Maupin Section Foreman House Historic Site

Lower Deschutes River Back Country Byway, Near Maupin, Oregon

Maupin Section Foreman House Historic Site does not offer reservations through Please take a look at the area details below for more information about visiting this location. Enjoy your visit!


The historic Maupin Section Foreman's House, known as the Depot House, is located 1/2 mile upriver from Maupin, Oregon on the east bank of the Lower Deschutes River. The house was constructed in 1910 by the Des Chutes Railroad Company, a subsidiary of the Union Pacific Railroad. It is a standard railroad design, commonly used at the time for housing in hot, arid climates. Designed with a wraparound porch, the Section Foreman could come home after a long day working in the hot temperatures of the canyon and relax under shade. On really hot nights, he could sleep outside as well. The property went into private ownership when the Des Chutes Railroad was abandoned in the I 930's. The BLM acquired the property in 1968. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 29, 2006, based on its association with railroad construction in the early I900's. The building was restored in the mid 2010s using the original Union Pacific color scheme.

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Point of Interest:

In the early 1900s, E.H. Harriman announced his intention to build a railroad in the Deschutes River Canyon. He formed the Des Chutes Railroad Company, and began to survey the route his rail would take. Working with people and funding behind the scenes, James J. Hill purchased the Oregon Trunk Railroad. Instead of connecting Bend with Klamath Falls, he began to work on the opposite side of the river from Harriman, triggering a railroad race to see who would complete the 45-mile line first. Using dynamite, blasting powder and even bags of rattlesnakes, each side tried to disrupt the progress of the other. The companies tried to use armed guards to block access to the river, and put up gates to block roads. With the involvement of Sherman County Sheriff Jay Freeman, arrests were made, and local courts ordered access to the river and key water supplies. While Harriman did not live to see the Des Chutes Co. line finished, Hill drove the final spike in the Oregon Trunk line on October 5, 1911. Ironically, after years of conflict, both rail companies agreed to use the Oregon Trunk line, as it was believed to be better constructed.

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