View Full Version : ^^^^^^EUREKA OREGON^^^^^^, fall trip to this relatively unknow ghost town in Hells Canyon

05-27-1999, 07:02 PM
Originally posted by Al

: Anybody interested in being part of a trip to Eureka Oregon this Fall please contact me. Trip will involved about 40 miles of backroad driving and about 10 miles of 4wd... We will camp at a primitive campground a couple of nights. Trip will involve a 2 mile hike 2,000 feet down to the Snake River. Early October would be a target date.

11-24-2010, 11:18 PM
this sounds like a super fun trip!!!! did it happen?

Dave A
11-25-2010, 08:42 PM
The original post was back in 1999.

I searched for Eureka, OR and could only find a Eureka Bar, OR, which is on the Snake River about twenty miles south of the Washington border. Apparently this is within Hells Canyon, although the satellite view does not provide much information.


11-26-2010, 10:53 AM
Just for a little more background, for those interested:

Eureka Bar was a mining town at the confluence of the Snake and Imnaha Rivers, founded because of a copper boom in 1899, and which soon had a population of around 2000. However, the mill was never completed due to the loss of the equipment into the river during unloading, and by 1906, the town had gone bust, and was left abandoned. From what I can tell, remains of the hotel and stamp mill can be found.

A photo of a sternwheeler at Eureka Bar back in the day here (http://content.wsulibs.wsu.edu/cdm-steam/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/steam&CISOPTR=13&CISOBOX=1&REC=8).

A photo of the mill remains here (http://www.panoramio.com/photo/6164587).

Dave A
11-26-2010, 06:54 PM
Nice job of searching for that information. I must not have looked deep enough in the results?

12-01-2010, 11:00 PM
Oregon Geographic Names 6th Ed has an entry:

Eureka: Wallowa County

Post office was established in Aug. 1903, operated until July 1906. Thos. E. Alyea was first post master. The office was near the SW bank of the Snake River in T 4S, R 48E, and was established to serve the Eureka mines which were being developed in the vicinity. The office and the creek were presumably named for the Eureka mines.

The post office location isn't exactly known, but the book says likely between the Imnaha River and Eureka Creek, tributaries of the Snake River.

12-02-2010, 05:52 AM
From Google Earth, I took a look around and managed to pick out the sites of the Eureka Mill, Mountain Chief Mine, steamboat landing, and a foundation that was likely the hotel's. I put together a Google Earth collection file that I'm willing to send anyone who is interested. It looks like this would be a quite interesting site to visit.

12-13-2010, 10:31 PM
All I can think of is going there with dive gear and finding the equipment under the water...

04-01-2014, 03:59 PM
I'm wondering if maybe the site of the town of Eureka is actually in Baker county? This page states http://www.oregongenealogy.com/baker/years/city.htm :

On the 4th day of March: 1893, there were 17 post offices in Baker County, namely:
Auburn, Baker, Bridgeport, Britten, Connor Creek, Erwin, Eureka, Express, Haines, Hereford, Huntington, Pleasant Valley, Rye Valley, Sumpter, Tracy, Unity and Weatherby.

And I found a description of Eureka in an old mining journal that describes Eureka as being "35 miles west of Baker City and 12 miles from Mcewen". Further the journal states "a few years ago 500 men were employed and all indications were that this would be the greatest gold camp in Oregon" suggesting this was closer to the mines of the Sumpter district rather than on the Snake River.

04-08-2014, 03:27 AM
There were two towns called Eureka, only a few years apart.

First one was in Baker near Sumpter; 44.8184797, -118.2046633. Post Office established Sept 9, 1892. Closed Feb 27, 1894 to Sumpter. Kit Carson Smith first PO. Later served by the Bourne Post Office (http://pnwphotoblog.com/ghost-town-of-bourne-oregon/).

Second Eureka has the above one on the Snake River at the Eureka mine near the mouth of the Imnaha River. PO opened August 25, 1903, closed August 15, 1906 to Enterprise. Thomas E. Alyea was the Post Master. Says GPS is 45.7679335, -116.8204253 but eyeballing it, I'd say 45.7679335, -116.8204253 is the actual location. You can see the ruins of buildings in Google Maps.