first postmaster.
Fairbanks– is located on 15 mile Creek.  It was established as a station of the Great Southcentral Railroad in 1906 near Company Hollow.  Who was it named for?  Was it named for Charles W. Fairbanks, the Vice-President under President Theodore Roosevelt’s term?  Was it local homesteader Daniel Farrington’s former home in Maine?  Farrington filed for his homestead in 1891 near Wrentham which is not close to Fairbanks.  The post office was opened there October 31, 1905 and then closed and transferred to Freebridge in July 31, 1909.  There was also a school (photo) at Fairbanks. Ferry – was established as a post office October 26, 1912 near Dillon; close to the Celilo Canal.  The name was changed to Dillon April 8, 1914 and then changed again to Celilo May 20, 1915.
 Flanagan – a community and post office on the east side of the Deschutes River, about six to seven miles east of Maupin.  The community and post office were named for a local family who lived there. The post office was established October 1905 with John Flanagan the first postmaster. It closed March 1912. Fort Dalles
 Fort Lee Freebridge – a station on the Great Southern Railroad located four miles north of Emerson along 15 Miles Creek.  The old stage coach road took off from there to what is now Sherman County.  The post office was established January 29, 1908.  Frederick L. Petersen was the first postmaster. He was succeeded by Ida Carlisle on November 24, 1908.  The post office was closed July 30, 1910 with papers to Wrentham.
Friend – the post office was established on February 28, 1903 on the homestead of George J. Friend.  Theo. H Buskuhl was the first postmaster who had suggested the name for the facility. Kaskelaa railway station on the east side of the Deschutes River in the southern part of Wasco County.  The name is for the first Warm Springs Indian Chief after the agency was established there.
 Keen – is a post office that was established April 14, 1922.  Owen Jones was the postmaster. Jones leaved near the intersection of Tygh Ridge Road and the old road leading from The Dalles to Sherar’s Bridge, southeast of The Dalles. Kah-Nee-Ta -
Kingsley – received its name about 1878, by virtue of a book in the lap of The Dalles postmistress, Mrs, E.M. Wilson. Charles Kinglsey’s “Westward Ho!” was the book that Mrs. Wilson was reading at the time. The town was platted May 16, 1893 and was located south of Dufur. Kloan – station on Oregon Trunk Railway. Chinook jargon for the word “three.” It was the third station from the north end of the line up Deschutes  River.
Lockit Chinook jargon for word for the number four, this was the fourth station on the Oregon Trunk Railway from the north end of the line up Deschutes River.  Matney – was a post office  opened on June 12, 1895with  Issac C. Matney as the postmaster. It was closed April 23, 1896 with papers to The Dalles.
Maupin Memaloose Island – Chinook jargon for “death or dead.”
Moody - was a station on the Oregon Trunk Line along the Deschutes River. A post office was established there with the same name in December 7, 1911 with Ida Carlisle the postmaster.  The station and post office were named for early day settler Malcom A. Moody of The Dalles. Moody was a member of a prominent pioneer family and served as the U.S. Representative to Congress from Eastern Oregon.  While the post office closed and/or moved, the station is still referred to as Moody Station. Mount Hood – was a post office opened on May 27, 1872 with Wm Hollandsworth as postmaster. It was closed Jan 11, 1878. The post office was located somewhere in the Tygh Valley area.
Nansene is an Indian word that describes 15 mile Creek. The post office was established on May 17, 1880. Wm C Adams was the first post master. The post office was located on a ridge southeast of Dufur. Nansene School was also located there. The post office closed in February 1894. Northern Junction – located on the east bank of Deschutes River. Two railroads were built upstream from the mouth.  Post office was established June 1927. J.C McCurdy was the first postmaster.
Ortleya proposed community named for a species of apple called  “Ortley” 1911. It was a proposed development as a model orchard fruit growers would live in the town. It was located onn the heights above Rowena about 7 miles southeast of  Mosier.  The post office  was established in 1911. L.D.  Firebaugh was first postmaster. It was closed Nov 30, 1922. Petersburg – was a station on the Great Southern Railroad established in 1905.  It was named for Peter Strohler (or Stoller). While the tracks were torn up in the 1930s, the Petersburg School is all that is left to note that the small community even existed.
Prattville was a post office opened in November 1879 and closed in September 1880.  Mrs. Mary J. Mackie was the postmaster.  It was located near what is now called Wamic.  The post office was named for the Pratt family who had settled there in the 1870s. The name was carried on for a number of years after the post office had closed. Rice – this area along Fifteen Mile Creek had been homesteaded by Horace Rice beginning in the 1860s. Mr. Rice began farming the land growing wheat. By the time the Great Southern Railroad was built along Fifteen Mile Creek, Mr. Rice had expanded his holdings to 1000 acres. The station was named “Rice” and was located near the mouth of Dry Creek.
Ridgeway  the post office was established March 3, 1892.  Mary S. Cooke was hired as the first postmaster.  It was closed on October 31, 1905 with papers to Shaniko. Ridgeway was located west of Antelope. Rowena – is located along the Columbia River Highway, east of The Dalles near Mosier. Was it named for H.S. Rowe who was a company official of the railroad that was being built along the Columbia River or was it named for a young girl who lived in the vicinity?
Seufert was a station located east of The Dalles. It was named for brothers Frank A. and Theodore J. Seufert who hailed from New York. They arrived in the early 1880s. Shaniko 
Sherars Bridge – the history of Sherars bridge dates back to Peter Skene Ogeden who led a party to Central Oregon 1826-27. The history went on to include John Y. Todd, Robert Mays and eventually to Joseph Sherar about 1871.  Sherar has a long history connected to Central Oregon.  Born in Vermont he traveled to Wasco County by way of the mining country in California. He ran a freight pack train to the John Day mines. He purchased Sherars Bridge and invested a lot of money on improvements and maintained a stage station near the bridge. He died in The Dalles on Febuary 11, 1908. He was married to Jane A. Herbert. Simnasho – was a post office on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. The word means “thorn bush” and was pronounced as if it was spelled “Sini-massa.”
Sinamox was a station on the Burlington Northern named for the Chinook jargon word for “seven” as it was the seventh station on the railroad.  A post office was established there January 2, 1914 but closed December 31, 1914 with papers to Moody. Taylorville – located on Fifteenmile Creek about 8 miles southwest of Dufur.  A post office was established as Taylor on August 20, 1909 and closed on September 30, 1910.  Albert Taylor was the postmaster. Taylor established a mill here and opened up a store and the post office to provide a source of supplies and mail for the employees who lived there.  The post office closed when the mill ceased to operate.
The Dalles -  Tuskanwas a railway station on Burlington Northern near Sherars Bridge. It is the Indian name of the locality Tysh-kan-ee. The spelling of the current name was derived from the old name.
Tygh Valleywas a post office in valley of the same name on banks of the  Tygh Creek. The featueres were named for the Tygh Indian tribe, now part of Warm Springs Indians. Vanderhoof Canyon – empties into Currant Creek in the extreme south part of county. Gilbert Vanderhoof homesteaded near its upper end before WWI.  When Oregon went dry in 1916 Gilbert and his brother John expanded their cattle operation to include “liquid grain by-products.”
Victor – was a post office serving Juniper Flats about midway between Tygh Valley and Wapinitia. The post office was opened November 14, 1893.  Viola Jones was the first postmaster. It was closed November 1912 with business moved to Maupin.  There was a school with the same name but it did not survive the ages.  Wamic – was named for a family of early settlers named Womack. Brothers, Asa and Levi, and nephew Crawford lived there.  Interesting story about their approach to life.
Wapinitia – is aWarm Springs Indian word. The correct spelling is said to be Wapinita. Once known as Oak Grove because of grove of trees that grew in the vicinity. Wasco – Located a few miles east of what is now Dufur. The post office was opened on August 26, 1868 and operated until June 3, 1872 with Wm D Gilliam as postmaster.
Wrentham – named by Daniel Farrington family. They came from Maine. Named for a place where they had lived in New York. Pos office established in 1900 but was discontinued  Information gleaned from Oregon Geographic Names, by Lewis A. McArthur. 5th Edition revised and enlarged by Lewis L. McArthur; Western Imprints The Press of the Oregon Historical Society 1982. Information also gleaned from other sources or was contributed by local historians.