With the super heated water flowing into the river, caves on the butte to dwell in and lots of salmon running in season, this area was a central gathering place for the Paiute Indians.
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The murals create an outdoor gallery that is educational and entertaining for all age groups. Journals of the early travelers along the Oregon Trail mention the Malheur River crossing and the hot springs where they could rest, take baths and wash their clothes. There were two stores on the ground floor with the stairs to the lodge hall going up the center. While they were gone, the furs were discovered by the local tribes. Vale has survived two major floods and countless dry years.
Trappers, Missionaries and Settlers The Vale area was a popular area for trappers. Hope for their general mercantile store, replacing a frame building, which burned.
It is said that they build a cabin along the banks of Willow Creek, which was the first house built near what would become Vale. However, Marie Dorian, who was part Native American and the wife of Pierre Dorian, a guide for the Wilson Price Hunt expedition, came through the area or close by it in She returned with her husband in and in escaped from the Indians after they killed her husband while he was trapping along the Boise River Reeds River. InHenry C. This was the common route west until the trains came in Goods came by rail, were loaded on to wagons headed for Harney County and other points west.
Vale is in the center of a rich agriculture area, with row crops being raised in the valley, dairy cows on the benches and beef cattle in the low hills surrounding Vale. How Malheur Is Named In and a few members returned in order to trap beaver. The Rinehart Stone House Museum is now open to the public.
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They also found the Humboldt River in Nevada on their way south. It also served for a time as the post office. James N. Jones and Don E. Masterson were the first administrators. Ioof Hall Main St S One of the new brick structures that were springing up in the downtown area. National Register of Historic Places.
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The Vale Pioneer Cemetery is located one mile north of Vale on the west side of highway The party that traveled on the south and west sides of the Snake River were the first white men to pass through what would become Vale and Malheur County, Oregon. When the party reached the upper reaches of the Snake River, they left their horses and began canoeing down the river. With 58 first class rooms, it was favorably compared to the Idanha Hotel of Boise with all the conveniences including baths with hot and cold water.
At the present time Vale is not only the county seat but is also headquarters for the Vale Bureau of Land Management District.
The salmon runs were a primary gathering time for the people, who mostly lived in small groups the rest of the year. Life in this area centers around the hot springs that flow into Malheur River from under Rinehart Butte.
Nelson building A St. W InMr. Nelson came from Pendleton and put up this white brick building which has been occupied by a furniture store, drug store, undertaking parlor and dentist. The Vale area was a popular area for trappers. It and the other new red brick building were replacing the older wooden structures so prone to be destroyed by fire. The Hopes sold their store and it became the first home of the Vale Trading company.
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Stone House Main St S One of the oldest buildings in Malheur County and in Eastern Oregon, it was built inby Louis Rinehart and has served as a way station on the Oregon Trail, a hostelry, a stage stop for the Boise to Burns run, and during the Bannock Paiute War init served as a refuge for the nearby settlers.
It and the T. Nelson building are the only two buildings that have survived two major fires in this block. Humphrey Building A St. Boswell as a drug store.
The progressive council wanted to protect the new town from fire. Their trapping expedition was so successful that they were not able to carry them all on the return trip. There was a barbershop in the small store at the back of the building. A temporary trading post, run by a Mr. Turner, was referred to in journals as early as Jonathan Keeney later built a house and barn near the hot springs.
A boat was lost in the rapids of what is now Milner Dam. Travel on the river was impossible at this point so they cached much of their goods and divided into three companies. Old timers recall the dinning room with its white tablecloths, the laundry being done by a Chinese laundry.
The wives of Marcus Whitman and H. Spaulding were two of the first white women to arrive in the Vale area. In and a few members returned in order to trap beaver. In more recent times it was a private home. The first Vale post office was established in this building in It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places inwhen it was a hundred years old.
It has housed such businesses as a grocery store, bakery, barber shop and was the BLM office upstairs during the first years of the Vale Range Rehabilitation project. Cattle and sheep were shipped east from the Vale railhead. Photo: The Rinehart Stone House today. The northeast corner housed the bank. Building Boom and the Present Day The railroad came, as did telephones and a city water system and the building boom was on.
Inthe Vale Trading constructed this large building and moved from the Hope Bros. Oregon Trail Mushroom uses the natural occurring hot water in their operation. Goodrich Hotel A St W This red brick building was constructed at the same time as the bank next door and the two businesses opened their doors for business within a few days of each other in Methodist Church Cottage St One of the oldest frame buildings remaining in town as well as the oldest church.
Members of this expedition returned later in the year, discovering the South Pass over the Rocky Mountains in Wyomingwhich became the Oregon Trail. Each has a site that can be viewed today and chronicles the evolution of the area from the earliest inhabitants to the days of the pioneers. Many of the members were French-Canadian and French was the language of choice. An early city council decreed by ordinance that buildings in the commercial district could only be of brick or stone.
Cattle and livestock continue to play a role in the local economy with one of the largest livestock auction yards in Oregon holding a sale each Wednesday. Its conversion to an opera house was a direct result of the state voting to go dry in It is currently being restored.
First Bank of Vale C. Cole, president. It became the official county seat after an election indefeating bids by Jordan valley and Ontario for the deation. The building that originally had a much higher roofline, built inwas occupied inand has served as a church continually from that time. It is made of native stone quarried south of Vale, as are several other buildings of this era.