Location in Oregon
|• Mayor||Delores Schnitzer|
|• Total||0.37 sq mi (0.96 km2)|
|• Land||0.37 sq mi (0.96 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||4,695 ft (1,431 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||102.7/sq mi (39.7/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-8 (Pacific)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-7 (Pacific)|
|Area code(s)||458 and 541|
|GNIS feature ID||1142911|
Granite is a city in Grant County, in the U.S. state of Oregon. The city had a population of 38 in 2010, up from 24 in 2000. In 2010, it was the fourth-smallest incorporated city by population in Oregon. The smaller cities were Shaniko (36 people), Lonerock (21), and nearby Greenhorn (0).
First established by miners after the discovery of gold along Granite Creek on July 4, 1862, the area was originally called Granite Creek Mines. During the following year, a settlement called Granite City was established about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) downstream of where Granite City is now. It was moved to its current location in 1867 and renamed Independence after the date—July 4, or Independence Day—of the earlier gold discovery. However, when the community's post office was established in 1878, it could not use the name Independence because that name was already taken by another Oregon city. Instead, the name Granite was chosen. The post office closed in 1957, but the city retained the name. The creek takes its name from the granite rocks that are common to the area.
In 1942, during World War II, the War Production Board shut down gold mining in the United States via Order No. L-208. The board deemed gold mining to be non-essential to the war effort, and it wanted gold miners to mine "essential" metals instead. Since Granite depended so heavily on gold mining, its economy collapsed when the mines shut down. Telephone and electric services to Granite ceased after the war. From 86 residents in 1940, the city's population dropped to 2 in 1960.
By 1990, the population had grown again to 10. In 2000, the population reached 24, and telephone service was restored. As of 2002, Granite had two employers: The Outback—which sold food, fuel, and supplies—and The Lodge.
In September 2017 the population remains at 24. The Outback and the Lodge also remain in business.
Granite is an elevation of 4,695 feet (1,431 m) in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon. It is 47 miles (76 km) west of Baker City by highway and 346 miles (557 km) east-southeast of Portland. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.37 square miles (0.96 km2), all land.
The Elkhorn Drive Scenic Byway, a 106-mile (171 km) closed-loop route mainly through forests in the Elkhorn Mountains, passes through Granite. Other communities along the route are Baker City, Haines, and Sumpter, the latter about 11 miles (18 km) southeast of Granite.
As of the census of 2010, there were 38 people, 22 households, and 13 families residing in the city. The population density was about 103 inhabitants per square mile (40/km2). There were 88 housing units at an average density of 238 per square mile (92/km2). The racial makeup of the city was about 95% White and 5% Native American. Hispanic or Latino of any race were about 5% of the population.
There were 22 households of which about 5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55% were married couples living together, 5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41% were non-families. Thirty-two percent of all households were made up of individuals and 9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was about 1.7 and the average family size was about 2.
The median age in the city was 63 years. About 3% of residents were under the age of 18; none was between the ages of 18 and 24; 3% were from 25 to 44; 50% were from 45 to 64; and 45% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 58% male and 42% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 24 people, 15 households, and 9 families residing in the city. The population density was about 60 people per square mile (23/km2). There were 74 housing units at an average density of 186 per square mile (71/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 100% White. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4% of the population.
There were 15 households out of which none had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60% were married couples living together, none had a female householder with no husband present, and 40% were non-families. Forty percent of all households were made up of individuals and 7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was about 1.6 and the average family size was 2.
In the city, the population was spread out with 21% from 25 to 44, 67% from 45 to 64, and 13% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 57 years. For every 100 females, there were 118 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 118 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $15,625, and the median income for a family was $20,625. Males had a median income of $11,250 versus $6,250 for females. The per capita income for the city was $8,024. About 20% of families and 36% of the population were below the poverty line, including 100% of those 65 and older.
- "Incorporated Cities: Granite". Oregon Blue Book. Oregon Secretary of State. 2013. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
- "U.S. Gazetteer: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- "American FactFinder". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on December 10, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 17, 2013. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
- "Granite". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. November 28, 1980. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions: Oregon". Population Census. 2010 United States Census. July 18, 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- McArthur, Lewis A.; Lewis L. McArthur (2003) . Oregon Geographic Names (7th ed.). Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society Press. p. 421. ISBN 0-87595-277-1.
- "About Granite". Grant County Chamber of Commerce. 2013. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- Occupational and Social Life of Granite, Oregon, a March 24, 1939, interview from the Library of Congress
- "Timeline of History, Price and Economics of U.S. Gold". Tuolumne County Historical Society. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- Moffatt, Riley Moore (1996). Population History of Western U.S. Cities and Towns, 1850–1990. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. 210. ISBN 978-0-8108-3033-2.
- "Granite Community Profile". Oregon Infrastructure Finance Authority. 2009. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- "The Elkhorn Drive Scenic Byway" (PDF). Oregon Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- Friedman, Ralph (1982) . Oregon for the Curious (3rd revised ed.). Caldwell, Idaho: The Caxton Printers. p. 203. ISBN 0-87004-222-X.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.