Discover Oregon’s Wheeler County Ghost Towns

Wheeler County in Oregon is home to several ghost towns that offer a unique opportunity for adventurers to explore the past. These abandoned settlements, such as Kinzua, Mitchell, Richmond, and Wetmore, provide a glimpse into the history of the area and its development over time. Each town has its own story, from mining camps to railroad towns, and offers a chance to discover the mystery and intrigue of Oregon’s past. is a helpful resource for planning your trip to Wheeler County’s ghost towns. The website provides information on each town, including its history, notable features, and suggested activities for visitors. Additionally, the site offers resources for further exploration, such as related books and links to other relevant websites.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for an adventure, Wheeler County’s ghost towns will pique your interest and offer a unique experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Wheeler County, Oregon, has several ghost towns, including Kinzua, Mitchell, Richmond, and Wetmore.
  • These towns were established in the 1860s as gold mining or timber industry towns.
  • Visitors can explore the ruins of sawmills, historic buildings, old cemeteries, and other abandoned buildings such as schools, churches, hotels, and houses.
  • Resources available for those interested in Wheeler County’s ghost towns include the website, which provides information on each town’s history and notable features, related books, and links to other relevant websites.

Kinzua and Mitchell

The webpage on Ghost Towns of Oregon – Wheeler County lists Kinzua and Mitchell as two of the ghost towns located in the county. Both towns have a rich history and are worth exploring for their ruins and historical significance.

Kinzua was once a thriving town with a population of over 1000 people during the early 1900s. The town was founded in 1864 and was largely supported by the timber industry. However, when the timber supply dwindled, the town slowly died out. Today, visitors can explore the ruins of the Kinzua sawmill and the remains of the town’s buildings.

On the other hand, Mitchell was a gold mining town established in the 1860s. The town was home to several saloons, a hotel, and a post office. However, when the gold supply ran out, the town was abandoned. Visitors can explore the historic buildings and the old cemetery that overlooks the town.

Richmond and Wetmore

Richmond and Wetmore are two deserted settlements in Wheeler County that were once bustling with activity. Richmond was founded in the 1860s and was a gold mining town. However, when the gold rush ended, the town declined rapidly and was eventually abandoned in the 1940s. Today, the town is nothing but ruins, but exploring these ruins is an exciting experience for history enthusiasts.

The town’s historical significance lies in its role in the gold rush period, and its ruins provide a glimpse into the life of the miners who once lived there.

On the other hand, Wetmore was a small railroad town established in the late 1800s. Because of its location on a major rail line, the town prospered initially, but it declined as the rail industry slowed down. By the 1930s, the town had become deserted, and its buildings were left to decay. However, exploring the ruins of Wetmore can still be a fascinating experience for those interested in history.

The town’s historical significance lies in its role in developing the railroad industry in the area, and its ruins provide a glimpse into the lives of the people who once lived and worked there.

Things to Do and Resources

Interestingly, amidst the ruins of former bustling settlements in Wheeler County, activities and resources are still available for those interested in the area’s history.

Exploring abandoned buildings is one of the most popular activities among visitors. The ghost towns in Wheeler County are full of abandoned structures such as schools, churches, hotels, and houses, all of which have historical significance. Visitors can walk around and explore these buildings, imagining the past lives of those who inhabited them.

In addition to exploring abandoned buildings, visitors can take advantage of the resources available to learn more about the area’s history. There are several books available that provide detailed information about the ghost towns in Wheeler County. These books provide a deeper understanding of the historical significance of these settlements, and how they contributed to the region’s development.

Moreover, there are links available on the website that provide additional information about the area. Overall, there are plenty of things to do and resources available for those interested in exploring the ghost towns of Wheeler County.

Frequently Asked Questions

What caused the decline of these ghost towns?

The decline of ghost towns in Wheeler County, Oregon can be attributed to various economic factors such as the collapse of mining and logging industries. Natural disasters like floods and wildfires also contributed to the abandonment of these towns.

Are there any unique or unusual features in these ghost towns?

Abandoned structures such as old buildings and mining equipment can be found in Wheeler County’s ghost towns of Kinzua, Mitchell, Richmond, and Wetmore. These sites have cultural significance as remnants of Oregon’s mining and settlement history.

Are there any ghost town tours or guided visits available?

Guided tours of the ghost towns in Wheeler County are available, offering visitors the opportunity to explore the historical significance of these abandoned communities. These tours provide informative and factual details about the unique attributes of each town.

What is the closest city or town to Oregon’s Wheeler County’s ghost towns?

The closest town to Wheeler County’s ghost towns depends on which specific town is of interest. However, Mitchell is the closest town to the ghost town bearing the same name. Nearby attractions include John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, while accommodation options include lodges and campsites.

How do I access or explore these ghost towns safely?

Exploring the ghost towns in Wheeler County requires necessary precautions to ensure safety. It is important to research the history and current conditions of each town, wear appropriate gear, and avoid trespassing. It is also advisable to bring a map, water, and a first aid kit.

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