Gary Dielman

Gary Dielman. In 2016, the Oregon Heritage Commission presented Dielman an Oregon Heritage Excellence Award for his essays preserving Baker County history and for his 30 years as volunteer curator of Baker County Library District's historical archives of local records, documents, ledgers, maps, etc., including ca.15,000 historic photographs. Over 8,000 of those photos and Dielman’s 60+ local history essays are available for viewing online at this Baker County Library District website: archive/. Dielman has an M.A. in Germanic literature and linguistics from the University of Iowa and has taught there and at Purdue University.  He is presently retired and living in Baker City, his hometown.

Author's Entries

  • Baker City

    The skyline of Baker City, at an elevation of 3,440, is dominated by two mountain ranges, the Elkhorns on the west and the Wallowas on the east. It is arguably the most picturesque setting of any town on the Oregon Trail. Yet, as a potential town site at the …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Baker City Chinatown

    For over seven decades, Baker City had an area referred to as Chinatown by Chinese and whites alike. Founded in 1864, the town owed its existence to the gold rush of 1862, which brought the first settlers to eastern Oregon, including Chinese laborers and businessmen who lived in a compact …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Copperfield

    The unincorporated community of Copperfield, also known as Oxbow, is located at the confluence of Pine Creek and Snake River on the eastern boundary of Baker County. The area, at an elevation of 1,700 feet, is distinguished geologically by the Oxbow Bend on the Snake River. In 1895, prospectors …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Copperfield Affair, 1913-1914

    On January 2, 1914, Oregon Governor Oswald West declared martial law on Copperfield, a community of about eighty people on the Snake River in eastern Baker County. It was a bold move praised by opponents of liquor and gambling but considered an abuse of executive power by others. West …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Dan Kelly (1883-1920)

    On June 23, 1906, at a meet in Spokane, Washington, Dan Kelly, a freckle-faced, redheaded University of Oregon sophomore from Baker City, stunned the track-and-field world. Running under the sponsorship of the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland, Kelly broke the sixteen-year-old 100-yard dash world record, sprinting the distance …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Fern Hobbs (1883-1964)

    In January 1914, thirty-year-old Fern Hobbs achieved international celebrity when Oregon Governor Oswald West sent her, along with several National Guardsmen, to tame the reputed “lawless” town of Copperfield on Snake River in eastern Oregon. While best known for her role in what became known as the Copperfield Affair, …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • James W. Virtue (1837-1903)

    As early as 1871, James William Virtue—one-time sheriff of Baker County—was recognized nationally for his expertise as a miner when President Ulysses S. Grant appointed him U.S. centennial commissioner. His charge was to help plan "an international exhibition of arts, manufactures, and products of the soil and mine," to be …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • William Packwood (1832-1917)

    William Henderson Packwood was the youngest delegate to Oregon's Constitutional Convention in 1857 and became a versatile entrepreneur in the new state. A soldier, miner, cattle rancher, merchant, ditch and road builder, ferry owner, and public servant, he was a founder of two Baker County boom towns—Auburn and Sparta. …

    Oregon Encyclopedia