It was a booming mining camp in the gold rushes of the 1890s and now focuses on cattle-raising. Named for Julius A. Loomis, first merchant to permanently establish a store there.
The area is also the site of the late Guy Waring’s ranch. In his book My Pioneer Past, Waring gives a vivid picture of Oroville and Loomis. A friend of Theodore Roosevelt and Owen Wister at Harvard, Waring, after an unsatisfactory trial as an architect in his father’s office at Newport, Rhode Island, looked for new horizons. With his wife and three children, he reached Portland in 1885, worked there for a short while on a railroad, then set out for the Okanogan country. Here he became a cowman, storekeeper, barber, cook, farmer, shoemaker, fur trader, carpenter, and justice of the peace. Waring was a confidant of “Okanogan” Smith, staunch and saintly little Father de Rouge, and other characters of the border country. He eventually returned to Massachusetts where he died in 1936.