Status: Active Town
Current Population: 669
Peak Population: ~10,000
Elevation: 3,173 feet
Primary Mineral: Gold
Canyon City was established in June 1862 as a result of the discovery of gold in Canyon Creek, which flows through the town. The discovery led to land between Canyon City and John Day being worth $500 per square yard ($598/mÂ²). Panning for gold could yield several ounces in each pan of sediment. At the peak of the local gold rush, it is claimed that 10,000 people lived in Canyon City, making it larger than Portland at the time.
The preeminent geologist, Waldemar Lindgren, during his 1900 visit to the gold belt of the Blue Mountains, estimated that no more than $16 million in gold had been recovered from Canyon Creek by then. At the fixed value of $20.67 per troy ounce, this would correspond to roughly 800,000 ounces, worth today (at $1,000 an ounce) about $800-million.
The town was platted in 1862 and was chosen as the county seat two years later, when Grant County was split from Wasco County. It was incorporated in 1891.
Text courtesy of Wikipedia