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A Short History on Burns Oregon, Where It Was & Where It Is Today

In the 1880's located in Harney County, and tucked away in America's Northwest, Burns Oregon, was proudly established after the influx of Euro American settlers.

One such early settler in Burns Oregon, was merchant George McGowan, and after becoming the county commissioner he decided to name the City after Robert Burns, the famous Scottish Poet. It wasn't long, that a post office, stores, hotels and other businesses started to spring up.

In the 1920's milling and timber cutting attracted many new arrivals to the region. In 1928 North of Burns, near Seneca, The Edward Hines Lumber Company attained the rights to cut down timber in the Blue Mountains, from the US Forest Service.

With this new contract firmly under their belt, the Hines Company set about building a 50 mile railroad between Senecca and Burns. Not only that but also a company town along with its own lumber mill which in 1930 was incorporated and named the City of Hines.

Logging and Timber prevailed right through till the 1990's as the most important industry to the local economy when unfortunately the last lumber mill was forced to shut its doors due to a shortage of timber.

As far as the political scene goes with Burns Oregon; with a racial make-up of 2.6% of the city Native American, they have their own tribal council which governs the Burns Paiute Tribe, just Northwest of Burns. With their own Tribal Police force, court, health and community service, it's interesting to see how this is integrated into the rest of the community.

The roots of these Native Americans go way back to the Wadatika Paiute Tribe the original ancestors of the Burns Paiute with their Harney County reservation. The Wadatikas first exposure to white people was the beaver trappers of the early 1820's.

The 1830's and 40's would see such fatal diseases from Europe such as smallpox and Cholera emerge. These would have a devastating effect on the Indian community, as it was easily caught upon contact with whites significantly reducing numbers of the Indian population.

Burns Oregon is indeed a city with a colourful past & the Native Indians population needs to be preserved. The future will continue and continue it must, hopefully looking a lot brighter than it was all those many years ago. Things can only get better, yes?

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