Movie premiers at Shaniko Days


the Mud Springs Gospel Band will appear at Shaniko Days.Shaniko Days, Aug. 1-3, will feature the premier of “Gage, A Short Western,” a movie filmed in Shaniko, during Friday’s movie night.

Based on the life of Phineas Gage, the movie was filmed in March by London Film School senior, Keith Kopp who wanted to use Shaniko as the setting for some of his master’s project and is letting Shaniko be the first location of its viewing.

The 25-minute story is about Phineas P. Gage, born in 1823, and injured in 1848. Gage died in 1860.

According to Wikipedia, “Gage was an American railroad construction foreman remembered for his improbable survival of an accident in which a large iron rod was driven completely through his head, destroying much of his brain's left frontal lobe, and for that injury's reported effects on his personality and behavior over the remaining 12 years of his life — effects so profound that (for a time at least) friends saw him as `no longer Gage.’ Out of this miraculous historical experience, the foundations in the fields of psychological and neurological study emerged.” 

Audiences for the film will include university neuroscience departments, science museums, the scientific community and short film festivals in the U.K., Europe and the U.S.

Hollywood visited Shaniko in the form of professional actors, like Brian Sutherland, Glen Baggerly, Johanna Hart, Todd A. Robinson, Sean Ryan Lamb, Joshua St. James, and many others. Twenty-eight people from Shaniko, and three from Maupin were also used as extras in the film.

Saturday parade,

gunfight, barbecue

Saturday at 10 a.m., a parade ushers in the annual Shaniko Days celebration, followed by a performance by the Mud Springs Gospel Band.

At high noon, a gunfighter showdown will take place on Shaniko’s main street. After witnessing the gunfight, the crowd is invited to a barbecued beef lunch for $8.50 a plate, served by the gun-slinging actors.

As lunch is served, the La Luna Dance Team, from Madras, will dazzle in brilliant costumes, with their folkloric traditional dancing from Latin America and Mexico, followed by the Sunshine Exchange Cloggers.

Other activities include Pioneer games, a Shaniko cake walk, raffles throughout the day, and vendors’ booths. This year, vendors include handcrafted jewelry, fiber/crochet/knit items, paintings, wildlife and Oregon scenery photography, Italian Ice, barbecued sandwiches, hats, antiques, rocks, stones, feather and leather designed art, fresh fruit and vegetables and more.


New this year in the restored historic Shaniko Schoolhouse is the Toy and Game Museum, and city “Make an Offer Yard Sale,” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. If you come early Friday, the school is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Visit the Pioneer/Cowboy Camp. A restored stagecoach can be viewed in the Shaniko Livery Barn, and there will be wagon rides that will board near the camp. Jim Fosback heads up the volunteer crew to tell you about trail days and wagon train trips and more.

The John Deere freight wagon from the Basche-Sage Hardware Store of Baker City, was built in 1880, and is on loan from the Warnock Ranches. The wagon is outfitted with bows and canvas as well as a chuck box.

This display lets viewers imagine three scenarios: the hired freighter hauling his loads, the pioneer traveling to a new life in a new land, and the cattle drive cook out on the vast range for days as the cowboys rounded up and branded cattle strung out for miles.

The sheepherder wagon, new to Shaniko, is from Alaska in the late 1800s, traveled to northern California and then was located on the Oregon Coast for the last 20 years. The running gear is late 1800s, but the box has had some work since then. It was a home for a sheepherder and his faithful dog companion.  

Street dance

Saturday finishes with a “Shaniko’s Got Talent” at 7 p.m., held before the street dance. The band Dust and Thirst will be performing from 8-10 p.m. The raffle grand prize ($200 Visa gift card) will be drawn at 9 p.m. You do not need to be present to win.

Shaniko history sometimes gets romanticized in this unique Old West setting. The museum is always open to provide good solid facts about Shaniko’s history. Downtown murals are short and sweet history lessons like, “Why Settle A Desert,” “Sheep and Sheepmen,” and “The Train Is Coming.”  

Others feature themes about the Townsite Company, Incorporation, and Transportation, the Warehouse Companies, and some of Shaniko’s Founding Pioneers. These can be found mainly in the downtown area and more will be added in the future.

A free scavenger hunt document will lead you on the trail of fascinating facts and reap artifact treasures to take home. Visit the Sage Museum to read about the Meek lost wagon train of 1845 that traveled very near the area.

Sunday, don’t miss the history, rides, carnival, school activity, gunfighters, vendors, and more until the mid-afternoon wind-down.


Shaniko Days was established in 1985 to celebrate the new water system. The town has since continued the celebration of that system and the historic spring water that runs through it. This year, the town is celebrating for the 29th year. Camping is always free along the streets of Shaniko, or just come for the day, and visit Shaniko Days, where you can relax, retreat, and remember.

For more information, call the event line 1-541-489-3434. For live updates, visit Facebook at Vendors are welcome for a fee of $25 for the three-day weekend.