Canyon City has a wonderful history behind it, and better than that it has gold! Gold was first discovered on June 7, 1862 on a stream near the John Day River. An estimate of twenty six million dollars worth of oregon gold was taken from the area. Please keep in mind that these were not based on the present price of gold. In 1862, gold sold for just around twenty dollars an ounce and held pretty steady for two hundred and seventeen years at that price.
Whiskey Gulch and Canyon Creek was estimated to be one of the most concentrated places of gold in one place within the whole State of Oregon. At it’s peak, the area produced five million dollars worth of gold per year. Humbolt drive, the area between the present day town’s of John Day and Canyon City was once priced at five hundred dollars a square yard. It is said that a single pan could hold as much as seven ounces of gold. Much more history can be found at the current day museum located at Canyon City.
Many other mining towns sprang up around the area and this is a good area to start looking for that Oregon Gold.