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Willow River Valley

Brogan, Oregon

Entrepreneur Dennis
Brogan arrived in Malheur
County in the early 1900’s
with a dream, boundless
energy and the designs to fulfill
that vision. His dream was to build a brand new agriculturally based
city, complete with a hotel, schools, a bank, stores and residences
on the middle reaches of Willow Creek. To support his city he
founded the Willow River Land and Irrigation Company, sold plots of
land and planned to construct three dams and a series of canals to
supply the settlers with an ample supply of water. He completed two
dams and a small diversion. As settlers came, the city was built on
the hill just west of modern day Brogan. A railroad was constructed
to carry people, cattle, sheep and produce to the towns of Vale,
Ontario and further on. The stockyards at this western terminus of
Oregon Short Line’s Brogan branch gathered cattle and sheep from
the ranches of the whole of Northern Malheur County. The City
thrived for a few years at the base of Cottonwood Mountain until the
droughts of the 1920’s and 30’s dried up the water and orchards that
fueld Brogan’s Dream. Mr. Brogan drifted away and his town
burned or was torn down. But the spirit of Dennis Brogan remains in
The Orchard Water Company with their Pole Creek and Malheur Reservoirs
and people who reside and earn a living in their beloved Brogan.
The remnants of the city can be seen on the hill above Brogan.

Don't miss the rest of our virtual tour of Brogan, Oregon in 111 images.