Arlington, Gilliam County, Oregon, 1962. Most of the small town of Arlington was relocated in the 1960s to make way for the John Day Dam, constructed on the Columbia River from 1958 - 1968. Five towns, l40 miles of railroad, 87 miles of roads, and many people were moved to make way for the 76 mile lake that formed behind the dam, completing the navigational thoroughfare from the Pacific Ocean to Lewiston, Idaho. About 90 percent of Arlington's business area and approximately 25 percent of its residential area was displaced by the dam project. The business district was relocated as close as practical to its original site. The town site was platted and its first post office established in 1881 at the mouth of China Creek in the Alkali Canyon. At the community's request, the legislature changed the town's name from Alkali to Arlington on December 31, 1885. It is commonly believed the name was chosen by southern settlers in honor of the home of General Robert E. Lee. However, it is likely the town was named for Nathan Arlington Cornish the resident who originally suggested the name change. Arlington's estimated population was 492 in 2003.
1962, June 1
Arlington, Oregon; Gilliam County; Standard Stations Inc.; Alkali; John Day Dam; Columbia River; Alkali Canyon; China Creek