Exhibit Home

A rusted old truck and a wagon, falling apart with age sit in front of 2 dilapidated buildings in a field.
Old buildings and equipment in the ghost town of Shaniko. (Oregon State Archives, 2019) Enlarge Image


Welcome to Rust, Rot, & Ruin: Stories of Oregon Ghost Towns — an exhibit that combines descriptions, accounts, photographs, and artifacts to explore these fascinating places. The exhibit examines why and how towns grew and what forces contributed to their decline. It also takes a closer look at selected ghost towns that illustrate larger trends.


About Ghost Towns — Get context about what makes a ghost town
Mining  — Look at why mining created so many ghost towns
Logging — Explore the history of company towns and steam donkeys
Agriculture — Learn about farming, ranching, and range wars
Transportation — Examine how connections could make or break a town
Coastal — Check out the roles of tourism and the military
Other Selected Ghost Towns — Tour other Oregon ghost towns
Learn More — Discover related resources and see who created this exhibit


Use the > link at the bottom of each page to move through the exhibit in sequence. Or, use the sidebar to find tables of contents for each section.