had been doing historical research on various topics of Eastern Oregon over the years, and he has compiled some valuable facts of the old Austin Cemetery.
To check out his findings, you can click on the following link: Austin Cemetery The Sumpter Valley Railroad arrived in Austin during 1905.
In the beginning, the rails stopped at the former stagecoach stop of Austin Station.
The main line of Eccles narrow gauge railroad followed the Middle Fork of the John Day River from Bates, eventually going as afar as Camp Creek.
All the tracks except the main line was temporary track. To those who lived at Bates, it was a special place and a special time in their lives. He was married to Linda and they then renamed the site "Austin." At some point Minot joined with some other investors to pursue a business venture. Minot secured a loan from a Baker bank and mortgaged the Austin property as security for the loan.
As the crew went out and built the grade, another crew followed behind laying track. The past Bates residents hold a Bates Reunion every two years, in order to renew old friendships and reminisce about the Good Ole Days in Bates. The investment went sour and the bank foreclosed on the mortgage.
This mill was owned and operated by Bill Eccles, a brother to David Eccles, owner of Oregon Lumber Company.
(NOTE: Anyone interested in learning more about David Eccles and his lumbering operations, you can click on the following link: David Eccles Lumbering History.