Baker City is a small historic city with a rich history and 100s of preserved historic buildings. It boasts the largest area of 19th-century buildings in western America. Being off the radar of many tourists, visitors can enjoy the character and charm without the crowds that are prevalent in other historic sites that suffer from overtourism.
The City began with the establishment of a post office in 1866, going on to become incorporated in 1874. Growth continued with the introduction of the Oregon Short Line Railroad in 1884 and by the turn of the century, Baker City had become the largest city between Salt Lake City and Portland. By this time it was a significant trading center for the surround region.
Exploring the Historic District along Main Street and the adjacent blocks is a great way to spend the better part of a day. The entire area is on the National Register of Historic Places and has over 130 historic buildings. Many were built in the late 1800s to early 1900s.
Not only will you enjoy the ambience and sense of being in another era when viewing in the interesting architecture, you’ll also be treated to a wide range of interesting shops and restaurants. There are no franchise stores in this part of the city. Every business is unique.
Inside the historic Natatorium, built in 1920, you’ll find the Baker Heritage Museum http://www.bakerheritagemuseum.com/. where you can explore 33000 square feet of exhibits covering all the important things that have shaped the region including agriculture, ranching, timber, and mining.
On top of Flagstaff hill, 6 miles northeast of town on Route 86 you will find the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. This 23000 square foot facility features dioramas, living history progams and multimedia presentations about the Oregon trail and the challenges faced by early emigrants as they travelled through the region. There’s also a 4 mile network of interpretive trails to explore.