(within Baker City)
"Over the Baker-Copperfield Highway from its junction with the Old Oregon Trail Highway, I-84, in Baker, westerly and southerly to its junction with the La Grande-Baker Highway, US30, in Baker; thence southerly over the La Grande-Baker Highway (common with US30) to its junction with the Whitney Highway in Baker; thence southwesterly over the Whitney Highway via Salisbury and Whitney to its junction with the John Day Highway, US26, approximately 3.5 miles south of Austin."
~ ODOT, Descriptions of US and Oregon Routes, March 2007
OR-7 was designated at the inception of the Oregon state route numbering system in 1932. It followed what was then called the Baker-Unity Highway #13, from Baker City south through Salisbury to the east of Bald Mountain, then going through Hereford before ending in Unity at what was then US-28 (now US-26). For almost 45 years, OR-7 routing remained unchanged, until, in 1976, I-80N (now I-84) was built to bypass Baker City. OR-86, which was originally the only highway routed along the Baker-Copperfield Highway #12, was truncated by about 2.5 miles because part of the Baker-Copperfield Highway was realigned onto I-80N. As a result, OR-7 was extended along 1.5 miles of that Highway to I-80N, as well as along US-30 in Baker City. In 1981, a new highway between Austin Jct. and Sumpter is built, connecting to the Sumpter Highway #410 (then OR-220, now partially OR-410). OR-7 is taken off of 36 miles of the Baker-Unity Highway #13 and is rerouted along most of the Sumpter Highway and the new section of built highway. The end result:
What's truly amazing is that ODOT completely renumbered the mileposts of OR-7 along the Whitney Highway #71. Usually when something like this happens, ODOT does some sort of little milepost resyncronizations where mileposts seem to disappear, or in some cases, mileposts magically appear out of nowhere (one of the worst instances of this is along US-101). Kudos to ODOT for not doing some funky resyncronizations involving "Mile Z" markers...it really makes Oregon's highways a little easier to navigate. Even though our dual highway and route system is enough to cause confusion. Oh, and speaking of highways, the Baker-Copperfield Highway (1.5 miles of which is signed with OR-7) was renamed the Baker City-Copperfield Highway in 1993 when Baker City became, well, Baker City (it used to be called just "Baker").
What was OR-7 between 1932 and 1981 is still completely intact and is shown in red. The portion of OR-7 from Salisbury to Unity survives today as OR-245, which has also been given its own highway number in the wake of the Baker-Unity Highway's retirement: The Dooley Mountain Highway #415. The portion of current OR-7 from Salisbury to east of Sumpter was a part of OR-220 (Sumpter Highway #410) before being decommissioned; the remaining portion of OR-7 to Austin Jct. is all new highway. In February 2003, the Sumpter Highway (or rather, what's left of it) was designated OR-410 in accordance with some new policies at ODOT.