About John DayJohn Day, for whom the town was named, was a young Virginian and scout of the Astor overland expedition of 1811. During the gold rush years of 1862-64, mail carried by horseback passed through town from Canyon City to The Dalles.
Besides transporting mail at the rate of 50c a letter, the daring riders often carried fortunes in gold dust. Attacks by bandits and hostile Indians were among the rigors of the job. By 1864, Pony Express riders were replaced by pack trains and freight wagons over The Dalles Military Wagon Road.
Modern John Day is a business community and trading center. Descendants of gold miners raise cattle and log the surrounding timberlands.
Lying in a broad valley, John Day is almost surrounded by the steep hills and rugged peaks of Malheur National Forest, whose headquarters and a district office are in town. The forest service provides maps and other information about recreational activities in the area; phone (541) 575-3000.
Visitor Centers Grant County Chamber of Commerce 301 W. Main St. John Day, OR 97845. Phone:(541)575-0547 or (800)769-5664
Things to Do Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site
John Day, OR
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