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The Whitney Land Company
101 SE Third
P.O. Box 1614
Pendleton, Oregon 97801
Phone: 541-278-4444

Ballard Creek Ranch

Oxbow, Oregon

Ballard Creek Ranch at Whitney Land Company

Price  $ 160,000.00


The Ranch is located in Eastern Oregon, in the Snake River Drainage and consists of 160 acres. It is located north of Oxbow near the Snake River. The property is surrounded on 3 sides by BLM and National Forest. Access to the property is by a good seasonal dirt road. This property may be divided into two 80 acres parcel that are buildable.


Of the 160 total acres, there are springs throughout with timber acres, and the balance being rangeland.

Identification of Subject Property:

Baker County Oregon graphic

Baker County –

  • 6S 48E TL400 – 160 acres

Distances to Other Cities:

Baker City, OR – 70.1 miles
Halfway, OR—17.1 miles
Boise, ID – 142 miles

Recreation and Wildlife:

With the ranch being located in the Pine Creek Unit, hunting and recreation opportunities abound. Deer, elk, and chukar hunting has been available and usually successful in the past. Big game hunting for deer and elk is available on the property, with BLM and USFS lands open to the public.


The land is zoned Timber/Grazing

Mineral Rights:

Mineral rights are available. Any mineral or geothermal rights owned by the seller are included as part of the property being offered for sale.

Property Taxes:

2014/2015 tax year - $300.00


In Oxbow, Oregon, summers are warm and winters are cold. In the summer months, the average temperatures are 82.5-93 degrees and in the winter months, the average temperature is 42.5 degrees. The average annual precipitation is about 12.15 inches.

Oxbow, Oregon:

Oxbow is an unincorporated community in Baker County, Oregon, United States. Oxbow is located on Oregon Route 86 next to the Snake River near the Oxbow Dam on the Oregon-Idaho border, about 17 miles northeast of Halfway. Oxbow is just south of the site of the former mining town of Copperfield. Although it is unincorporated, Oxbow has a post office with a ZIP code of 97840.

History of Baker County, Oregon:

Baker County was created from part of Wasco County in 1862. It was named in honor of Edward Baker, one of Oregon's first senators and a colonel in the Union Army. Baker had been killed at the Battle of Balls Bluff in 1861. In 1864 Union County was created from the northern portion of the county. In 1887 Malheur County was created from the southern portion of the county. The boundaries were adjusted for the last time in 1901 when the area between the Powder River and the Wallowa Mountains, known as the Panhandle, was returned to Baker County.
The county consists of 3,089 square miles and is bounded to the north by Union and Wallowa Counties, to the west by Grant County, to the south by Malheur County, and to the east by the State of Idaho. The original county seat was established at Auburn. Originally a booming mining town with 5,000 inhabitants, the population dwindled and there was agitation to move the county seat. In 1868 an election confirmed Baker City as the new county seat.
The county has had three courthouses, all occupying the same site. The first courthouse was a two-story wooden structure built in 1869. It was replaced by a brick building in 1885. The current courthouse is a three-story building completed in 1909. It is constructed of a gray volcanic stone quarried a few miles south of town. Original county officers included a county judge, two commissioners, sheriff, clerk, treasurer, assessor, and school superintendent.
Gold mining was the original impetus for settlement in the area. At one time the county was the largest gold producer in the Northwest. Agriculture, stock raising, logging and tourism have become the primary economic pursuits. The Oregon Trail Interpretative Center has drawn large numbers of visitors since it opened in 1993 on Flagstaff Hill just northeast of Baker City. The Eagle Cap Wilderness Area, Hells Canyon Recreation Area, Sumpter Gold Dredge Park, Baker City Restored Historic District, and Anthony Lakes Ski Resort, along with fishing and hunting, also draw visitors to the area.
The county's population has fluctuated over time due in part to the boom and bust nature of mining. The population in 2008 of 16,455 represented a 1.7 percent decrease from 2000 and was down from a high of 17,295 in 1960.

Snake River History:

Canadian explorer David Thompson first recorded the Native American name of the Snake River as Shawpatin when he arrived at its mouth by boat in 1800. When the Lewis and Clark Expedition crossed westwards into the Snake River watershed in 1805, they first gave it the name Lewis River, Lewis Fork or Lewis's Fork, as Meriwether Lewis was the first of their group to sight the river.[52] They also made note of the "Snake Indians" who lived along the river, who were actually the Shoshone tribe, and learned that the Native Americans called the river Ki-moo-e-nim or Yam-pah-pa (for an herb that grew prolifically along its banks).[53] Later American explorers, some of whom were originally part of the Lewis and Clark expedition, journeyed into the Snake River watershed and records show a variety of names have been associated with the river. The explorer Wilson Price Hunt of the Astor Expedition named the river as Mad River. Others gave the river names including Shoshone River (after the tribe) and Saptin River. Eventually, the name Snake River was derived from an S-shaped gesture the Shoshone tribe made with their hands to represent swimming salmon. Explorers misinterpreted it to represent a snake, giving the river its present-day name.

Early inhabitants

People have been living along the Snake River for at least 11,000 years. Historian Daniel S. Meatte divides the prehistory of the western Snake River Basin into three main phases or "adaptive systems". The first he calls "Broad Spectrum Foraging", dating from 11,500 to 4,200 years before present. During this period people drew upon a wide variety of food resources. The second period, "Semi sedentary Foraging", dates from 4,200–250 years before present and is distinctive for an increased reliance upon fish, especially salmon, as well as food preservation and storage. The third phase, from 250 to 100 years before present, he calls "Equestrian Foragers". It is characterized by large horse-mounted tribes that spent long amounts of time away from their local foraging range hunting bison. In the eastern Snake River Plain there is some evidence of Clovis, Folsom, and Plano cultures dating back over 10,000 years ago.
Early fur traders and explorers noted regional trading centers, and archaeological evidence has shown some to be of considerable antiquity. One such trading center in the Weiser area existed as early as 4,500 years ago. The Fremont culture may have contributed to the historic Shoshones, but it is not well understood. Another poorly understood early cultural component is called the Midvale Complex. The introduction of the horse to the Snake River Plain around 1700 helped in establishing the Shoshone and Northern Paiute cultures.
On the Snake River in southeastern Washington there are several ancient sites. One of the oldest and most well-known is called the Marmes Rockshelter, which was used from over 11,000 years ago to relatively recent times. The Marmes Rockshelter was flooded in 1968 by Lake Herbert G. West, the Lower Monumental Dam's reservoir.
Eventually, two large Native American groups controlled most of the Snake River: the Nez Perce, whose territory stretched from the southeastern Columbia Plateau into northern Oregon and western Idaho, and the Shoshone, who occupied the Snake River Plain both above and below Shoshone Falls. Lifestyles along the Snake River varied widely. Below Shoshone Falls, the economy centered on salmon, who often came up the river in enormous numbers. Salmon were the mainstay of the Nez Perce and most of the other tribes below Shoshone Falls. Above the falls, life was significantly different. The Snake River Plain forms one of the only relatively easy paths across the main Rocky Mountains for many hundreds of miles, allowing Native Americans both east and west of the mountains to interact. As a result, the Shoshone centered on a trading economy.
According to legend, the Nez Perce tribe was first founded in the valley of the Clearwater River, one of the Snake River's lowermost major tributaries. At its height, there were at least 27 Nez Perce settlements along the Clearwater River and 11 more on the Snake between the mouth of the Clearwater and Imnaha Rivers. There were also villages on the Salmon River, Grande Ronde River, Tucannon River, and the lower Hells Canyon area. The Snake River's annual salmon run, which was estimated at that time to exceed four million in good years, supported the Nez Perce, who lived in permanent, well-defined villages, unlike the nomadic southeastern tribes along the Snake River. The Nez Perce also were involved in trade with the Flathead tribe to the north and other middle Columbia River tribes. However, they were enemies to the Shoshone and the other upstream Snake River tribes.
The Shoshone or Shoshoni were characterized by nomadic groups that took their culture from the earlier Bitterroot culture and Great Basin tribes that migrated north via the Owyhee River. They were the most powerful tribe in the Rocky Mountains area, and were known to many Great Plains tribes as the "Snakes". In the 18th century, Shoshone territory extended beyond the Snake River Plain, extending over the Continental Divide into the upper Missouri River watershed and even further north into Canada. A smallpox epidemic brought by European explorers and fur trappers was responsible for wiping out much of the Shoshone east of the Rocky Mountains, but the Shoshone continued to occupy the Snake River Plain. Eventually, the Shoshone culture merged with that of the Paiute and Bannock tribes, which came from the Great Basin and the Hells Canyon area, respectively. The Bannock brought with them the skill of buffalo hunting and horses they had acquired from Europeans, changing the Shoshone way of life significantly.

Exploration and settling

The Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–06) was the first American group to cross the Rocky Mountains and sail down the Snake and Columbia rivers to the Pacific Ocean. Meriwether Lewis supposedly became the first American to sight the drainage basin of the Snake River after he crossed the mountains a few days ahead of his party on August 12, 1805, and sighted the Salmon River valley (a major Snake tributary) from Lemhi Pass, a few miles from the present-day site of Salmon, Idaho. The party later traveled north, descended the Lemhi River to the Salmon and attempted to descend it to the Snake, but found it impassable because of its violent rapids. The expedition named the Snake River the Lewis River, Lewis's River, or Lewis Fork, in his honor, and they traveled northwards to the Lochsa River, which they traveled via the Clearwater River into the lower Snake, and into the Columbia. They also referred to the Shoshone Indians as the "Snake Indians", which became the present-day name of the river. The name "Lewis Fork", however, did not last.
Later American explorers traveled throughout the Snake River area and up its major tributaries beginning in 1806, just after Lewis and Clark had returned. The first was John Ordway in 1806, who also explored the lower Salmon River. John Colter in 1808 was the first to sight the upper headwaters of the Snake River, including the Jackson Hole area.[65] In 1810, Andrew Henry, along with a party of fur trappers, discovered the Henrys Fork of the Snake River, which is now named after him. Donald Mackenzie sailed the lower Snake River in 1811, and later explorers included Wilson Price Hunt of the Astor Expedition (who gave the river the name "Mad River"), Ramsay Crooks, Francisco Payelle, John Grey, Thyery Goddin, and many others after the 1830s. Many of these later explorers were original members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition who had returned to map and explore the area in greater detail. Even later, American fur trappers scouted the area for beaver streams, but Canadian trappers from the British Hudson's Bay Company were by now a major competitor.
The Hudson's Bay Company first sent fur trappers into the Snake River watershed in 1819. The party of three traveled into the headwaters of the Owyhee River, a major southern tributary of the Snake, but disappeared. Meanwhile, as American fur trappers kept coming to the region, the Hudson's Bay Company ordered the Canadian trappers to kill as many beavers as they could, eventually nearly eradicating the species from the Snake River watershed, under the "rationale [that] if there are no beavers, there will be no reason for the Yanks ([Americans]) to come." Their goal was to eventually gain rights over the Oregon Territory, a region covering Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and parts of Montana and Wyoming (most of the present-day region called the Pacific Northwest). However, the area was eventually annexed into the United States.
By the middle 19th century, the Oregon Trail had been established, generally following much of the Snake River. One crossing the trail made over the Snake River was near the present-day site of Glenns Ferry. Several years later, a ferry was established at the site, replacing the old system where pioneers had to ford the wide, powerful and deep Snake. Another place where pioneers crossed the Snake was further upstream, at a place called "Three Island Crossing", near the mouth of the Boise River. This area has a group of three islands (hence the name) that splits the Snake into four channels each about 200 feet (61 m) wide. Some emigrants chose to ford the Snake and proceed down the west side and recross the river near Fort Boise into Hells Canyon, continue down the drier east side into the gorge, or float the Snake and Columbia to the Willamette River, the destination of the Oregon Trail. The reason for the Three Island Crossing was the better availability of grass and water access. Numerous ferries have provided crossings of the upper Snake from the Brownlee Ferry at the head of Hell's Canyon to Menor's Ferry, which operates today at Moose, Wyoming. Sophistication varied from reed boats pulled by Indians on horseback at Snake Fort, Fort Boise, as described by Narcissa Whitman in 1836 to an electric operated ferry, the Swan Falls Ferry, at Swan Falls Dam of the early 20th century.


The Pine Eagle School District offers education from kindergarten through high school (K-12). The campus is located in Halfway, Oregon, and serves families in Eagle Valley, Pine Valley, and along the Snake River in Oxbow.

Related Resources:

Baker County History:
Oregon Department Fish Wildlife: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/
Climate: http://www.homefacts.com/
Pine Eagle School District: http://www.pineeaglesd.org/

Offered by:
The Whitney Land Company

Timothy 'Scott' Coe, Broker

Email Scott

Please contact The Whitney Land Company office to schedule a showing.  A listing agent must be present at all times to tour the property.

All of the information within this sales package has been gathered from State, County and City records and officials as well as others who are deemed reliable; however, the broker and agents can not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information herein contained. It is also subject to change, prior sale or withdrawal.