Travels with the Original Easyrider®
2016 Edition

Visit the Wasco County Ghost Towns of
Simnasho, Oregon
Warm Springs Indian Reservation

Wapinitia, Oregon

With a stop at the
Center Ridge School
Nasene Community Center and Dance Hall
Oregon Farmer Frank May's Homestead

Various derelict structures in
Dufur, Oregon

And Grass Valley, Oregon
Sherman County

April 23, 2016

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Pronounced Wapa-nee-t-siha.

This is the old Barzee hotel in Wapinitia, now a private residence. When the Barlow
Trail was in use, the hotel and the town was a hopping little place.

We were out to the Center Ridge School in 2015 and 2016

We were out to Grass Valley, Oregon in 2013, 2014, 2014 and 2016.

We were out to Dufur, Oregon in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Wapinitia is an unincorporated community in Wasco County, Oregon, United States.
It is near Oregon Route 216 and is approximately 40 miles south of the county seat
of The Dalles, Oregon. The nearest city is Maupin, which is 9 miles to the east.

Wapinitia is a name derived from a Native American language most likely meaning
"at the edge".

Wapinitia was founded in the mid 1800's, with a post office opening on March 21, 1878
(closed on Feb 8, 1935). The Wapinitia post office was established as the southern
terminal for The Dalles to Wapinitia stage line, 47 miles southeast of The Dalles
on Wapinitia or Juniper Flat. The original location was about 1 mile west of where
Wapinitia stands now. It was moved to its present location at some point before the
1880, to the junction with the Warm Springs Indian Reservation road so as to better
serve the people from both localities.

So, why were there two hotels in this town so far away from the railway? There was
a Dalles to Wapinitia Concord Stage Coach line which was started sometime in the
1880's, and continued at least to 1897. Mr. Ortley owned many of the town's stores
and one hotel. Ortley took on a Mr. Davis as partner of the store and hotel in 1882.
In 1885 Mr. Davis acquired ownership of The Dalles to Wapinitia stage line which he
operated, with the help of his sons William and Edward until his death in 1897.

First school was opened sometime in the early 1880's

Hiram Cormn had a store in the early 1880's

The very early post offices was one mile west of Wapinitia. A plot was donated by
the Corums,early storekeepers at Wapinitia There 3 infant daughters was buried there,
November 1, 1885.

Two hotels, a livery stable, a blacksmith shop, and the ever present saloon or
"gallon house" all existed in the 1800's.

E.M. Hartman and son Earnest. built a general merchandise store of approximately
10,000 square feet of space in 1900, including groceries, apparel, household items,
school supplies and machinery.

In 1912-13 a modern two room school was built that provided education for grades 1-10.

In about 1910 a church was built through community effort; There was a resident
minister and a active congregation.

By 1915 there were two general stores, a blacksmith shop, a post office located
within one of the stores, a pool hall, and still one gallon house.

In 1915 there was a three year high school and still grade school. 1918-19 the
high school was standardized and had 4 grades.

In addition to the Wapinitia school on the flat were Pine Grove, Oak Grove,
Victor, Batty, Derthick and Fairview which had grade schools only, so they attended
the Wapinitia high school.

The Commercial Club was very active, with a good brass band.

Water was scarce and there were few wells. Most households had to haul water in
long wagons, storing it in cisterns. People who had seep wells were very fortunate.
Irrigation was still a dream, as it had been since the 1800's. Water from the
mountains for irrigation came to Juniper Flat around 1920.

Roads were unimproved, inches deep in dust in summer and hub deep in mud in winter.
The first improvement in roads was when the market road from Wapinitia to the lower
end of the Flat was built in 1922 or 23. That was gravel, not paved. Pavement
started in 1927.

The 1930's saw the gradual change from horses to tractors for farming.

REA brought electricity to the area in 1927.

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