For many decades in the 1800s the Oregon Trail led explorers, mountain men and emigrants through Eastern Oregon, with a stop in the Baker Valley for grass, fresh water and local game. In 1861, the discovery of gold brought miners and enterprising souls to the small mining settlements in and around the Baker Valley. Baker City, est. 1874, was the banking and supply center for the mining activity. With the advent of the railroad, the cattle and timber industry also grew, giving Baker City the reputation and name of “Queen City of the Inland Empire.”
Baker City grew to be an opulent and popular city, fueled by wealthy merchants and the bustle of human industry. During this period many magnificent buildings and homes were built, using the best and often imported details and features.
Now 140 years after its establishment, Baker City still has many riches to behold and a remarkable and beautiful downtown. Over 100 buildings in the downtown Historic District are on the National Register.
Many neighborhoods have well-maintained and well-loved homes that are a century or more old. Other homes, built in the early part of the 20th century, are classic American Craftman style homes, replete with overhanging eaves, exposed rafters, interior bungalow features, and are rich in history.
Our featured house at 1743 Madison is a handsome and cozy move-in-ready 1915 bungalow with craftsman features, including a front glassed-in prairie window porch. This well-maintained house is situated next to the Powder River and the Adler Memorial River Pathway and across the street from the historic Geiser-Pollman Park. Such a convenient location! The house is also just a half block from the Baker County Library and the Historic Downtown District. With this well maintained three bedroom, two bath house come these amenities: detached garage, river deck, shop area, veggie garden area, fruit trees, and a greenhouse. Plus the history that only a 100-year-old home can provide. Many updates and improvements include new roof (2005), exterior paint and plumbing. Priced to sell at $99,500! Call Ann Mehaffy, 541 519 0698.
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One of our jobs at Baker City Realty is to keep on top of the latest trends in the industry. So we thought this
blog post in circaoldhouses.com was definitely worth passing along. The blog is called “You Should Move To…” by Lindsey Riddell, an architectural historian with a passion for Victorian homes. She travels the country “scoping out beautiful, under-the-radar old house towns where big charm can be had for little cost” and recently visited Baker City.
She sums it up very well:
These days everyone is crazy about Portland, but I say abandon that grueling pace of life and those meagre real estate rations! Load up your wagons and head east of the Cascades where open space and tranquility abound; Why move to Oregon’s trendiest (and one of its rainiest) cities when you can live in one with four distinct seasons and just as much charm?
Riddell goes on to explain how incredible historical homes in good condition can be had for a bargain price, including folk gothic cottages, eclectic Queen Annes or craftsman bungalows of all sizes. She notes that many of the homes have sunrooms and beautifully maintained historic details like built-in bookshelves, fireplace surrounds, original hardwood floors and tile, wainscoting, tin ceilings and claw-foot tubs.
Because we’re in the local real estate industry, these truths are obvious to us, but sometimes an outsider makes the points astoundingly clear. At any given point in time, we may have a dozen or more classic, historic homes and businesses in great shape for around $100,000. Since we have an emphasis in artist relocation, this works out well, as many artists appreciate the traditional beauty of historic homes and storefronts.