Port of entry and customs and immigration station, north of the confluence of the Similkameen and Okanogan Rivers, is noted for mining, lumbering, and fruit canning. The development that came with the railroad is visible in the substantial modern structures of the compact little business section beyond the depot.
Originally named Oro (Sp. “gold”), the “ville” was added to avoid confusion with Oso, another town in the State. A rush of placer miners into the district began just prior to the Civil War. Although Oroville’s site was included in land claimed by Chief Moses in 1873, Alexander McCauley, an early settler and friend of the chief, was allowed to hold a tract adjacent to the present town. When Chief Moses’ district was thrown open to settlement in 1886, development of the near-by mineral resources assured the town’s future. Oroville’s first store, established in 1891, was soon followed by other enterprises, including more than 20 saloons.