Voltage, Oregon

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Voltage, Oregon
Unincorporated community
Windmill near Voltage
Windmill near Voltage
Voltage is located in Oregon
Voltage is located in the US
Coordinates: 43°15′41″N 118°48′26″W / 43.26139°N 118.80722°W / 43.26139; -118.80722Coordinates: 43°15′41″N 118°48′26″W / 43.26139°N 118.80722°W / 43.26139; -118.80722
Country United States
State Oregon
County Harney
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
Area code(s) 541
Coordinates and elevation from United States Geological Survey[1]

Voltage is an unincorporated community in Harney County, Oregon, United States.[1] It is about 34 miles (55 km) south of Burns, on the south shore of Malheur Lake near the Donner und Blitzen River.[2]

Voltage post office was established in 1908 by Walter C. Botsford, the first postmaster, who was interested in electricity and thought that the river could generate enough "voltage" to serve the entire Harney Valley.[3] He had confused voltage with power; a hydropower project was never attempted.[3] The post office closed in 1933.[3] At one time, Voltage had a store and school district; today, however, there is little evidence of a once-thriving community.[4][5][6]


Voltage is about 3 miles (5 km) east of the former community of Sodhouse, near the present-day headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.[3] It was originally the site of a sod house built by a group of local settlers around 1872.[3] The site lent its name to the Sod House Camp of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Sod House Ranch.[3][7] As of 1978, nothing remained of the sod house but a low rock wall; in 1937 the CCC erected a historic marker at the site.[3][7] A post office named "Springer" was established near the site of the sod house at Sod House Spring; it was later moved to Narrows and renamed.[7] The Voltage and Narrows school districts were consolidated with the Sod House district in the early 1940s.[4]


According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Voltage has a semi-arid climate, abbreviated "BSk" on climate maps.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Voltage". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. November 28, 1980. Retrieved January 3, 2016. 
  2. ^ Oregon Atlas & Gazetteer (7th ed.). Yarmouth, Maine: DeLorme. 2008. p. 82. ISBN 0-89933-347-8. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g McArthur, Lewis A.; McArthur, Lewis L. (2003) [1928]. Oregon Geographic Names (7th ed.). Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society Press. pp. 895, 996. ISBN 978-0875952772. 
  4. ^ a b "Harney County Comprehensive Plan" (PDF). Harney County Planning Department. 2002. p. 197. Retrieved April 1, 2012. 
  5. ^ Nitz, Karen (2008). Harney County. Images of America. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 30–31. ISBN 978-0-7385-5922-3. 
  6. ^ "Harney-Maiheur Lakes Sub-Basin Assessment". Harney County Watershed Council. June 2001. p. 6. Retrieved April 1, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c "Sod House Ranch" (PDF). State of Oregon Inventory of Historic Properties. Oregon State Historic Preservation Office. 1978. Retrieved April 1, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Voltage, Oregon". Weatherbase. CantyMedia. Retrieved January 3, 2016.