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The Baker Heritage Museum, formerly the Oregon Trail Regional Museum, is located in the 33,000 Sq-ft old Natatorium building dating back to the 1920's, which was also used as a sports facility.
The building sat vacant for 30 years, and was going to be demolished.
The Historical Society needed a building for the museum, so the City agreed to sell it to them for a $1.00, as long as they agreed to keep it clean.
The Historical Society has done a marvelous job filling it with the most amazing permanent and changing exhibits of mining, timber, ranching, agriculture, early Baker City life, Chinese culture, and wildlife, to name a few, that tell you about the history of Baker City.
There is also a miniature diorama of the "no name city" from the movie "Paint Your Wagon," that was filmed near Baker City in 1968.
Leo "Mr Baker" Adler, a self made millionaire, and probably a big reason why Baker City still exists, has his own section, that tells you about him and his life.
The museum also has 2 rock collections: the Cavin-Warfell Collection and the Wyatt family collection.
For those of you who are not into history museums, the Cavin-Warfel rock collection is a must see. Two sisters, Mamie Cavin and Beth Warfel, started collecting rocks in the 1930's, and this is their life long work of rocks collected from all over the world, on display at the museum since 1983.
The most breath taking part of the collection is the Black Light Room, where the rocks show different colors when under the black light.
Like most old buildings in Baker City, the museum also has its ghosts.
Our wonderful volunteer tour guide, Elaine Logsdon, told us that the Leo Adler's room TV had turned on 3 times on its own.
Back in the Natatorium days, a little 4 and 1/2 year old girl drowned in the pool. Apparently, she never left.
The Museum Assistant, Tina, heard a little girl's voice yelling at the boys to leave her alone, when no children were around.
Medium, Jennifer VonBehren, picked up a little boy spirit in the left back corner of the lower level.
The Museum is operating with the help of all the wonderful volunteers, so please take time to go and support this great museum when in town, or better yet, volunteer if you live there.