ANTELOPE, Ore. — An historic building in Central Oregon — used by the Rajneeshees when they took over the town of Antelope in the 1980s — is up for auction.
The first Rajneeshees arrived in Central Oregon in 1981. The group bought a cattle ranch near the tiny town of Antelope and started setting up what would become a settlement of thousands of people.
The commune first took over the town of Antelope then tried to take over the Wasco County government, along the way poisoning more than 700 people with salmonella in salad bars.
It all ended when the Bagwhan, or spiritual leader Rajneesh, was arrested and deported. Several others went to prison. The population of the town of Antelope today is around 50, a much different scene from the eighties.
Now one of the Rajneeshees' old buildings is on the market.
"This was a commercial building, it was owned commercially and they apparently bought and used it as their printing house and an office space. I guess they had a pretty wide distribution,” said John Gill, a real estate broker with Land and Wildlife.
The 3,000 square foot, 2-story building was built in 1898. The current owners bought it in 1995 and ran it as a museum.
"So anyone that buys the property would get assigned all those Rajneesh items,” said John Rosenthal with Realty Marketing Northwest, the agency in charge of the auction.
The publish reserve price is $258,500, which means the property will sell at that number or above. The deadline for the auction is 5 p.m. Dec. 8.
The High Desert Museum near Bend will open a display with items from the building’s Rajneesh era items from January through October.