"Joseph, Oregon" Joseph by ZanieOR

Joseph Travel Guide: 56 reviews and 79 photos

Home, Sweet, Home

My home page has some photos and information about Joseph, population about 1,200, which is the second largest of four incorporated cities in Wallowa County, population 7,000, Oregon's most northeastern county.
It is a very pretty town, with six large public bronze sculptures on Main St., all cast at fine arts foundries in the county.
The oldest is Valley Bronze foundry, founded in 1982, which has done some casting for the WWII monument in Washington, D.C.
Joseph is a great place to live, with a view of the mountains any place in town. The reason there's not more people is that it's hard to make a living in Wallowa County, and a high unemployment rate in the winter.

Street project

A few years ago there was a Main St. improvement project, which includes the beautiful bronzes by local artists, cobblestone sidewalks, and flower boxes w/ big boulders (adopted by different people).
It makes the town very picturesque, Some people hate to see the town change, but I would rather see art galleries than boarded up empty businesses.
One of our sculptures is an eagle called "The Spirit of Joseph" (both Chief Joseph and the town of Joseph). It's a beautiful bronze, and very appropriate, as the high school sports teams are Eagles.

Great people

A lot of great people live here and what I love about it is that the population is very diverse, unfortunately not in terms of race, but in terms of personalities, politics, etc. There are artists and ranchers (sometimes the same person), environmentalists and cowboys (again, sometimes the same person), old timers and new blood. It's not always easy to make a living but there's a lot of creative people and ideas always trying to make things better; for example since we only have one mill in the county now, a nonprofit called Wallowa Resources has been successfully working to create local natural resource jobs with fire prevention, wildlife habitat and weed control contracts. There's usually always some big controversy brewing (especially in the winter) and not everyone agrees on everything, but that's what makes it interesting to live here.

Update, Sept. 21, 2005: To find out about hiking here in the Eagle Cap Wilderness be sure to visit the Joseph page of mtncorg -- we had a "meet" in my front yard while drinking a Terminal Gravity beer this summer. His page is almost exclusively about his experiences hiking in the wilderness and has some great photos!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A view of the Wallowa Mts. from everywhere in town
  • Cons:Its a long way from a big airport from which to travel the wide world.
  • In a nutshell:Oregon's Hidden Paradise, a lost corner of America
  • Intro Updated Sep 21, 2005
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Reviews (38)

Comments (62)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Jul 29, 2009 at 10:22 AM

    Elane, I enjoyed your story about your hometown! Thanx! ><><

  • Segolily's Profile Photo
    Sep 1, 2008 at 8:41 PM

    Who knew there was so much happening in a town so small and off the beaten path. This is a great page with lots of love in every description.

  • Jan 27, 2008 at 12:22 PM

    Brilliant local custom tips!

  • Dec 21, 2007 at 9:40 PM

    What a gorgeous photo.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jul 18, 2007 at 8:21 AM

    Interesting introduction to your home town. I'm glad to hear they have saved the railroad tracks. Great that you met VT-member mtncorg in your front yard!

  • Sileas's Profile Photo
    May 28, 2007 at 10:32 PM

    Nice page and so many insider's tips! And great pictures as well! (Love the one with the horses!) Julia

  • Dannydog's Profile Photo
    May 27, 2007 at 3:05 AM

    Great pics, I was there in 1993, 94. I worked at Parks Bronze Foundry, It was one of best times of my life, See ya at the pow wow, Chief Joseph Days.

  • Lacristina's Profile Photo
    Aug 27, 2006 at 4:07 AM

    If you go, you will love it. More than 2000 years of history laid out in front of you. I feel so connected and at home there. Rome has a way of touching you different from any other city I've visited.

  • mad4travel's Profile Photo
    May 17, 2006 at 9:52 AM

    That Wallowa mtns pic is amazing.

  • heywinks's Profile Photo
    May 15, 2006 at 11:56 PM

    Wow, what an amazing place! It's beautiful!! I'm going to put it on my list of places to go in the US. :)

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