Junction City, OR History
Junction City is conveniently located between Eugene and Corvallis with Highway 99 as its main thoroughfare - only minutes from the Eugene Airport.
Many of Junction City's remaining historical buildings can be viewed on the Junction City Historical Society's walking tour (PDF).
In 1902, real estate developer A.C. Nielsen founded a Danish settlement in Junction City. He divided a 1,600-acre ranch into smaller parcels and advertised in a Danish newspaper circulating in Iowa. Many families with direct lineage from Denmark arrived in Junction City to set up small farms. Today, as much as twenty percent of Junction City's residents are believed to have Danish roots.
The annual Scandinavian Festival commemorates the region's strong Scandinavian heritage and also their fighting spirit. In 2014, the event was named an Oregon Heritage Tradition by the Oregon Heritage Commission. Today, as many as 100,000 people visit Junction City each August for traditional dancing, crafts and food.
Junction City has been predominately a farming community, and along with grains, vegetables and livestock; there are many vineyards sprawling across the valley floor. As area wines, particularly Pinots, started garnering international attention in the 70s, vintners from California and Europe started speculating on property in the region. Some local farmers took note and converted their lands into vineyards. In 2021, the Lower Long Tom watershed in Junction City was officially recognized as the Lower Long Tom AVA with a dozen boutique wineries and many more vineyards. Wine-tasting tourism is growing as visitors discover the beautiful countryside and award-winning wines are accompanied by farm-to-table foods, miles of quiet country roads for cycling and horseback riding and pristine golf courses.
Regional visitor center. Economic development information and tourism headquarters for the Junction City and Harrisburg area.