January 10, 2013

Local Ghost Towns....


   Those of you who know me, know that I am a bit of a history buff.  I love local history even more as I can actually SEE where things happened and can get a better feel for what it was like. 
   For many years I thought of Grants Pass as a small boring town with nothing to do, I am sure I am not the only one who has felt this way....
   However, when you start looking at the history of Josephine and even Jackson and Douglas Countys, you will see, there are actually some fun things to do, and see!  We have some AMAZING history.

   For instance, did you know that we have several ghost towns around here?  Many of them long forgotten and no longer standing.  However, if you go visit some of these areas in the spring, you can see tulips, and dafodills planted in straight rows where a house or building once stood.  You can find remenance of walls and foundations.  If you didn't know this was once a booming town, you wouldn't even see them. 
   A lot of these small towns disappeared during the Indian Wars of 1855.  There was a lot of bloodshed and several towns were burned to the ground and the surviving residents were forced to move to new locations, or even built new towns in a new location. 
Others, such as Sterlingville, were mined until the town slowly declined, and eventually everyone left, or passed away.   All that is left of this once booming town is the old cemetary, which tells a very sad tale of disease outbreaks, where several families were taken all at once. 

 Buncom, was also a small mining town that was mined unitl the gold was gone, although this town still has a couple very small buildings standing. 

   Another one not widely known, is the town of Galesville, in Douglas County.  (Just north of Josephine County)  The history of this town is a sad one.  The residents were forced to sell their homes for a fraction of what they were worth, as the area was to be filled with water.  This is now the Galesville Reservior.  If you are ever out diving in this man made lake, be sure to keep your eye out for the old town of Galesville!

   I will be posing individual posts on local Ghost Towns, including the ones mentioned, for you all to enjoy.  They will be filled with as much information and pictures, as I can find, and hopefully you can feel like you are standing in this old town watching the mining folks go about their business!  Next stop, Golden!