Basque History on Steens Mountain
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
N 42° 42.765 W 118° 37.018
11T E 367589 N 4730184
History sign about the Basque on Steens Mountain. The sign located on the Steens Mountain Loop Road near Jackman Park.
Waymark Code: WMAWG4
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 03/03/2011
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member TheBeanTeam
Views: 4

Marker Name: Basque History on Steens Mountain
Marker Text: Basque people come from a small region straddling the Pyrenees Mountains in northeastern Spain and southwestern France. Their language is unique in the world and thought to be at least 5000 years old. Their culture is possibly the oldest in Europe. Basque people came to the New World with Columbus in 1492 and are said to have made up at least half of his crew. The first wave of Basque immigrants to the western United States came in 1848 during the California Gold Rush. Many stayed on after the Gold Rush to run flocks of sheep in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
In the late 1800’s Basque people moved into southeastern Oregon, many as sheepherders and ranch hands. Beginning in the spring, after lambing, the sheep would move off their winter pastures and work their way up the Steens as the snow melted and the grass began to grow. The herders would tend their flocks along with the help of trained dogs. A solitary life, many sheepherders did not see another human soul except when the camp tender periodically delivered food supplies. At the end of summer the flocks were herded down the mountain to various shipping points, where many of the lambs were sent to market.

Historic Topic: Pioneer

Group Responsible for placement: BLM

Marker Type: Roadside

Region: Eastern Oregon

County: Harney

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

Web link to additional information: Not listed

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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
WR7X visited Basque History on Steens Mountain 08/13/2011 WR7X visited it
Volcanoguy visited Basque History on Steens Mountain 10/12/2010 Volcanoguy visited it

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