Several years ago, before I had a digital camera (or a blog) Cary and I visited the ghost town of Shaniko one day. I have been itching to get back there and take pictures, and on the way home from Washington on Tuesday, we stopped and walked around. I took nearly 100 photos, and plan on divvying them up into several posts.
Shaniko is located on the high desert off of HWY 97 in Central Oregon. Though it used to be called Cross Hollows, it is named after an early German settler who had come to the area in the 1870's. The nearby Warm Springs Indian neighbors couldn't easily pronounce his name, which was August Scherneckau, so they called him Shaniko. That is the name that stuck for the town.
By 1900, ranchers and homesteaders flocked to the area after the railroad was completed from Biggs Junction on the Columbia River to Shaniko. The town was to be the next big thing, but it never really panned out, after a huge fire in 1911 burned down nearly all the buildings. They rebuilt, but it stayed a small town after that and eventually died out. There is still a post office, a couple of small stores, a fire department and an ice cream shop and a few people who live there. Here is the Wikipedia link, if you want to know a little bit more of the history of the town.
Though the whole town is a living museum, there is a small official one nestled among the old buildings. Many of the buildings are now used as seasonal shops that stay open until the end of September.
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