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SHANIKO, OR—Robert B. Pamplin Jr., one of Oregon’s wealthiest men, has paid $1.05 million for the two-story, century-old Shaniko Hotel and a nearby RV park. He paid another $200,000 for a stretch of storefronts that includes an ice cream parlor and an antique shop.

The portfolio of Robert B. Pamplin Jr. includes textile mills, radio stations, bookstores and agriculture operations. His appreciation for history rather than profits played a role in this purchase, however.

The town, located about 70 miles southeast of the Dalles on U.S. 97, was a boomtown at the turn of the century, with vast ranches raising sheep and cattle. It is known as a ghost town but is incorporated and has a couple of dozen residents and a few businesses.

The tycoon also recently purchased the R-2 Ranch, a 55,000-acre cow-calf and hay operation that spans southern Wasco and northern Jefferson counties. Buildings on the property are being repaired and renovated, including a historic house that once served as a stagecoach stop.

Pamplin owns textile mills in the South, Ross Island Sand & Gravel Co. in Portland and a variety of other Oregon businesses, including radio stations; Christian bookstores; and agriculture operations producing berries, beef, wine and filberts.

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