Paint Your Wagon Movie Site
This is the Paint Your Wagon movie site, as it looked July 2002. The movie stared Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood and Jean Seberg. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band also appears. Costing twenty million to make in 1968. The site is located in Baker County, Oregon in the Eagle Cap Mountains along East Eagle and Jack Creek. The site is a long drive from Baker City, Oregon over rough but good mountain roads. The scenery is beautiful but as I drove to the site I wondered how the moviemakers located it. It is very secluded. No Name City was built on this site but torn down after the movie was made as required by the forest service. As you can see in the picture below there are still remains of the movie set. I was very young at the time, but I remember my dad taking me to see the bear that was used in the movie and all the hippies (this was the late sixties) that came to town to be extras.
If you have stories about the making of this movie and would like to share them please email your story to me and I will post it on this site.
I went to the movie location and took some HD video of the site in August 2012
Paint Your Wagon Fan Club By Rich Lee
pictures of Paint Your Wagon site were outstanding. I was 18 that summer of
filming and worked there every day. In fact, I shared lunch with Lee Marvin one
day. There were actually 4 different film sites. One called tent city (where
Kettle Cr and East Eagle converge, No Name City, Elizabeth cabin site and in a
mill in Baker City. I wrote my Masters thesis about the Natural History of the
Wallowas and No Name City could easily portray the town of Sparta, not far away.
The area is very rich in gold mining history
was working in Pendleton, Oregon as a hostess cashier at the Tapadera Resturant.
That day 2 younger men about 25 years of age came in to eat, they were on their
way they told me to the Movie set of Paint Your Wagons, we chatted during the
time they were there, then they asked me if I would like to come up to Baker,
they would meet me and take me out to the site to see the set etc. I was
skeptical, but they explained they were the Technicians that were in charge of
setting the blasts off that blew up the sets. I jumped at the chance. So the
next day I drove to Baker they met me and drove me out to the set......it was a
great experience, I was able to go in the Saloon and a couple of their
buildings. There was not any shooting going on that day. I was 21 years of age,
now 69, oh so long ago.
Just happened to come across link to your PYW page, and question about how the
isolated site was 'found'.
At the time I was the timber manager with the Forest Service on Union District, as well as providing photographic services around Eastern Oregon. Through client contacts in Baker County I was commissioned by Paramount Pictures to assist in finding a site suitable for the planned film. The first look was in the Sumpter-Whitney Valley area, but that was rejected as it was not rugged enough for the art director. The next thought was to locate in West Eagle Meadow, but scripting at that time called for flooding the town. With the thought of site devastation, I rejected that idea and suggested looking at East Eagle which periodically sustains heavy flood damage, so script plans probably would have minimum impacts considering the scale of No Name City construction and planned destruction, except, that is until the art director asked about when the snow is off the peaks. When I told him it was usually around late June, he asked, "Can we paint the mountain?"; thinking of using borate retardant planes to coat the peaks. My reaction was a fit of laughter, as the peaks are all within the Eagle Cap Wilderness area.
You might be interested in viewing a small sampling of PYW photos from my stock file that are on my website under the "Event" > "Paint Your Wagon" category link at
Paint Your Wagon Photos Courtesy
of Jerry Gildemeister
No Name City aerial Paint Your Wagon
East Eagle Site Paint Your Wagon
I was 14 years old when Paint Your Wagon was made. My Dad worked for Morrison Knudsen Company and helped build and tear down No Name City. We lived 1 mile from the movie site by an old gold mine. We got to go to the movie site and watch them film many of the scenes. When the movie stars drove to the movie site they had to drive past our camp. Many of the extras were hippies that lived in camps near the road that led to the movie site. As you went up the mountain you went past the hippie camps, then ours then to the movie site. We knew what car each movie star rode in, even the bear. We were all friends. It taught me that no one is better than anyone else! I will never forget watching the movie stars filming the movie and bring their home movie cameras and taking pictures of my dad and his co-workers run the big equipment they were using to make the roads and buildings for the movie. We had our cameras taking pictures of the movie stars getting ready to film their scen!
es in the movie. We were one of the last ones to see the movie site in one piece. My dad supervised when they burned the buildings down. It was eerie to watch it burn, I remember the church was the last building that I saw standing. It was a very sad day for me. It was the end of a very exciting experience, the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year.
I came across your
site while trying to see if a fact I know about Paint Your Wagon has been
recorded by someone. I like your
photography and comments. Here is
I am a retired geologist and in 1969 I worked for a consulting firm in
Palo Alto, CA. One of the
geotechnical engineers (he had rank over me) went out to the film site because
they had a problem. The tunnels
they needed for the film were being flooded.
The problem was they placed the tunnels too close to the river.
The solution was to move them to a higher location.
One Web site gave a blooper about the concrete walls needed for safety showing on the tunnel sides. Another site gave 4 bloopers other than this one. As if movies get made with perfect continuity, never showing security wires, and such.
HI! It was a treat to come across your website! After seeing PYW for the **nth time a few nights ago, I wondered about others with a memory of the making of it...my husband was an extra, and I auditioned at the Baker casting office for the role of a saloon girl but was told that (at 20) I looked too innocent! We were living in Berkeley when word got out about parts for bearded, longhairs as extras, so we joined dozens of others camping in the woods of Oregon while the movie was being filmed...we have great photos, and recollections...!! Guys would leave or the day on the busses and return to the gals in camp with pockets stuffed with gourmet foods from the catering tent.... We attended the Grand Premiere in SF with several rows of other "extras" who made a jolly racket and almost got kicked out fun times!
Behind the scenes look at "PAINT YOUR WAGON"
View it on your PC monitor . Video extracted from Youtube.
Filmed near Baker City, Oregon
Hi, I was on the crew for the movie as a electrician, I worked with the big ark lights on the set and was actor as a prospector
Go to this link for my credits:
I am sending you pictures of the town being built and the big ark lights.
"Paint Your Wagon" was one of my first film jobs, I think of it more so than any of the other films I have worked on, I like it the most of any of the films, I had the most fun on this film like it was really happening back in the 1800s, the costumes and the way the people looked was great, The town was great just like you were back in time, I was one of the Gold Prospectors in a few scenes, I didn't have any speaking parts.
Making of Paint Your Wagon Photos Courtesy of Jerry Whittington
My Name is Mitch Jones,
I was born in Ontario Ore in June of 1967. Construction work was slow in 1969 and my grandfather (Barney Claggett) a teamster, was offered a job on the set as bus driver for the extras, taking them between Baker and the set, after getting into a fist fight with a number the "Hippies" they used as extras ( a story in itself), he was offered the job as Clint Eastwood's personal driver between Baker and the Set using a brand new 1969 Ford 4WD pick-up. My granddad told me that Clint offered to give him the truck following filming, but I don't know if there's any truth to that.
I graduated High School in Boardman Ore (1985) after living in Baker, Huntington, Hermiston and Irrigon (my dad worked construction as a cat skinner) One of my best friends in High School was a fella named Duke Creighton, he and his twin sister were the baby(s) used in the movie, both received a bag of gold nuggets for their part (which he last showed me in 1986).
Anyway, my granddad told numerous stories about how great Clint was, but he not at all impressed with Lee Marvin, who showed up drunk for work regularly and totally destroyed the floor of hotel he stay at.
My Granddad was the toughest man I've ever met, and he loved to fight, however, he passed away in 2000.
I am currently in the US Navy (since 1987) and stationed overseas, this morning was listening to "they call the wind Mariah" which I'd downloaded and happened upon your site, It is excellent, keep up the good work.
R/ Mitch Jones
I shot these in 1968. I was an extra. My favorite memory was Alan Jay Lerner coming out on a flatbed truck with a grand piano and teaching us hippies to sing: “There’s a coach comin’ in, you can hear it comin’ in... It was a scream.
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