The largest living organism in the world is a fungus in Oregon. The Armillaria ostoyae fungus covers over 2,200 acres of forest in eastern Oregon and is estimated to be over 2,400 years old. It is also known as the "Humongous Fungus."
Union County, OR, situated in the northeastern part of the state, has a rich and fascinating history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by several Native American tribes, including the Nez Perce and Cayuse, who lived off the land and utilized the abundant natural resources of the region.

In the early 1800s, explorers and trappers began to venture into the area, with many attracted by the fertile soil and the presence of wildlife. The Oregon Trail, drawing pioneers from the eastern states, reached Union County in the mid-1800s as part of the westward migration. In 1862, Union County was officially established, named after the Union, symbolizing the support for the federal government during the American Civil War.

The discovery of gold in the area in the 1860s brought a wave of settlers seeking their fortunes, leading to the establishment of several mining towns such as Sumpter and Granite. The gold rush brought both prosperity and conflict, with tensions between miners and Native American communities. Union County became a center of economic activity with industries like agriculture, logging, and mining shaping the landscape and the local economy.

Over the years, Union County has experienced various developments that have shaped its present condition. The region witnessed the growth of agriculture, particularly wheat farming, and the establishment of thriving timber industries. The introduction of the railroad in the late 1800s further enhanced economic opportunities and helped connect the county with the rest of the state. Today, Union County stands as a picturesque area known for its natural beauty, historical sites, and a vibrant community that cherishes its past while embracing modern progress.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Union County, Oregon.

  • 1805 - The Lewis and Clark expedition passes through the area.
  • 1811 - The Astor Expedition establishes a fur trading post in the region.
  • 1827 - The Hudson's Bay Company sets up a fur trading post near present-day Union County.
  • 1843 - The first wagon train of settlers arrives in the Oregon Territory.
  • 1854 - Union County is officially established.
  • 1862 - The Homestead Act leads to an increase in settlers moving to Union County.
  • 1864 - The town of La Grande is founded.
  • 1867 - Eastern Oregon Normal School (now Eastern Oregon University) opens in La Grande.
  • 1884 - The Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company completes a railroad line through Union County.
  • 1929 - The Great Depression has a significant impact on Union County's economy.
  • 1989 - The Oregon Trail Interpretive Center opens near Baker City.