A story from Oregon

A story from Oregon

Through the lives of the people who have come to call Shaniko home, this documentary will weave a captivating narrative. We will examine the boom town experience during its inception and the near ghost town designation today, and ultimately what it means to find home and to fall in love with a landscape and a way of life.

Shaniko can trace its beginnings back to the discovery of gold in Canyon City during the Civil War. After the war, a veteran by the name of August Scherneckau whom Shaniko would later be named after, moved into the area and began operating a stagecoach stop called Cross Hollows, eventually becoming its postmaster.

With the arrival of the first train here on May 13, 1900 Shaniko began its decade long voyage as a quintessential wild west boom town. The city became the gateway to Central Oregon and consequently annual trade reaching into millions of dollars spurred dramatic growth.

By 1903 Shaniko was referred to as the “Wool Capital of the World” and to this day its legend as a wool hub is remembered by locals. Just as quickly as Shaniko boomed and prospered, in 1911 a competing railroad line took Shaniko off the map.

Today, like many areas in rural America, Shaniko has struggled to survive.

And yet it does so with the love and dedication of the few residents who continue to carry on with the hope and dream of turning their fortunes around. Every year the town hosts a number of events that celebrate its heritage.

I first discovered Shaniko almost a decade ago, it kept beckoning me back, and with every passing year I learned more and more about its rich and tumultuous history.

That history continues today, and it is a story that holds as much relevance today as it did more than a hundred years ago, because we are all on a journey to find home and to fall in love with a landscape and a way of life.


    Greetings, we'd love to hear from you!