At the 2016 Oyster Feed
Seneca, looking north from the south of town. Some of the many small buildings you see in the foreground were originally bachelor bunk houses at Camp 1. When Camp 1 was no longer in use the buildings were brought to Seneca and made into houses. Sometimes two small buildings were put together to make a larger family house. Some, if not all, of these small buildings were built at the Herrick mill site outside of Burns.
Logo designed by Eloise Boren at E R Printing & Graphics,
At the 2016 Oyster Feed
About Us -
The City of Seneca sits nestled in high Bear Valley near the base of the Blue Mountain Range. Sitting at almost 5000 ft, Seneca is known for its record low temperatures (-54 degrees!) throughout the Fall, Winter and Spring months. This small community of less than 200 people has great pride in its town and relishes the remote and personal feel that Seneca offers it's residents. At any given time of the year, there are groups of children riding bikes and playing throughout the town - so we ask that you slow down, watch for children, and enjoy your visit to our beautiful valley.
The Seneca post office was established in 1895 and the city named by postmistress Minnie Southworth for her brother-in-law, prominent Portland judge Seneca Smith. While early homesteaders moved into the valley in the late 1800's, Seneca only began growing in 1929 when it became the northern terminus of the now-vacated Oregon and Northwestern Railroad, owned by the Edward Hines Lumber Company, which extended south to Burns. That time marked the beginning of large-scale shipping of Ponderosa Pine logs to the Hines sawmill in Hines from Seneca and the surrounding National Forest. The company established a planing mill and railroad shops in Seneca, and it became essentially a company town. In 1940 Seneca's population was 275. Logging in the area began to decline in the 1970's, and the Hines company ceased operations of its lumber mills and railroad in 1984. The town was incorporated as a city on August 6, 1970 as lumber company control began to wane.
What's Going On?!
CLICK HERE to see current notices.
Click to find out about the Annual Oyster Feed (May 15th, 2021) which raises money for the Bear Valley Meadows Golf Course.
Wastewater System Improvements
The City of Seneca was awarded the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the State of Oregon for the 2014 Wastewater Facility Plan.