Umatilla, Oregon

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Umatilla (pronounced /ˌjuːməˈtɪlə/) is a city in Umatilla County, Oregon, United States. It is named for the Umatilla River, which enters the Columbia River on the side of the city. The river is named after the Umatilla Tribe. The city is located on the south side of the Columbia River, and is located on U.S. Route 730 and I-82.

The Umatilla Chemical Depot, and the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, is located four miles (6 km) southwest of the city, northwest of the intersection of I-84 and I-82. The population was 4,978 at the 2000 census. The 2006 estimate is 6,385 residents.[3]

Umatilla is part of the PendletonHermiston Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

The first post office for Umatilla was established September 26, 1851. The present town was surveyed by Timothy K. Davenport in 1863, and the town incorporated as Umatilla Landing in 1864.

Umatilla's earliest importance was as a trade and distribution center on the Columbia River, during the gold rush of the 1860s and 1870s in eastern Oregon. It remained a major commercial center until the 1880s when it withered before the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company.

The Umatilla Chemical Depot opened in 1941, to gear up for World War II. The depot's mission was to store and maintain a variety of military items, from blankets to ammunition. The depot took on its chemical weapons storage mission in 1962. From 1990 to 1994 the facility reorganized in preparation for eventual closure, shipping all conventional ammunition and supplies to other installations. Today, the chemical weapons are the only items still stored at the depot.

Geography

Umatilla is located at 45°55′4″N 119°19′35″W / 45.91778°N 119.32639°W / 45.91778; -119.32639 (45.917668, -119.326400)[4]. It lies 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Pendleton.

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