Earl Snell was born July 11, 1895 in Olex, Oregon. After WWI he moved to Arlington where he and a partner opened a car dealership. Earl served in many political offices including: the Arlington City Council, four consecutive terms in the Oregon House of Representatives, Oregon Secretary of State and finally on January 11, 1943 he was elected 23rd Governor of the State of Oregon and is also noted as being the first state governor which was Oregon-born. He was re- elected for a second term in 1946. Earl Snell was killed on October 28, 1947 in a small plane crash in stormy weather southwest of Dog Lake in Lake County, Oregon.

To honor Earl Snell, Earl Snell Park was established as a memorial. The park is in the general area formerly occupied by downtown Arlington prior to its relocation during the construction of the John Day Dam and Hydroelectric project. Earl Snell Park is conveniently located near the freeway, and is a good place to unwind from the stress of travel. The park surrounds a sheltered lagoon, China Creek Bay, with a sandy beach and swimming, area fed by the refreshing waters of Lake Umatilla.

There are other facilities available, such as the Oregon Trail Marker on the Southwest corner, nearby the caboose which is open in the summer for tours and contains town and regional history, and just below the caboose the veterans memorial. For those so inclined, there are also picnic tables, a covered bridge, a gazebo and just around the corner a basketball court and a dog walking area.

Earl Snell Park is the home of the Arlington Show and Shine Car Show…