With the 1884 arrival of the Oregon Short Line Railroad, Ontario quickly began to grow. In addition to passenger service, the railroad also brought freight and livestock from Eastern Oregon cattle ranches. In addition, stock began arriving at the stockyard in Ontario, which became one of the largest in the western United States. By 1884, almost all eastern Oregon producers shipped their cattle out of Ontario. The town’s stockyard was the largest in the Short Line, and by 1899, the average daily value of cattle being shipped out of Ontario was $25,000!
The largest city in Malheur County, Ontario is located near the Idaho-Oregon border. With an estimated population of 11,366, Ontario is one of the state’s most ethnically diverse cities. According to the U.S. Census, the city is 54.5 percent non-Latinx white, 41.7 percent Latinx, and 4.4 percent multiracial. The city is also home to 0.7 percent Native American and 0.4 percent African-American populations.
If you are a rockhound, you may enjoy Thunder egg Days at Nyssa. Thunder eggs are oblong rocks with crystal formations that are beautiful to look at. Jasper, petrified wood, and agate are also common stones in Nyssa, along with sunstone, Oregon’s state gem. While you’re in Ontario, don’t forget to check out the local geology museum. You might even end up taking home the state’s state rock, the sunstone.
The area around Ontario, Oregon is also home to the Leslie Gulch-Succor Creek National Back Country Byway. This scenic route provides a chance to explore the stunning scenery of eastern Oregon. Along the way, you’ll pass many unique geological formations and vibrant colors that are sure to capture your attention. The best part? It’s a 0.3-mile route! And it’s only 500 steps! And it’s rated easy!
If you are planning a road trip to explore the area, you may want to consider visiting other towns nearby. Many cities are just a few hours away, so you can find flights to these destinations from Ontario. Or, you can even find flights that go to cities a hundred or more miles from Ontario, Oregon. A quick search for these cities can help you plan your trip. With these helpful tools, you can find the perfect place to stay while exploring the local area.
The Four Rivers Cultural Center is an important site for visitors to Ontario. Named for the four rivers in the area, the center celebrates the region’s history, diversity, and unique culture. A museum, conference center, gift shop, and cafe are just a few of the many ways to experience the culture of this small city. Ontario also boasts a thriving arts scene, ranging from contemporary art to the traditional folk music. In addition to the historic district, the area’s diverse cultural heritage makes for an educational and entertaining trip.
The city’s slogan, “Where Oregon Begins,” is an apt description of its history. Although the city was a small town before the war, its diverse culture has helped it become a truly multicultural community. Before the war, the city’s population was only 134, but after the Japanese Americans were relocated to Ontario, the city’s mayor, Elmo Smith, called for their relocation. The Japanese Americans relocated to the city were welcome because of the agricultural labor shortage.