There isn’t much history that I’m able to find about Hamilton, Oregon. Oregon Geographic Names states that the town was named for J.H. Hamilton, a pioneer stockman who first settled here in 1874 and lived there until his death in 1909. It also mentioned that a lot of settlers visited the area to race horses.
This is one of those small towns that slowly died over the years. There are several out buildings including barns. And a few homes that have seen much better days.
This poor house is right on the road. Luckily it’s not a very busy road at all.
A homestead just past town. A few horses were in the Corral, but the house itself was obviously abandoned and disused (September 2011.) When I drove by it a year later (June 2012,) the horses were gone and there were a couple of cows in the corral. The house looks to be in much worse shape now and probably won’t be around too much longer.
If you know anything about J.H. Hamilton, the town, or the history behind any of the buildings here, I’d be interested in knowing
Historic Union Oregon
Union, Oregon is a very typical of Eastern Oregon towns. It grew fast on promises of the rail road coming through, then failed as the promises never matured. The town has a lot of character and history behind it. The Historic Union Hotel has rooms named after some of the more eccentric characters. From the Davis Brothers who were quite rich, but unable to every marry due to a stipulation in their Mother’s Will, and includes rumored Ghosts haunting the second floor.
A legacy of the history of the town is the number of Victorian style homes still in town.
Due to the drier climate, a lot of these houses survived quite well. Even better a lot of them have been, or actively are being restored to their former splendor. The rest of the town feels pretty sleepy, with the highest proportion of residents being farmers and hired hands.
Overall it’s a nice little town to visit. I highly recommend the hotel having spent two nights in Elsie’s Room several years ago. Gravy Dave’s across the street is a great greasy (and extremely popular) spoon across the street.