|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2013)|
View from the south side of Halfway, looking north toward the Wallowa Mountains
Location in Oregon
|• Mayor||Sheila Farwell|
|• Total||0.37 sq mi (0.96 km2)|
|• Land||0.37 sq mi (0.96 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||2,651 ft (808.02 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||284|
|• Density||778.4/sq mi (300.5/km2)|
|Time zone||Pacific (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||Pacific (UTC-7)|
|Area code(s)||458 and 541|
|GNIS feature ID||1143208|
Halfway is a small town in Baker County, Oregon, United States. This town took its name from the location of its post office, on the Alexander Stalker ranch, half way between Pine and Cornucopia. The population was 288 at the 2010 census.
During the dot-com boom, Halfway agreed to rename itself as Half.com, Oregon for a year as a publicity stunt for the e-commerce company of the same name, which soon afterwards was acquired by eBay.
It was explored and mapped by Benjamin Bonneville in the 1830s, and first settled by Euro-Americans in the 1860s. The smaller national forests now combined into the local Wallowa–Whitman National Forest were created in 1908.
The town has always been primarily a farming and ranching community. There was a small gold rush to nearby Cornucopia, now a ghost town, and some timber industry in the early 20th century. Major employer the Idaho Power Company now operates three hydroelectric dams on the Snake River.
Half.com name change
Halfway earned a place in the history of the dot-com era in December 1999, when it received and accepted an offer to rename itself as Half.com, Oregon after the e-commerce start-up for one year in exchange for $110,000, 20 computers for the school, and other financial subsidies, and became the first city in the world to rename itself as a dot com. Among the less obvious reasons the town was chosen were its small population size (and thus its likelihood to accept such an offer) and the city's location, which fit perfectly into Half.com's marketing scheme. "They're within four miles of the 45th parallel which makes it halfway between the equator and the North Pole". The proclamation did not legally change its name. The city created and posted two signs at its borders that greeted visitors with "America's First Dot-com City," one of which the city auctioned off in September 2007 for $1000. The winner was Half.com's founder Josh Kopelman.
The original financial hardships that led to the city accepting Half.com's offer returned in 2004, when a company owning a promissory note secured by its fairgrounds and improvements demanded payment of over $530,000.
Halfway is located 54 miles (87 km) east of Baker City, along Oregon Route 86, half way between Pine and Cornucopia, which gave the town its name The city's geographic coordinates at 44°52′42″N 117°6′38″W (being close to 45° N) was part of the reason for Half.com to choose the town for its advertising gimmick.
As of the census of 2010, there were 288 people, 153 households, and 76 families residing in the city. The population density was 778.4 inhabitants per square mile (300.5/km2). There were 199 housing units at an average density of 537.8 per square mile (207.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.1% White, 1.7% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 1.4% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.5% of the population.
There were 153 households of which 19.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.6% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 0.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 50.3% were non-families. 46.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 19% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.88 and the average family size was 2.63.
The median age in the city was 52.7 years. 17.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 11.7% were from 25 to 44; 41% were from 45 to 64; and 23.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.9% male and 53.1% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 337 people, 159 households, and 86 families residing in the city. The population density was 789.5 people per square mile (302.6/km²). There were 196 housing units at an average density of 459.1 per square mile (176.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.25% White, 2.97% Native American, 0.30% from other races, and 1.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.08% of the population.
There were 159 households out of which 24.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.4% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.3% were non-families. 39.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 24.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.12 and the average family size was 2.91.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.2% under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 20.5% from 25 to 44, 26.1% from 45 to 64, and 23.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 86.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $17,212, and the median income for a family was $27,813. Males had a median income of $23,750 versus $13,194 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,997. About 24.5% of families and 28.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.2% of those under age 18 and 29.5% of those age 65 or over.
- Babette Beatty, the first Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover model
- Barnaby Keeney, former president of Brown University
- Robert S. Summers, professor at Cornell Law School
- Inga Thompson, former Olympic cyclist
- "Halfway". Oregon Blue Book. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-02.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "What Ever Happened to Half.com, Oregon?", Design Observer Observery (The Design Observer Group), retrieved December 30, 2011
- Bailey, Barbara Ruth (1982). Main Street: Northeastern Oregon. Oregon Historical Society. pp. 54,108. ISBN 0-87595-073-6.
- Arent, Lindsey (December 20, 1999), "Welcome to Half.com, Oregon", Wired.com: Politics/Law (Wired.com), retrieved December 30, 2011
- "City Changes Name to Half.com", About.com Geography (About.com), retrieved December 30, 2011
- Dujmovic, Anne (September 24, 2007), "First Dot-com City' auctions off sign of the times", Cnet.com News Blogs (Cnet.com), retrieved December 30, 2011
- Wilson, Noel (June 13, 2000). "eBay buying Half.com in stock deal". CNET News. Retrieved 2014-02-10.
- Rand McNally. The Road Atlas (Map) (2008 ed.). Section Oregon.
- Halfway Community Profile from Business Oregon
- From cover to cover: Reflections from SI's first swimsuit star, a February 18, 2011 CNN article
- Cook, Joan (June 20, 1980). "Barnaby C. Keeney Is Dead at 65; Ex-Brown University President; Finding 'the Best People' The Pleasure in Giving 'Doing What I Should'". The New York Times. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- Gold, Lauren (December 1, 2010). "Robert Summers, pre-eminent legal scholar and beloved teacher, says goodbye". Cornell University. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- Britton, Lisa (September 8, 2003). "Retired bike racers have new pursuits in Pine Valley". Baker City Herald. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- Entry for Halfway in the Oregon Blue Book
- Halfway information from Hells Canyon Chamber of Commerce
- Archive of Hells Canyon Journal, Halfway's local newspaper