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Sumpter

Trip Planner USA  /  Oregon  /  Sumpter
(45 reviews from 1 attraction)
Sightseeing
Sumpter is a city in Baker County, Oregon, United States. The population was 204 at the 2010 census. Sumpter is named after Fort Sumter by its founders. The name was inspired by a rock as smooth and round as a cannonball, which reminded a local resident of the American Civil War and Fort Sumter.NamesBaker County was named for Edward Dickinson Baker, a U.S. Senator from Oregon who was killed in the Battle of Ball's Bluff during the American Civil War. Sumpter, first settled by Euro-Americans during this war, was named after Fort Sumter in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The fort was often mentioned in war dispatches read by the settlers. An account in the Baker Democrat - Herald many decades later reported that a round rock found in the area in the early 1860s had looked to residents like a cannonball and, reinforced by the war news, had reminded them of Fort Sumter.In 1883, Joseph D. Young became the first postmaster of Sumpter, and, according to his grandson, was not allowed by the U.S. Post Office to use the old name, Sumter. Since freight to the region then depended on pack mules, Young chose the form Sumpter, which was close to the original spelling and evoked the term sumpter mule.HistoryThe community was platted in 1889, becoming a mining boom town about 10 years later. Until transportation by rail became feasible in the area, Sumpter was little more than "a huddle of crude log cabins."
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