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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Cornucopia Jailhouse
Reference Number 14000959
State OR
County Baker
Town Cornucopia
Street Address 2nd St.
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 11/24/2014
Areas of Significance GOVERNMENT
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The c.1885 Cornucopia Jailhouse is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A, Government, for its association with local self-governance and the maintenance of law-and-order in the former mining town of Cornucopia, Baker Co. In the early 1860s, prospectors discovered gold in the vicinity of present-day Baker City, and soon prospectors fanned out across the region. As miners traveled upslope from the Pine Valley, northeast of Baker City, the communities of Allentown, and a later sister community, Cornucopia, were hastily built to accommodate the over 1,000 miners that flocked to the area by 1884. Based on an examination of the building and oral tradition, local residents and historians believe that the Jailhouse was built in Allentown to meet the community's need to establish and maintain general law-and order, and then was later moved to the Cornucopia town site in 1889 as mining activity moved upslope closer to the most productive mines. While Cornucopia was not as notoriously lawless as many other frontier communities, the Jailhouse was an important institution that fostered stability in a town with numerous saloons and bordellos, and served as a temporary holding place for disorderly citizens and criminals awaiting trial. The period of significance ends in 1942 when the local Post Office closed, shortly after the mines ceased operation in 1941 in response to War Production Board order L-208, which diverted resources to mines producing metals for the war effort during the Second World War.3 The Jailhouse meets the requirements of Criteria Consideration B for moved properties because the property was moved during the selected historic period. As the last remaining public building in one of Baker County's most significant mining communities, the Jailhouse is the key resource representing the history and governance of this former mining community.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria