J is for Joseph.
I've been part of ABC Wednesday regularly since the beginning of Round 2. Here we are in the midst of Round 6. Who would have thought it would last so long? Thanks to Denise who started it and the team who help to carry it forward. Find other Js here.
I've featured several pictures from in and around Joseph, Oregon in the time since we visited there last month. You can find most of them here if you are interested and some others over at my 365 photoblog.
Joseph is a small town in northeastern Oregon. It lies in the Wallowa Valley, a high valley--the altitude of Joseph and nearby Enterprise is over 4000 feet above sea level. The winter is long and sometimes harsh, but there is lots of agriculture in the area.
Ag is not the only industry around, though. Joseph is the home of several foundries, used by local sculptors for casting their bronzes. For that reason, there are beautiful bronze sculptures on all the street corners in the downtown area.
Joseph has some interesting history as well, and I related at least one historical story shared with us by a local who stopped us on the sidewalk to share information about the building we had been looking at.
He also told us that the mountain we could see had been known as the Five Fingers because of the way the snow remains in the rock falls there dividing it into five sections. It is now officially Mt. Joseph, but still known by locals as Five Fingers.
Why Joseph? The town, Mt. Joseph, and the Joseph River nearby--and anything else named Joseph that I didn't notice were named after Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, whose home territory was the Wallowa.
The treatment of the Nez Perce is a sad period of our history as government took over more and more of their hunting, fishing and gathering grounds and drove them from the valley.
Joseph's artists look ahead to more prosperous times as they continue creating beauty in their town.