Date of visit: May 30, 2011
Population: 682 (2010 Census)
Condon was established in the late 1800s. Originally named Summit Springs because of a nearby spring, its name was changed when the first postmaster suggested that the town be named after Harvey C. Condon, an attorney from Arlington who had agreed to not charge a fee to process the necessary paperwork for establishing the post office. (If you’ve ever heard of Thomas Condon, the geologist, Harvey was related to him.) By 1900 the population was 230 people, but the town experienced a big boom when a railroad line was finished in 1905. There were banks and a daily newspaper. A new flour mill and brick yard were built, a new city water works completed, and two wheat storage warehouses were constructed. The population was over 1,000. By 1908 Condon was the largest shipping point for wheat in the country.
But the depression hit the area hard. Condon recovered somewhat during the prosperous war years and when an air force base was built nearby. But the base closed in 1970, and one of the two rail lines was abandoned in 1976. As with many agricultural towns, Condon has never returned to its more prosperous times. The population was 759 in 2000 and 682 in 2010. But in 1990 the downtown area was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Condon Commercial Historic District, and hopefully the area will see an increase in tourism.