A boom in population came to Union County in the 1860’s and gold was the reason for it’s initial reason for the boom, mainly because gold was discovered in the Auburn area, what is now known as Baker County. People in hope for riches traveled from the Willamette Valley to Eastern Oregon. Before that, Union County was settled by the Nee Percé Indian tribe for several hundreds of years. Union County did not have the success in mining as other bordering counties, such as Baker County and most people settled for farming and logging in the county instead. When the snow got deep in the high mountains, many miners from Baker traveled to the Grande Ronde Valley in Union County for the winter.
From Starky, go to the Southwest to the North end of the Elkhorn Range. Near the North boundary of Bald Mountain and near the head of the Grande Ronde River, especially in Tanners gulch, is where the Camp Carson Placer mine is located. It was extensively hydraulicked. According to a mining report from 1903, there was a lot of platinum found, in addition to gold, in the area of Camp Carson, especially in Carson Channel.