W E L C O M E T O
R A N T C O U N T Y
O R E G O N
Grant County, Oregon, is a land of scenic contrasts
- from dramatic geologic formations in the John Day Fossil Beds
National Monument, sagebrush and juniper dotting the slopes, grassy
valleys, pine forests, mountain peaks to the many streams, rivers,
lakes and hot springs in the area.
Natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities
are abundant in Grant County year 'round. Thousands of acres of
public land offer backpacking, cross country skiing, snowmobiling,
hunting, fishing, horseback riding, or scenic driving. Campgrounds
abound, with a wide range of facilities. All or part of three
wilderness areas are located in Grant County. Maps are available
at Forest Service offices in John Day, Prairie City and Dale.
Grant County has been described as "Gold
and Cattle Country", and this description aptly captures
the history of the region. Gold was discovered in Canyon Creek
in 1862, and during the following gold rush, over $26 million
in gold was mined in the John Day-Canyon City area. The hundreds
of Chinese who came to work in the mines during this time added
a unique flavor to the area's history. The Kam Wah Chung &
Co. Museum in John Day recognizes their contribution to Oregon's
heritage. The museum has been recognized as a National Historic
In many areas you may find the remnants
of mines, cabins or communities which stand as mute evidence of
the gold rush. Sketch, take pictures, or let your imagination
run wild, but please do not disturb such sites. Leave them as
you found them, so that the next visitor can enjoy them.
The Grant County Historic Museum in Canyon
City contains relics from the early days of Grant County, several
extensive rock collections, Indian artifacts, and Chinese items.
The historic Joaquin Miller cabin and Greenhorn Jail are located
next to the museum building, which is open June 1 - September
30. Also in Canyon City, the Ox Bow Trading Co. and Museum features
exhibits of horse drawn vehicles. The museum building, formerly
a dance hall, has many carriages, wagons, buggies, sleighs, and
victorias as well as displays of 19th century Old West household
and horse related trade goods.
The DeWitt Museum, located in Depot Park,
Prairie City, includes ten rooms of pioneer memorabilia from Grant
County's early days. The museum is housed in an old-time railroad
depot that was built in 1910 at the end of the line for the Sumpter
Valley Narrow Gauge Railroad. There are many historic items relating
to Grant County history on display.