The Blue Mountain Eagle is Grant County’s only newspaper published weekly as a subsidiary of the East Oregonian Publishing Co. which also includes the East Oregonian, The Daily Astorian, Capital Press, Chinook Observer, the Hermiston Herald, Oregon Coast Today and the Wallowa County Chieftain.
The present Blue Mountain Eagle is the result of a long line of mergers of early newspapers founded in the county. The original name, Blue Mountain Eagle, came into existence in 1889, when the late Orin L. Patterson of Canyon City bought the Long Creek Eagle and changed the name. He moved the plant to to Canyon City in 1900. In 1908, the Grant County News, published by P. F. Chandler, was merged with the Blue Mountain Eagle, and Patterson sold his interest in the publishing business to Chandler and Clint Haight, who acted as co-publishers. Chandlers’ other partners during the 44 years he was engaged in the newspaper business were Robert Glen, C.J. McIntosh and his son, W. Glen Chandler.
P.F. Chandler’s son, W. Glen Chandler, entered the business at an early age. He served as editor-publisher for the Grant County Journal, a newspaper founded in Prairie City in 1899, from 1925 until 1937. Chandler bought the John Day Valley Ranger from Arthur R. Jones in May of 1937.
At that time, the John Day Valley Ranger was a continuation of the Long Creek Ranger, established in 1900. The Ranger office was moved to John Day in March of 1930, and the name of the paper was changed to theEast Oregon Ranger. The paper became knows as the John Day Valley Ranger in March of 1931, and was published in offices in John Day. A fire on April 19, 1937 in Canyon City that was disastrous and wiped out the town, destroyed the office of the Blue Mountain Eagle. Plans were then outlined to have the Eagle published in the Ranger plant in John Day. W. Glen Chandler and Clinton Haight were at the helm of the Eagle. Chandler and Haight severed their partnership in October of 1941.
Following the death of P.F. Chandler in April of 1942, the son, W. Glen, took over management of the Blue Mountain Eagle and served as editor and publisher of both the Eagle and the John Day Valley Ranger, merging the two newspapers in April of 1944. This marked the beginning of the printing firm, the Eagle Ranger Publishing Company. At that time, Chandler and Chester A. Ashton formed a partnership.
Chandler retired from the publishing business in Grant County in June 1947 after being engaged in the business for nearly 23 years. He sold his interest to Ashton and moved to the Willamette Valley. Ashton and his wife, Vera published the Blue Mountain Eagle, a consolidation of the Grant County News, the Prairie City Journal and the John Day Valley Ranger until June 1948, when they sold to Elmo and Dorothy Smith. Miss Viola M. Puntney served as publisher of the Blue Mountain Eagle starting in 1956, when the Smith’s established their home in the Willamette Valley.
In 1968 Donna and John Moreau purchased the Blue Mountain Eagle from the Smith family. In 1979 the Blue Mountain Eagle merged into the East Oregonian Publishing Company. In 1997 they moved the Eagle building from Highway 26 to the current address of 195 N. Canyon Blvd., in John Day. The Blue Mountain Eagle went online in 2000, bluemountaineagle.com.
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