Antelope, Oregon

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Antelope is a city in Wasco County, Oregon, United States. The population was 59 at the 2000 census.



The Antelope Valley was probably named by members of Joseph Sherar's party who were packing supplies to mines in the John Day area.[3] Sherar became known as the operator of a toll bridge across the Deschutes River, on a cut-off of the Barlow Road.[4] There were many pronghorns (often called pronghorn antelope) in the area in the early 19th century.[3]

Antelope post office was established in 1871, with Howard Maupin, founder of Maupin, Oregon, as the first postmaster.[3] The town flourished briefly, but when Shaniko, a few miles north, became the terminus of the railroad, Antelope began to fade.[citation needed] The community was incorporated by the Oregon Legislative Assembly on January 29, 1901.[5] In the 1980s the town grew again when followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, who had started the city of Rajneeshpuram on the nearby "Big Muddy Ranch", began to move in.[3] Rajneeshpuram was an intentional community (or commune) of "Rajneeshees". On September 18, 1984, Antelope's charter was amended by a vote of 57 to 22 to change the name of the city to Rajneesh.[3] A short time later Rajneesh was indicted on federal immigration charges, attempted to leave the country, and pleaded no contest to two of the 34 charges[citation needed] and returned to India.[3] On November 6, 1985, the remaining residents, both original and Rajneeshee, voted 34 to 0 to restore the original name, which was never changed by the Postal Service.[3] The ranch is now owned by Young Life and has been converted into a camp, known as "Washington Family Ranch."[6]

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