Union is a community with a rich historic past, evidenced by elegant Victorian homes and brick buildings that grace the tree lined city streets. The downtown core, Main Street, is designated a National Historic District, honoring the city's history and fine brick architecture. Fairly new additions to the city are a state-of-the-art primary care Health Center, a tournament-ready athletic complex, and the links-style Buffalo Peak Golf Course. Along with traditional community businesses, Union is home to several e-businesses that have experienced global success.
Settled in 1862 by Conrad Miller, who launched one of the first nurseries in the Grande Ronde Valley by planting apple and pear trees, Union was incorporated in 1878 and served as an active trade route between The Dalles and Umatilla and the mines in Baker City. Later timber logging and lumber mills were added.
Union, named in patriotic sympathy with the North during the Civil War, is the second largest city in Union County and was once the county seat.