The town of Halfway Oregon has a population of 288. The town is notable to antique tractor and equipment collectors because they have antique machinery set out at corners and other strategic places throughout the town!
I learned that Halfway is located “halfway” between the communities of Pine and Cornucopia. It is also along the Hell’s Canyon byway. Pam Brisk who along with her husband Marvin have a horse powered farm outside of Halfway joked that Halfway is “Halfway between Heaven and Hell.”
One glimpse at the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest mountain backdrop that frames their farm makes it is easy to believe the Heaven part. Another amazing story about the town is that they actually changed their name in 2000. A dot com company by the name of Half.com convinced the town to change their name in exchange for $73,000. This Philadelphia-based Internet bazaar sold movies, CDs, books and the like online at half price. A year later Half.com sold out to EBAY and the town Half.com went back to being Halfway.
There is nothing Halfway about the antique machinery on display. The town is all in on the antiques and the reason that farm machinery is part of the Halfway scene according to Bill Schuhle is that the machinery is an outgrowth of the Pine Valley Community Museum.
Bill took Timothy Bishop of Baker City, Oregon and I on a quick tour and showed us a stash of antique farming equipment as well as a lot of local items and an extensive storyboard of the town of Cornucopia where Oregon’s largest gold mine was located.
The museum complex also has historic mining equipment, farming tools and homesteading utensils and a mounted animal exhibit including the largest Rocky Mountain Elk ever taken in Pine Valley. The exhibit includes tools and a big sign Half.com!
Fun times in Halfway! For more information, check out the website at http://traveloregon.com/see-do/attractions/museums-interpretive-centers/pine-valley-community-museum.
Note: Transportation and accommodations for this trip were provided.