Monday, July 30, 2007

Greenhorn City - Ghost town of Eastern Oregon

Next stop on our road trip into eastern Oregon: Greenhorn City. Greenhorn was a ghost town up until recent years. Upwards of 15 people now own lots in Greenville and are in the process of building cabins. A number of the cabins use existing historic [falling down] buildings and incorporate the structures into their cabin design.

It's not an easy place to get to, especially in a van like the one we made the trip in. The small, gravel roads are more suitable for a truck or four wheeler. Still, it was well worth the trip to see this little bit of Oregon history high in the mountains.

A brief history form Wikipedia:

Greenhorn was first populated in the 1860s as miners prospected for gold in the area. The mining district was composed first of placer mines, but soon many lode gold mines developed. The city was incorporated in 1903. It continued as a viable community until 1942 when gold mining was made illegal by Federal Public Law 208 during World War II.

In later years, the old Greenhorn Jail (dating to 1910) was removed to Canyon City, Oregon under suspicious circumstances. A court case ensued for its return, but because the city straddles the Blue Mountain ridge, the district attorneys of Baker County and Grant County could not even agree in which court house it should be held. The case was eventually heard by the Circuit Court for Grant County in Canyon City. The jail remains in Canyon City.

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