Date of visit: May 27, 2012
Population: 16,745 (2010 Census)

Watermelons are famous in Hermiston even though they are not the biggest crop in this area. Back in the 1960s the Hermiston mayor, Frank Harkenrider, was looking for a way to promote his town. Potatoes and alfalfa weren’t very interesting, but watermelons were. So he decided to market Hermiston as a place that grew quality watermelons and even started delivering Hermiston watermelons to the mayor of Portland. Eventually the melons started becoming so popular around the Pacific Northwest that the name Hermiston became synonymous with watermelons. Umatilla County produces 45,000 tons of watermelons annually. Well-drained sandy soils, long growing season, and plenty of sunshine make for good growing conditions. High daytime temperatures and cool nighttime temperatures make for a sweeter melon as well.

Welcome to Hermiston

Hermiston Watermelons
Advertising the watermelons

Hermiston Main Street
Quiet Main Street on a Sunday morning

Clock in McKenzie Park

Peaceful evening
Riverfront Park

Roemark’s Men’s Wear

Maxwell Siding
Old trail cars at Maxwell Siding

Florist shop in historic building

Hermiston Library
Hermiston Public Library

Map of Hermiston

Oregon Towns Project