Pendleton Underground Tunnels

The Pendleton Underground reveals Oregon history

written by Sheila G. Miller

Pendleton, like many old cities, has a sordid secret.

Underneath its city streets, it hid tunnels and a red light district built at the turn of the twentieth century.

Discovered when potholes started showing up on the streets in the 1980s, the tunnels were used in the early 1900s primarily by Chinese living in Pendleton to avoid interactions with locals, and other people taking part in less-than-legal activities.
Pendleton Underground Tours is a nonprofit that started giving tours of the tunnels in 1989. The tour provides historical context to the dark side of Pendleton, including bootlegging, prostitution and gambling. It also tells the story of the Chinese who lived in Eastern Oregon and helped build the state to what it is today.

Pendleton Underground
Pendleton Underground
Pendleton Underground
Pendleton Underground
Pendleton Underground
Pendleton Underground
Pendleton Underground
Pendleton Underground

The two-hour tour requires reservations and runs all days except Sundays and Tuesdays.



The Eight Greatest Tours for the Oregon Lover

Pendleton Round Up: First Color Photos 1948

Published by
1859 Oregon's Magazine

Recent Posts

Take the Oregon Outdoor-100 Challenge

Pro tips for your own challenge to explore 100 scenic state sights Written and photographed…

3 days ago

A Destination AVA—Served on the Rocks

Savor, hike and explore Milton-Freewater’s valleys in wine-tastings Written by Angela Ashberry For most wine…

3 days ago

Deeply Rooted

Left Vessel’s music uses living trees as instruments Written by Ben Salmon Nick Byron Campbell…

4 days ago

Argonaut Cycles—Wheels of Fortune

Argonaut Cycles drives a carbon manufacturing and aesthetic revolution Written by Kevin Max The Argonaut…

5 days ago

DIY: Tips for Installing Wainscot in Your Home

Wainscot, or wood-paneling installed on the lower section of wall in a room, can have…

6 days ago

Hotel Grand Stark

Written by Lauren Sharp At the heart of Portland’s industrial Buckman neighborhood is the Hotel…

1 week ago