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Thread: I suggest reconsidering a mad rush to the (ghost) town of Valsetz Oregon...

  1. #1
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    Default I suggest reconsidering a mad rush to the (ghost) town of Valsetz Oregon...

    My raison d'etre last summer was to revisit Valsetz.

    I hadn't been there since it was a real live town...but since I personally own an embossed Valsetz plastic coffee cup, purchased from the old town store and reportedly good for a free cup of Joe, I had an unyielding moral imperative to make this journey.

    "This journey" primarily consisted of driving up to a locked gate, making a 180 degree turn, then trundling back some 90 odd miles to my home in Portland.

    Repeat 4x.

    Over the course of the summer I spent some time in Falls City, the nearest town to the defunct Valsetz.

    Denizens of the local tavern consistently (and soberly) maintained the gates were only unlocked for access during hunting season.

    This squared with my experience.


    The grand finale
    to my endeavors came last fall.


    I made one final trip through the town of Falls City, continuing up the road and driving boldly past the once formidable gate, wending my way up a hard packed rutted dirt road- to the El Dorado of Oregon- Valsetz!

    I looked at a piece of eroded concrete, made a 180 degree turn and... spent some time looking around for indicators of a town.


    Valsetz was once known as the rainiest place in Oregon.

    The condition of the old town site supports that reputation... it's covered with a rich growth of brush and trees that effectively hide any possible reminders of the demolished town... apart from that one lousy piece of concrete.

    I could done some bushwhacking, but there were a lot of hunters- so thrashing about in the bushes didn't seem like one of my better ideas.

    Once satiated with my quest, I turned around and trundled the ninety odd miles back to my home in Portland.


    Over the last few months I've been giving this particular experience some real thought, and I want my next excursion to have a greater probability of success.

    One of my maps does show what appears to be an intriguing ghost town...south of Portland... actually somewhere down in California.

    Frontierland... near another town called Anaheim(?)

    Is anyone familiar with this area?

    Has anyone actually visited this town?



  2. #2
    Tsarevna's Avatar
    Tsarevna is offline Rawk Crawlin GPS Totin Ghost Towning Expert
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    Default

    It sounds like you were pretty disappointed with your trips to the area.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ay_10_2009.jpg

    You didn't see these foundations when you were there? It says May 2009. There's also one visible building in the google maps satellite photos of the area, although I'm not sure if it's part of the original town or even if it's still up.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=44.84...g.wikipedia.en

    Did you get to see Black Rock while you were in the area?

    I've been wondering if anything is left of that town.

    http://photos.salemhistory.net/cdm4/...ISOBOX=1&REC=5

    http://photos.salemhistory.net/cdm4/...ISOBOX=1&REC=8

    http://photos.salemhistory.net/cdm4/...SOBOX=1&REC=16

  3. #3
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    Default I wasn't really all that disappointed.

    I've got a couple of friends in that area, and this also gave me an opportunity to revisit some places and enjoy some of the coast range country.

    I had looked at the google map and everything seem clear and accessible... the foliage at ground level made it difficult to orient and check out the building.

    I could have brought a map, but I had been to the inhabited town a few times and I didn't expect to need a lot of help with reconnoitering.

    There was a lot of hunting activity going on too.
    It looked like a suv/pickup convention, and I'm not keen on the crowded guns and alcohol environments- I try to avoid them.
    When I was a kid hunting, we'd wander around all day and not see another person.

    Black Rock might be an interesting venture.

  4. #4
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    Zardac, check out my Oregon Ghost Town Map second link down. I think you'll be surprised at what there is within a short driving distance of Portland.

    I'm also posting photos of a trip I took a couple of weekends ago in this thread: http://forums.ghosttowns.com/showthr...2544#post52544
    Last edited by hamellr; 09-10-2014 at 06:48 AM.
    Pacific Northwest Ghost Town Travel Blog: http://pnwphotoblog.com/ghost-towns/
    Ghost Town Map: http://ghosttownmap.com/

  5. #5
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    If you want to learn more about Valsetz take a look at the book "Company Towns of the Pacific Northwest" by Linda Carlson. The book documents what life was like in in a number of lumber and mining towns around the Northwest and has enough information on Valsetz that I immidiately remembered it when I saw your post.

  6. #6
    Tsarevna's Avatar
    Tsarevna is offline Rawk Crawlin GPS Totin Ghost Towning Expert
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    Well, I made it to Valsetz.

    It's so overgrown it's very hard to imagine a town being there. The lake has been drained for a while now.

    I think only in winter or early spring could a person really find much in the way of foundations. I saw rusted pipes, chunks of concrete, the foundations of an old warehouse, and tiny bits of glass. One of the main roads used now for logging is well maintained. A different road that went by the lake is now fading into a trail. Someone with a backhoe dug a ditch through the center of it, and a sign says "no motorized vehicles." It could possibly be a trail ride, but no camping in the area is allowed.

    Note, I did not make it to the mill site. It seemed like getting to it might require a machete.

    The forum doesn't allow for very large pictures to be uploaded...says my pic that is 3.7 Megs is too large. I'll try and get some up soon.

  7. #7
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    I've been back to Falls City a couple of times...

    and picked up a dvd documentary regarding the history and demise of Valsetz from the Falls City store.

    I met some of the former Valsetzians at a town reunion three or four years ago, but I was part of the musical entertainment and didn't get a real chance to hobnob.

    There's not much around that area to keep memories alive.

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