Oregon Map

North Central Plateau

Hood River, Jefferson, Sherman, Morrow, Wasco and Wheeler Counties


Wasco County, 97001

You might find Shaniko by accident but you have to be going there to reach Antelope. Nestled in a small valley protected from the harsh environment, it trudges on. In the 1980's the arrival of the Bagwan Shree Rajneesh occasioned considerable excitement. He converted the Big Muddy ranch to Rajneeshpuram. His followers took over Antelope and renamed it Rajneesh. The whole state of Oregon, and indeed the nation, watched with interest. After some trouble with the law the Bagwan fled to India and his followers melted away. The Big Muddy ranch is now Wildhorse Canyon where a group of Christians pursue the spreading of another brand of religion. I wonder what the cows think? Founded in 1871 Antelope flourished until the rail terminus arrived at Shaniko a few miles to the north. The town began to fade. On my recent visit (May,2008) I could not tell whether the town was dying or moving ahead. The population sign looked brand new and proclaims 37 residents but a lot of the buildings look run-down. Antelope has the distinction of being the first ZIP code in Oregon: 97001.