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Hardman, Oregon
Unincorporated community
Collapsing house in Hardman
Collapsing house in Hardman
Country United States
State Oregon
County Morrow
Elevation 3,563 ft (1,086 m)
Population (1990)
 • Total 20
Time zone Pacific (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) Pacific (UTC-7)
Area code(s) 541
GNIS feature ID 1136356

Hardman is a historic community in Morrow County, in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is on Oregon Route 207 about 20 miles (32 km) south of Heppner and 32 miles (51 km) north of Spray. Hardman is at an elevation of about 3,600 feet (1,100 m) in an agricultural area slightly west of the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon. Rock Creek, a tributary of the Columbia River, flows northwest by Hardman and to its south to meet the river at Lake Umatilla. A former social and commercial center for surrounding farm communities, Hardman has become a ghost town. The main surviving commercial building, the Hardman IOOF Lodge Hall, was added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 2012.

History

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 121
1910 191 57.9%
1920 193 1.0%
1930 120 −37.8%
1940 83 −30.8%
1950 58 −30.1%
1960 30 −48.3%
1970 19 −36.7%
1990 20

The first settlers in the area were John F. Royse and his brother. Royse started a school in 1879 at a place called Dairyville, which locals referred to as "Rawdog". At the same time, David N. Hardman, who arrived in the county in 1878, started a settlement a mile to the southeast. A post office named Hardman was established there in 1881 with Hardman as postmaster. A mile to the northwest of Dairyville was the community of Adamsville, known to the locals as "Yallerdog". In 1882, the Hardman post office was moved to Dairyville but retained the Hardman name. Adamsville post office was established in 1884 and closed in 1885, and thereafter, all activity centered on what is now Hardman, where the post office ran intermittently until 1968. Locals called the place "Dogtown" after its two predecessors. Why the locals named these communities after dogs is unknown.

According to the NRHP nomination form for the IOOF hall, a history of Umatilla and Morrow counties that was published in 1902 said that Hardman at that time had three general stores, two hotels, two feed stables, two blacksmiths, a saloon, a barber shop, a church, schools, a post office, a newspaper, and a telephone office. Other infrastructure included two meeting halls, a skating rink, and a racetrack.

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