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Thread: Withrow, Washington: A Farming Ghost

  1. #1
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    Default Withrow, Washington: A Farming Ghost

    Located in the wheat highlands of eastern Washington, Withrow was at one time likely a thriving agricultural center. Today, however, residents remain, but the businesses have left, and most locals likely head to Mansfield, Waterville, or Wenatchee for what they need.

    Withrow is also the site of the Withrow Maoraine, a National Natural Landmark, which was the site of the southernmost extent of the Okanogan Lobe of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet.







    Withrow just kind of exemplifies what has happened to a lot of America's farming communities in recent years, and I kind of found solitude in the eeriness of its emptiness. Plus, how many towns do you find nowadays with a dirt main street?
    Easily distracted.

    Current distraction: Railroad Depots

  2. #2
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    I couldn't tell from the photo, but is there RR access to the grain storage facility?

    I made a trip from SW Missouri to Calif in 1976 along Hwy 50 and these small farming towns were drying up even then. There is little for the young people to do, unless they inherit the farm, so they move away to larger cities and the town gradually dies.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    I couldn't tell from the photo, but is there RR access to the grain storage facility?
    Google Earth shows that there once was, but no longer.
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  4. #4
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    That really takes me back.

    When I left the "Wheat Heart" of northern Oklahoma (where I spent much of my younger adulthood) many of the small towns where sliding to a similar state of ghostyness. It would begin with the siblings, who either did not want to farm, or got shorted on enough land to farm, because it couldn't be divided up that many ways. The small businesses followed, leaving only that solitary grain elevator, standing as a loan, giant sentential to a community that once was.

    These small farm centers may not quite technically qualify as your classic ghost towns. But, if you ever visit one you will not be able to deny the atmosphere. The spirits of those long dispersed families, still seem to haunt there, in the never ending, prairie wind.

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  5. #5
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    Default Withrow: Family Ties

    My great-grandfather, John F. Stall, bulit the first house in Withrow and my grandfather, Alvin J. Stall, was born there on October 2, 1911. This is a photograph of that house taken in 1911. Attachment 4809

    John Stall owned and operated the O.K. Livery and Feed Barn, the first garage & livery stable, in Withrow, WA. He was also one of the first to sell coal & wood as a competitor to the W.W. Stevens Lumber Co.
    Attachment 4808

    My great-grandfather also carried the mail before they got a post office. His dray line hauled 90 percent of material for the original Withrow buildings. And he did the excavating for Consdated School Buildin & put all material on ground.

    Some day I would like to visit and walk the dirt streets of withrow.

    David Stall

  6. #6
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    Darin is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
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    Great piece of history, David, and welcome to the forum! Unfortunately, you pics (attachments) aren't showing up.

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    Default Missing Photos


  8. #8
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    Try this site for more pictures:
    http://www.pbase.com/mad_monte1/withow_washington
    40FORDJIM GHOSTTOWNER SINCE 1965

  9. #9
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    I love the pictures of the old General Store/tavern/post office that closed down in the late 70's early 80's. My dad actually bought it in 1994 and lived there up until his death two years ago. The motor home in front of the General Store is actually my brothers. He has been doing work on it and is thinking about possibly retiring there. As dkstall said, there is no longer a railroad, it quit running through there a very long time ago and that is what effectively created the situation in the town. The majority of the buildings left are around 100 years old now. I love this little town. Still some of the residents that are living there probably knew dkstall's relatives, they have been living there for quite some time, the few that are left. Various people have moved in and out over the past 15 years. I visit a couple of times a year myself. I do have a slightly newer old picture of Withrow back from the 20's or 30's I think, shot from an elevated view, but I do not yet have it scanned in.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mergathal View Post
    I love the pictures of the old General Store/tavern/post office that closed down in the late 70's early 80's. My dad actually bought it in 1994 and lived there up until his death two years ago. The motor home in front of the General Store is actually my brothers. He has been doing work on it and is thinking about possibly retiring there. As dkstall said, there is no longer a railroad, it quit running through there a very long time ago and that is what effectively created the situation in the town. The majority of the buildings left are around 100 years old now. I love this little town. Still some of the residents that are living there probably knew dkstall's relatives, they have been living there for quite some time, the few that are left. Various people have moved in and out over the past 15 years. I visit a couple of times a year myself. I do have a slightly newer old picture of Withrow back from the 20's or 30's I think, shot from an elevated view, but I do not yet have it scanned in.
    It's great to hear a little bit from someone with a connection to the town. I'm glad to hear that work is being done on that old store, and it's nice to know it could have a chance at another century of life. It's always heartwarming when neat old buildings like that with a chance of survival are given a new lease on life.
    Last edited by Fairlane500; 06-26-2010 at 07:47 PM.
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