View Full Version : Susanville Oregon, (Older pics)

12-29-2012, 12:56 PM
Based on Tsarvena's suggestions in this previous post: http://forums.ghosttowns.com/showthread.php?18942-Eastern-and-Central-Oregon-Ghost-town-trip/page3

I found myself in the John Day area last summer with just enough time to attempt to find Susanville (http://pnwphotoblog.com/ghost-town-of-susanville-oregon/) again. Following his directions, I believe I found the right turn off. Unfortunately, about a mile up or so are another set of "No Trespassing" signs.

Before that there is this obviously inhabited house. It was locked up tight, so it's obvious that vandals abound through here, which explains the "No Trespassing" signs.


In a rather fortuitous set of circumstances, my Grandfather-in-law was an avid photographer also. I inherited pretty much his entire camera collection, including some nice vintage cameras that I'm looking forward to playing with. Most interesting, is a Viewmaster Personal Stereo Camera (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/View-Master_Personal_Stereo_Camera), apparently he engineered and built the machine that made these cameras, so I'm now in possession of #52 off the assembly line. If you're unfamiliar with this cool little camera, it allows you to make your own Viewmaster Reels using regular 35mm film!

Among about 100 rolls of undeveloped film from 1960 to 1993, I found a canister labeled "Galena/Susan." Below are a few of the pictures that turned out after I had it developed. Unfortunately none of Galena itself on this roll, so hopefully there is another canister with some more pictures.

This first one looks like a general store to me. The design is reminiscent of other general stores in Granite and the one at the Ah-Hee Digging's north of Sumpter (http://pnwphotoblog.com/ah-hee-diggings/).

Based on Google maps, I think this is looking roughly south west through town. The road there is most likely Elk Creek Canyon Road, which was the only one through town.

You have to wonder if that area under the building was used for anything. It seems like a prime storage spot, perhaps a fruit cellar for the long winters?


12-31-2012, 11:50 AM
Hi Rick,
I'm a woman...Tsarevna meaning "princess." But that's ok. ;)

That is so neat that your grandfather helped to create that classic camera. Most 35mm cameras have little to no value at this time, but that model, and other 3d cameras, are currently selling for $300+. It's a classic. :)
It must be exciting to have so many rolls of undeveloped film...Christmas everday! :D

Look for more rolls of Susanville...by the time the Ghosts of Times Past (A Roadtrip of Eastern Oregon Ghost Towns) was published in 1996, the 3-stamp mill on the creek side of the street had collapsed. It would be lovely if you had images of that while it was still standing.
When I went there, it was a bunch of timber in a pile.

The top image is the lived-in "bear-proof" cabin. It has steel doors and shutters!

The 2nd image down is a cabin I explored. I dared not step foot inside as the roof was in the process of collapse. Some helpful person actually braved the danger and added some wood as a support brace for the roof; but it won't last long.
I could find nothing that would give me an indication of what the building was for.

(I would presume that one of these cabins was once the post office. That closed in 1952.)

3rd pic down shows both of the remaining cabins, with the 2nd cabin pic in the foreground.

4th pic down is the "green" house or the "bush" house, because that bush growing out front is still there.
From your grandfather's pic here, it looks like it has electrical wiring remnants. That's a bit curious. I remember reading somewhere that it once had barbed wire strewn erected as a TV antenna.

I didn't explore it, just saw it from a distance...the grass was really high and I feared snakes.

I wandered instead down to the creek, and took a few pics of the collapsed stamp mill.
I didn't want to get too wet by crossing the creek, but I feel now that I probably should have. Shots from the top of the hill down towards the cabins on the other side of the ravine would have been nice.

A reason to go back anyway. :)

bob3 was bob2
01-04-2013, 06:09 PM
Great photos, thanks for sharing them. I hate trying to get to a site only to see no trespassing signs, the vandals ruin it for everyone!