Austin, Oregon

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Austin is an unincorporated community, considered a ghost town,[1][2] in Grant County, Oregon, United States. It is located north of Oregon Route 7, near the Middle Fork John Day River in the Malheur National Forest.

History[edit]

Austin was named for Minot and Linda Austin, early settlers of the area.[3][4] The Austins operated a small store and hotel, Austin House. Austin House was started as a hotel and stagecoach station by a Mr. Newton.[2] Austin post office was established in 1888 and closed in 1950.[3]

The tracks of the Sumpter Valley Railway reached Austin in 1905.[4] The railway was built by Oregon Lumber Company and Austin became an important railroad logging community.[5] Austin was the hub of the area until Bates, a company town of the Oregon Lumber Company,[4] was built 1 mile (1.6 km) to the west.[5] Austin was also a supply depot for local mining towns, including Susanville and Galena. Austin sawmills supplied lumber for places such as Greenhorn and the Bonanza Mine, higher up in the Blue Mountains.[2] At its height, the population was about 500 (some estimates say it was high as 5,000)[2] and the community had three sawmills.[1][2] The town also had a substantial jail and the offices of several doctors, lawyers and real estate operators.[2] As the neighboring mining towns disappeared, however, Austin also went into decline.[2]

By 1997, a newer business called Austin House was the only business remaining in the Austin area, at Austin Junction where Oregon Route 7 meets U.S. Route 26. Built in 1959,[6] the business is about 2.5 miles (4.0 km) from the original site of Austin and serves as a combination tavern, grocery store, restaurant and gas station.[3] As of 2002, fewer than 35 people lived within a 5-mile (8.0 km) radius of Austin.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Miller, Donald C. (1977). Ghost Towns of Washington and Oregon. Boulder, Colorado: Pruett Publishing Company. p. 71. ISBN 0-87108-500-3. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Florin, Lambert (1970). Oregon Ghost Towns. Seattle: Superior Publishing Company. p. 17. OCLC 2713643. 
  3. ^ a b c McArthur, Lewis A.; Lewis L. McArthur (2003) [1928]. Oregon Geographic Names (Seventh Edition ed.). Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society Press. p. 39. ISBN 0-87595-277-1. 
  4. ^ a b c Johns, Sonja. "Bates-Austin Remembered (a brief history)". Bates & Austin Remembered. Retrieved March 9, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c "Galena Watershed Analysis - Supplement 2002". United States Forest Service. Retrieved March 5, 2009. 
  6. ^ Austin House Cafe & Country Store

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°36′10″N 118°29′48″W / 44.602656°N 118.496611°W / 44.602656; -118.496611