Athena, Oregon
Athena is a city in Umatilla County
Umatilla County, Oregon
Umatilla County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is included in the 8 county definition of Eastern Oregon. The county is named for the Umatilla River. In 2010, its population was 75,889...

, Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.The population was 1,126 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Pendleton
Pendleton, Oregon
Pendleton is a city in Umatilla County, Oregon, United States. Pendleton was named in 1868 by the county commissioners for George H. Pendleton, Democratic candidate for Vice-President in the 1864 presidential campaign. The population was 16,612 at the 2010 census...

Hermiston, Oregon
As of the census of 2010, there were 16,745 people, 4,964 households, and 3,360 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,035.4 people per square mile . There were 5,383 housing units at an average density of 832.9 per square mile...

 Micropolitan Statistical Area.


Athena was established as a stage stop between Pendleton, Oregon
Pendleton, Oregon
Pendleton is a city in Umatilla County, Oregon, United States. Pendleton was named in 1868 by the county commissioners for George H. Pendleton, Democratic candidate for Vice-President in the 1864 presidential campaign. The population was 16,612 at the 2010 census...

 and Walla Walla, Washington
Walla Walla, Washington
Walla Walla is the largest city in and the county seat of Walla Walla County, Washington, United States. The population was 31,731 at the 2010 census...

, reportedly known by locals as Mud Flats, Yellow Dog, and Squaw Town until the official name of Centerville was selected. However, there was already a town by that name in Washington State, and eventually the schoolmaster, professor Jarvis, suggested Athena. City legend has it that he judged the surrounding topography as comparable to Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....


Before World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Athena hosted the annual Caledonian Games, which lapsed in 1914. They were revived as a Bicentennial
United States Bicentennial
The United States Bicentennial was a series of celebrations and observances during the mid-1970s that paid tribute to the historical events leading up to the creation of the United States as an independent republic...

 event in 1976 and continue today, and the Scots
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 heritage is evident at Weston-McEwen High School
Weston-McEwen High School
Weston-McEwen High School is a public high school in Athena, Oregon and is known for its pipe band.-History:Athena Weston School District was created in the 1970s with the merger of when the Athena and Weston school districts merged...

. The high school, following the Scottish tradition, has had a pipe band
Pipe band
A pipe band is a musical ensemble consisting of pipers and drummers. The term used by military pipe bands, pipes and drums, is also common....

, the Weston McEwen Pipes, Drums, and Military Band, since 1953.


According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 0.6 square miles (1.6 km²), all land.


As of the census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2000, there were 1,221 people, 446 households, and 341 families residing in the city. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 2,152.5 people per square mile (827.1/km²). There were 473 housing units at an average density of 833.8 per square mile (320.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.17% White, 3.69% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 3.60% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 2.29% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.16% of the population.

There were 446 households out of which 40.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.4% were married couples
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.5% were non-families. 20.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the city the population was spread out with 31.5% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 95.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,875, and the median income for a family was $40,234. Males had a median income of $30,323 versus $20,598 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $15,566. About 10.5% of families and 12.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.3% of those under age 18 and 9.3% of those age 65 or over.


Hodaka was a joint Japanese and American company that manufactured motorcycles in the 1960s and 1970s.The company also went by the name PABATCO, for Pacific Basin Trading Company. Its headquarters were in the rural town of Athena, Oregon. Pabatco was owned by Shell Oil Company from 1965 to 1978...

 motorcycles were once designed and assembled in Athena under the aegis of the Pacific Basin Trading Company, with manufacture in Japan. The Hodaka marque is recognized as an American vintage cycle; it was the vintage marque at the 2006 AMA
American Motorcyclist Association
The American Motorcyclist Association is an American not-for-profit organization of more than 300,000 motorcyclists that organizes numerous motorcycling activities and campaigns for motorcyclists' legal rights...

 Vintage Motorcycle Days at Mid-Ohio
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is a road course auto racing facility located in Troy Township, Morrow County, Ohio, United States, just outside of the village of Lexington...

. Reunions of former PABATCO employees, vintage enthusiasts, and present-day Hodaka owners and riders are held in Athena annually, including swap meet, bike show, scrambles, and observed trials.

Further reading

  • Athena Press, issues archived at the Athena library.
  • Gaston, Joseph, Centennial History of Oregon, Chicago: SJ Clarke Publishing, 1912.
  • Geissel, Genevieve and Mildred Miley, "Athena, Once Centerville, Has Interesting History", Umatilla County Historical Society Pioneer Trails, V2, no.3, April 1978.
  • Gilbert, Frank T., Historic Sketches, Portland, Oregon: AG Walling Printing, 1882.

External links

  • Athena listing in the Oregon Blue Book
    Oregon Blue Book
    The Oregon Blue Book is the official directory and fact book for the U.S. state of Oregon copyrighted by the Oregon Secretary of State and published by the Office of the Secretary's Archives Division. As Governor Ted Kulongoski notes in his introduction for the 2005–2006 edition, it "provides...

  • Athena Community website

45.814039°N 118.491205°W
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