Decaying Beauty: Discovering 5 Oregon's Abandoned Treasures

Decaying Beauty: Discovering 5 Oregon’s Abandoned Treasures

In addition to its beautiful forests, untamed coastlines, and towering mountains, Oregon is home to ghost towns, deserted locations that serve as quiet monuments to bygone periods.

These locations, which range from abandoned homesteads to lost industrial artifacts, provide an eerily lovely insight into the past of Oregon.

Here, we’ll explore the histories of five such locations, each representing a chapter from a distinct era that has since been abandoned to the elements.

Come along with us as we venture into the realm of the forgotten, where history echoes through the crumbling walls and deserted corridors of some of Oregon’s most intriguing abandoned locations, as nature reclaims what was once hers. Let’s explore the mystery and charm these undiscovered jewels have to offer.

Burns Air Force Base

Dedicated to the 634th AC&W Squadron, Burns Air Force Station was founded in 1955 and went into service on June 8 of the same year.

The facility was added to the SAGE System in January 1961, and Burns AFS and the 634th Radar Squadron were deactivated on September 30, 1970.

The Burns Air Force Station is no longer in use. The buildings on the property have suffered severe vandalism and degradation. It looks like a ghost village on top of the butte. In front of the starry night sky, it provides an apocalyptic foreground even if the majority of the structures are in ruins.

Read More: Lost to Time: 5 Abandoned Landmarks in Oklahoma’s Landscape

Tillamook Bay Railroad Line

Originating in the early 1950s, the Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad is a tiny line along Oregon’s Pacific coast that is owned and operated by the Port of Tillamook Bay. The railroad owns more than one hundred miles of former Southern Pacific trackage.

Decaying Beauty Discovering 5 Oregon's Abandoned Treasures

Through the coast range, the Southern Pacific Railway was built between 1906 and 1911. As the Southern Pacific Railroad started to abandon the route in subsequent years, the Port took over the Tillamook to Batterson segment in 1983.

The railroad’s mainline, which runs between Hillsboro and Tillamook, is no longer in service due to storm damage. Since it would be extremely expensive to rebuild the destroyed rail bed, the Port opted to use FEMA monies to enhance and extend its airport and industrial park services.

Read More: Silent Witnesses: 5 Abandoned Locations in Maine’s History

Douglas Hollow Schoolhouse

Surrounded by countryside, the Douglas Hollow Schoolhouse is a historic one-room schoolhouse located in Wasco County. It was probably utilized to assist the children in the rural areas of The Dalles and Dufur.

The 2018 Dalles Substation Fire almost destroyed this location. But for now, it’s undisturbed and in really good condition. A handful of artifacts from the past can be located with sufficient effort. Visitors and students have left their marks over time.

In a secluded area of Eastern Oregon, the shuttered Douglas Hollow Schoolhouse remains unoccupied and awaits further exploration.

Read More: Ghostly Journeys: Exploring Ohio’s Haunted Roads

Latourell Ghost Town

Located less than half a mile downstream of Latourell Falls, along Latourell Creek, Latourell, Oregon, was once a thriving community.

Decaying Beauty: Discovering 5 Oregon's Abandoned Treasures

The town was established by Joseph Latourell in the late 1800s as a railroad station, lumber town, and community hub for tourists visiting the Columbia Gorge. Rooster Rock was the inspiration for the name of the region’s first post office, which opened its doors in May 1876.

This 224-foot waterfall cascades over the edge of an undercut amphitheater made up of tall columnar basalt pillars. Many abandoned houses and businesses can be found nestled within the treeline if you look closely.

Read More: Silent Streets: The Haunting History of Georgia’s Ghost Towns

Shaniko Ghostown

In the early 1900s, Shaniko served as a transit stop for the Columbia Southern Railway. At the time, the town was surrounded by 20,000 square kilometers of territory used to grow wheat and wool. The land surrounding Shanika was good for sheep and cattle but not for farming.

When the train opened in 1900, Shaniko had 172 residents. In 1903, Shaniko was dubbed the “Wool Capital of the World.” Shaniko is the only village in Oregon to have seen both tremendous growth and decline in a single decade.

The town became the liveliest ghost town in the state between 1901 and 1911, having previously been known as the Wool Capital of the World.

Visitors to Shaniko visit the ghost town in significant numbers each year, but large-scale tourism is limited by water problems.

To Conclude

The ghost towns of Oregon hint of vanished times. From Burns Air Force Base to Latourell’s ruins, each area offers a look into the past. Oregon’s ghost towns offer a unique exploration experience for history buffs and adventurers alike. Ghost towns are fragile historical artifacts.

Respect them and leave no trace so future generations can learn from them. Explore these forsaken sites and absorb the spooky beauty and human history that clings in decaying walls and empty passageways.

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