Today is not only America’s Independence Day, but it also happens to be my brother’s birthday. On our way to Idaho, I threw out a couple of ideas of places we could see “along the way”, and Granite was an option, even though it wasn’t exactly along the way. Devin and I had tried to visit Granite last year, but were foiled by snow and ice, and had to turn around.
Granite was once a booming gold mining town, where at its peak was home to about 5,000 residents. Today, only a few remain in the tiny unincorporated town located in the Blue Mountains.
I didn’t know this at the time, but Granite was first settled on July 4, 1862, so it was kind of perfect that we were there on Devin’s birthday. The original settlers of the community called it Independence, but according to Oregon Geographic Names, the name Granite was chosen when post office was established in 1878, because of the prevalence of the rock in the area, and the name Independence was already being used by another town in Oregon.