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Baker City, the Queen City of the Inland Empire, or sometimes called the Queen City of the Mines, was platted in 1865 and incorporated in 1874.
It is the county seat of Baker County, located between Wallowa Mountains and Elk Horn Mountains, and named after Edward D. Baker (1811-1861), the only U.S. Senator killed in military combat.
In 1910, Baker City became Baker, only to have the name changed back to Baker City in 1989.
Gold discovery in the area in 1861 brought many miners, and in 1884, when the railroad arrived, the town became a major place for the travelers and the newly rich to come and spend their money.
There was no lack of saloons, showgirls, or brothels for them to choose from.
Baker City was well known as the brothel capital of the west. They even had a "whore tax" that paid for the first street lights in 1905.
In 1897, there were 513 gold mines and claims in the Baker City gold district.
After 1910, the mining dried out, but the city held its own.
Some say that due to the generosity and the Trust Fund of Leo Adler, the town didn't end up another ghost town, like so many in the area.
There was a Chinese, as well as Japanese, community in town, but as in so many cities, the Chinese were treated poorly.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese weren't welcome, and by 1942, they had all moved elsewhere.
Due to lack of money to tear down the old buildings, Baker City now has a large Historic District, with over 130 buildings, all on the Historic Register of Historical Places.
There is Residual Energy from the days gone by in this town and its buildings, and if you talk to the various business owners, they will tell you about a ghost or two that still remain.
You can read about the Geiser Grand Hotel ghosts and the Baker Heritage Museum ghosts on our site, as a separate post.
Walking through the Historical District, we stopped at the Court House.
Medium Jennifer VonBehren picked up 3 male spirits on the right side of the courthouse, where they said they were hung for murder.
Jennifer said that there used to be a hanging tree in that spot, at one time or another.
Whether this was before the court houses or after, and whether it was a recorded event or not, we don't know.
All of these wonderful old buildings have their own story to tell.
The Geiser Grand Hotel, the Baker Heritage Museum, the Adler House, and the Court House area are just a few places that we had a chance to walk through.
Baker City has a lot of great things you can do, be it skiing or riding on a train. It is well worth the visit.