Friday, November 3, 2017

Shaniko 97057

Oregon Ghost Towns

How I wish someone out there would buy this old brick hotel and reopen it.  Add that "Home Style Cafe" and I bet . . . I just bet, they'd have a nice little business going.  My travel buddy and I would have booked a room on the spot.

We weren't the only ones walking the streets of this Hollywood Set looking for ghosts.  There were blurry images of wranglers and sharpshooters everywhere.  This is the old Wild Wild West, folks.  The real one.  One fellow traveler warned me there was a rattlesnake coiled up in the Jail.  "So be careful when you go in there," he said.

  It doesn't get more real than that!

I give the local population (all 37 of them!) credit for restoring these old buildings and trying to make a go of it.  However, most of the shops and cafes were closed.  The last holdout of the season, The Raven's Nest, was still open and it was a gold mine of super cool junk.  My travel buddy bought a straw hat (which he wore for the remainder of the trip) and I hemmed and hawed over a vintage fuschia winter coat, a steal at $25.00.  Why, oh why, did I pass it up?  ('cause Mimi wasn't with me, that's why.)


Shaniko is located at the intersection of US 97 and OR 218.  If you love history, this is a fun place to spend an hour or two.  Like so many of these ghost towns, once the trains stopped coming through, they started to die.  In its heyday, in the early 1900's, both the Columbia Southern and the Union Pacific stopped here.  Shaniko was a large wool shipping center with wool sales in excess of $3 million--a lot of money back then!  But when Australia and New Zealand entered the market,  demand for Oregon wool declined.  The town got a double whammy.  No trains.  No wool buyers.

Shaniko has as interesting pedigree, making it one of the best Ghost Towns to visit in this neck of the woods.  It's a great pit stop if you're on your way to the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

 I tell you we would have stayed the night in that gorgeous old brick hotel if it had been open.

  Rattlesnakes and all.

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