Gallery #2--SMALL TOWNS & GHOST TOWNS
Sumpter. Granite St. looking west in 1895. Oldest photo of Sumpter.

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Record 400/1101
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Collection Hawley, Brooks
Date of photo 1895-1895
Description Sumpter. Granite St. looking west in 1895, oldest photo of Sumpter, a year before the SVRy came.

Brooks Hawley notes: the town was platted in 1889 by Charles Rimbol. There were about 200 people living in Sumpter in 1895. In 1898, after the hardrock gold mining boom started, the town was incorporated. By 1903 the town's population had soared to 3,500.

The flagpole in the center of the photo was erected in 1890 in the middle of the intersection of Granite and Center streets. It appears it is attached to an old stump.

A sign on about the last building on the right side says "Starr Hotel." That hotel, much bigger in size, burned in the fire of 1917.

The tree in this photo was the only tree left in downtown Sumpter. Most of the buildings in photo were replaced by newer buildings. Tree lasted until, but did not survive, the conflagration of August 13, 1917, which wiped out most of the business district. Since mining activity had been declining for a number of years, the town was never rebuilt to its former glory. Compare image 1992.1.151 for a photo of a limbless, charred tree trunk.

The second building on the right is Duckworth's Red Front Store. Charles Duckworth died Feb. 1899, age 40, from tuberculosis. His father, Henry Duckworth, born in Yorshire, England, died at age 62 within a year, January 1900. Henry and his son had a store at McEwen, too. Our ranch is the old Henry Duckworth place. Henry's wife died July 1913, over 80 years old, at McEwen, here over 40 years. Jim Duckworth located the North Pole Mine about 1887. Jim's son, Luther, was well known as recorder for Al Kadar Temple at Portland for many years. John Duckworth has a son, John, who now lives at Wallowa. I went to school with Harry and Pearl. Duckworths crossed the plains and arrived at Auburn in 1870.

At Christmas 1899, W. C. Calder, proprietor of the Red Front Store, gave each of his six employees a $5 told piece, according to an item in a newspaper. Next month, Jan. 1900 Henry Hobson of Willamette Valley bought the Red Front Store. In May 1900 the building burned down, a considerable risk to the new brick First National Bank of Sumpter across the street. It was replaced by a double store building, a brick building, likely the same year or at least by 1901. That was the main location for Father's store. W. R. Hawley ahd the corner and Hobsons had the other half. That brick building shows in several other pictures, even one picture shows it in construction.

There is another copy of this photo in the folder.


Object ID 1992.1.156
Place Sumpter
COPYRIGHT INFORMATION: Credit Baker County Library, Baker City, Oregon

Baker County Library District, 2400 Resort St., Baker City, OR 97814 -- Ph. 541-523-6419 -- www.bakerlib.org -- Send comments to:     gdielman@bakerlib.org
Last modified on: December 09, 2017