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Thread: Onop/Camp No. 1, Washington: A Town, But Little Info

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    Default Ohop/Camp No. 1, Washington: A Town, But Little Info

    Up in the hills to the east of the Ohop Valley lies the minuscule community of Ohop. It's a place miles from the nearest other residences and located in the midst of lumber land where it seems that every time a resident leaves or passes on, the house is just left to nature.

    From the little information I can gather and matching a historic photograph with the landscape using Google Earth, it seems that the town was at one time a lumber camp operated by the St. Paul and Tacoma Lumber Company and known as Camp No. 1. The company operated from 1888 to 1947, but i am unsure of the history of this particular camp. Where the camp gained the name "Ohop" as it is now labeled on maps, I am unsure of.

    Photo of Camp No. 1 taken in 1926.

    A couple of abandoned homes in varying states of decay:




    A home that is still occupied. I feel this may be a surviving example of one of the homes seen along the road in the foreground of the historic image:


    consider this an ongoing project. I may consider venturing back some day, perhaps as a group trip. Several residents seemed to take notice as I drove through, but did not necessarily seem "hostile."
    Last edited by Fairlane500; 03-14-2011 at 11:45 AM.
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    Great pictures and history. I really enjoy these little known out of the way places you find. Thanx for sharing.

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    This kind of photography makes me wanna move into one of the abandoned houses LOL!!!
    "Give me a fish and I'll eat today. Teach me to fish and I'll eat tomorrow." Samuel Clemmins

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    The larger lumber companies in the NW accomplished most of the logging by RR prior to about the end of WW II. Since the logging operations could be some distance from the mill and town, they would establish logging camps as they logged the acreage they owned. Camp 1 would usually have been the first one (duh) and so on. Normally the housing was portable and was loaded on log cars and moved to the next camp, but not always. Camp usually consisted of very basic houses, a cook shack and maybe some minor repair facilities for the engine and cars. In the old photo linked to, the white painted houses appear to be along the RR right of way, but the larger houses do not.

    If you Google Camp Eighteen, you will read a bit about it. The camp never was a logging camp, but is a most facinating place to visit if you love the history of logging like I do having grown up when the NW was booming after WW II.

    There are some places that were more permanent. Tennant, CA was a Long-Bell Lumber Co logging camp located some forty miles from the mill which was at Weed, CA. Tennant had permenent houses, a repair shop and a large Buda generator, because at the time I was there it had no outside power. there were about thirty to forty houses that were being refurbished as a retirement community (1960's). I looked online and it currently has a population of about 61. It is about ten miles SE of Hwy 97 before you get to Butte Valley.

    Sorry for rambling on.

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    Dave, i have no problem with the "rambling," it's great to hear a bit of informative background. I had figured there was something along those lines going on from the collection along the rails. Many other pictures from the St. Paul and Tacoma camps in the area show similar, if not the same portable houses. However, I kind of have to wonder the reasoning behind the permant housing.
    It sounds like Tennant must be pretty similar to Ryderwood in southwest Washington, where the lumber town was later turned into a retirememnt community.
    I guess a good question is whether or not thee camps should be considered true ghost towns if they were never really considered to be permanent? I kind of feel they should, as even if they only existed for a few years, people still lived, and probably in some cases were born and died in these rather anonomously named locales, maiking them as much of a community as any boomtown in my opinion.
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    Darin is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairlane500 View Post
    I guess a good question is whether or not thee camps should be considered true ghost towns if they were never really considered to be permanent? I kind of feel they should, as even if they only existed for a few years, people still lived, and probably in some cases were born and died in these rather anonomously named locales, maiking them as much of a community as any boomtown in my opinion.
    I too, feel the same way since some of these places started out as camps and turned into towns while others did not. Either way, there is ghost towning history to be found in these said camps, no matter how long or short of time they were camps at all.

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    Fairlane, you raise a good point that I had not considered when I posted. Most of the true "Logging camps" were for workers only, which at that time were men. The only woman in camp might be a cook, but often that was a man also. If you were married, the wife stayed in a town, where home was, even if "home" was a rented room. If you were single, which many were, you got your "female companionship" in town on a weekend, where booze and women were available and those establishments worked hard at separating men from their hard earned wages.

    The photos we have discussed, seems to show some portable quarters and some permanent ones, which may still exist from the current photo posted. In that situation you probably had married couples living in the larger homes, or they may have been management types.

    Those logging camps that were truly portable would now only be a site and hard to identify due to time and because nothing much would have been left behind. I suppose that is not much different from a small mining location that never really was much more than tents and some holes in the ground, but the holes in the ground tend to stay around longer.

    More rambling.

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    Very nice pics and write up as usual Fairlane! Thanks for sharing.
    Many places in western oregon look like this.

    I often wonder too, just how to classify these places. I think "ghost town" can be used as a term to describe a community, large or small. Carthage, (Africa), I think is a ghost town. And it was a great city. Minamosa, Japan (God rest their souls) is now being spoken of as the world's newest ghost town.

    Pre-town settlements, ones that really had a potential to become a permanent settlement, but didn't, I call "embryonic towns." They could have grown into something.
    My qualification for that is:
    -good location (ample water supply for a population, proximity to a river, coastline with port, access to major roads/rail, ability to grow food nearby)
    -reason to stay long-term
    -buildings were constructed of permanent materials (not a tent city, log cabins ok)

    So, in my book, many of the logging camps that happened to be placed on a location which could facilitate future growth are embryonic ghost towns. Many of them near the Tillamook Burn region of NW Oregon could have grown into tourist destinations for fly-fishing, back-packing, trail-riding, RV resorts, hunting, white-water rafting etc. They could have stayed involved with the timber industry and supported local loggin operations:

    *But*

    The giant forest fire destroyed them, and because the land was a virtual wasteland for the next 60-odd years, the towns died a permanent death.

    That's why I call them embryonic. They really were going to grow into something. Vernonia, Oregon, survived because the fire missed it because of favorable wind changes. Vernonia is a chick place to live today.
    Scoefield, Cochran, Salmonberry, Enright, Ryan's Camp (aka Idiotville,) Brown's Camp, Reeher's Camp...these places literally went toast. Some of them were on a major railroad line to the coast or were on rivers, but 60+ years is a long time to wait for the forest to grow back.

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    Tsarevna - nice post and discussion, as logging often gives rise to a different kind of settlement, than mining, or farming. You mention lots of names of places I have heard of and never visited. You might add East and West Timber, don't know if there is anything there now or not. At one time my Maternal Grandfather had a sawmill there, but it burned one night and he could not afford to rebuild. His partner who was not married, built a new mill in Lebanon and became a millionaire. When my Grandfather died, like many immigrants, he had little, but owed no one.

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