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Baker County History Books and Studies
The following are books and studies written during the past 50 years that deal primarily with Baker County history or communities in Baker County. If you have additional books to suggest, please complete this form. You may also use this [ PDF ] version.
 
This listing is merely to inform people of some of the available history books. It is not an endorsement of any or all of the publications.
 
 

Alexander, Maud Grant. Uncle Dave Discovers Gold. Pendleton: East Oregonian Publishing Co., 1972. Map, Illustrations, Photographs. Pp. 76.
 
Collection of oral histories as told by the author’s grandfather, David Littlefield, about the gold rush town of Auburn from the 1860s through the early 1900s.  Information was taken solely from oral histories.
 
 
Baker County Historical Society. The History of Baker County, Oregon, 1986. Baker: Baker County Historical Society, 1986. Indexes, Photographs. Pp. 360.
 
Contains general history of Baker County, specific histories for many cities and towns in the county, and an alphabetical list of family histories.  Also included is a “Tributes and Memorials” section.  The work is compiled from both secondary, archival, and oral history sources.
 
 
Densley, Lillian Cummings. Saints, Sinners and Snake River Secrets. Baker: The Record-Courier Printers, 1987. Maps, Illustrations, Photographs, Index, References. Pp. ix, 83, Appendices.
 
Publication is a compilation of the memories of Jessie Sullivan, the daughter of emigrant Eugene Sullivan, which focus primarily of the early settlement of Eagle Valley, daily life on a homestead, the development of Baker County communities, and ranching on the Snake River.  Sources are exclusively personal accounts and oral histories.
 
 
Dickman, Diana L. "Living With Exclusion: Chinese Merchants in Baker City, Oregon, 1899-1915."  Unpublished, 2008. Photographs, bibliography, 54 pages. [ PDF  6.11 mb ]
 
Presented by one of the first winners of an Oregon Heritage Fellowship, this paper illuminates changing attitudes held by the city's White newspapermen about its Chinese residents and examines how the Chinese merchants adapted to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.
 
 
Evans, Ruth H. Centennial Pioneer Families of Baker County. N.p., 1974(?). Bibliography, Index, Pp. iii, 60.
 
Contains an alphabetical list, by family, of descendents of Baker County emigrants who lived in the county during the years 1861-1874 as compiled in the Baker Centennial Year Project.  Also included is a listed of 100-year businesses, farms, and homes as recognized by the Oregon Historical Society.  Material was gathered by Ruth Evans primarily through oral interviews, but also some archival research.
 
 
Hudson, Wreatha. Baker County with Sheep on a Thousand Hills. Baker: Hudson Printing Co., Inc., 1983(?). Illustrations, Photographs. Pp. 36.
 
Provides a brief history of sheep ranching in Baker County, focusing on some specific ranching families as compiled by Wreatha Hudson through mostly anecdotal evidence.  Also contains some specifics of the day-to-day operations of sheep ranching.
 
 
Morgan, Louise. Westward H-O-O-O-o-o-o-o-o, the Olivers. Portland: Binford and Mort Publishing, 1989. Illustrations, Photographs. Pp. xvii, 189.
 
Examines the history of the Oliver family, their travels along the Oregon Trail, and settlement in Baker County.  Contains histories of some cities and towns.  Sources are generally anecdotal.
 
 
Rand, Helen B. Gold, Jade and Elegance. Baker: The Record-Courier, 1974. Illustrations, Photographs. Pp. iv, 79.
 
Helen B. Rand writes a history of mining in Baker County from 1862-1914.  Included are stories of early Euro-American and Chinese miners, and how mining activities shaped the future of the county.  Sources of information were primarily based from the author’s personal memories and oral histories of community members.
 
 
Riordan, Tom, and Roger Walke and Ricky Hoff, Report of the Cultural Resource Survey: Sparta Ditch and Shanghai Gulch Areas of the Wallowa Whitman National Forest. Baker: USDA Forest Service, 1979. 98 pages.  Vol. 1 [ PDF  4.1 mb ] and Vol. 2 [ PDF  3 mb ]
 
In addition to a brief historic overview, the authors describe mining, livestock and settlement efforts in the area, and outline management options.
 
 
Smith, Sybyl. Pine Valley Vignettes. Bend: Maverick Publications, Inc., 1992. Photographs. Pp. 230.
 
Contains a collection of stories gathered from primarily anecdotal sources about Pine Valley, Eagle Valley, Cornucopia, the Snake River, Carson, Pine Town, Sparta, and Robinette.  Also includes brief histories of local schools, churches, post offices, and stores.
 
 
Stewart, Gordon and Patricia Stewart. Baker County Sketch Book. N.p., 1956. Illustrations. Pp. 40.
 
Publication was compiled from information that appeared in the Baker Democrat-Herald under the joint sponsorship with the Baker County Chamber of Commerce.  Contains a collection of primarily anecdotal, celebratory stories of the early history of Baker County with illustrations drawn by the author.
 
 
White, Robert J. Sagebrush Heritage: Early Memories of a Homesteader Kid. Baker: Baker Printing and Lithography, 1987. Maps, Photographs. Pp. vii, 153.
 
Contains an autobiography of Robert White and his family living primarily in Bowen Valley, Beaver Creek, Ebell Creek, and the West Fork of Sutton Creek areas during the twentieth century.  Includes personal reminiscences of ranching and farming, transportation, and schools.  Publication is compiled exclusively from personal memories and oral histories.