Hunting for Ghost Towns
I am fascinated by old places. I’ve written about the pioneer camp I attended as a child, and I did my senior honors thesis on the history of abandoned towns in Minnesota. Some of my treasured memories of family trips to Colorado include seeing some amazing abandoned mining villages preserved by the dry climate there. So when I was driving to California, I made sure to look for ghost towns along the way – and I found an Oregon ghost town called Golden. (I also found an old town that was quite unabandoned but worth a look — more on that here).
History of Golden, Oregon
This city was founded in 1860 as a gold rush town. It was unique because it had two churches and no saloons. Its inhabitants fluctuated as gold was found in other areas nearby. By 1920, the post office closed. Today, you can visit Golden to see a glimpse into a mining town that was built during the gold rush.
Visiting Oregon ghost town Golden
Today, Golden is an Oregon State Heritage Site. There’s a paved road you can drive to get there from Coyote Creek, which makes it much more accessible than many other similar abandoned towns of the west. In Idaho, I attempted to drive to Silver City but the roads were too dangerous at that time of year and I chose (wisely, I think) to turn back. So I was happy to find the town of Golden just a short drive from I-5, near the town of Coyote Creek.
A true Oregon Ghost Town
Even though Golden is on the National Register of Historic Places and it’s so easily accessible, it still feels very much like a ghost town. There’s no other buildings around, and nothing has been restored since 1950 when the church was rebuilt. You can even go inside the church and general store. If dilapidated buildings are more your style, there’s an outhouse and other buildings that are collapsing.
Have you ever visited a ghost town?