Joseph, Oregon

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Joseph is a city in Wallowa County, Oregon, United States. Originally named Silver Lake and Lake City, in 1880 the city formally named itself for Nez Perce Chief Joseph. The population was 1,054 at the 2000 census.



Joseph was platted in 1883.[3] The economy was originally based around agriculture, especially grain and stock. After a railroad line was completed to Joseph in 1908, a lumber mill opened, bostering the economy.[3]

When the timber industry collapsed in the 1980s, local unemployment rate approached 17%. However, in 1982 a new industry was born as three bronze foundries opened in the local area.

The city sponsors the annual Chief Joseph Days Rodeo in July, Bronze, Blues and Brews in August since 2001, and the Alpenfest in September, a Swiss-Bavarian festival staged in the traditional Oktoberfest style at nearby Wallowa Lake.


Joseph is located at 45°21′3″N 117°13′49″W / 45.35083°N 117.23028°W / 45.35083; -117.23028 (45.350874, -117.230231)[4]. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.9 square miles (2.2 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,054 people, 450 households, and 288 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,234.8 people per square mile (478.8/km²). There were 543 housing units at an average density of 636.2/sq mi (246.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.88% White, 0.47% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 1.42% from other races, and 2.94% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.23% of the population.

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