Ghost Town of Friend, Oregon
Friend is located about 13 miles south east of Dufur Oregon. If you head south of Dufur along The Dalles California Highway/197, you’ll need to take a right onto Dufur Gap Road. There will be a Y in the road, make sure you stay to the Left. Dufur Gap is a nice drive with a small creek on one side along through farm land. It’ll eventually come to a ‘T’ at Old Hix Road. Take a right here (the ghost town of Kingsley is to the left, but don’t expect much of that site. The paved road is going to turn to the left sharply, follow it. I’ve frequently seen a small herd of deer in the field at this turn, so watch out. You’re going to go through a small forested area, then the terrain is going to open up some more. As it does, you’ll see a sign that says “Friend” on the right side of the road, and another saying “Friend Store” pointing up a dirt and gravel road.
Just beyond that is Heberlein Rd. In a field on the right side is a small concrete building. Google Maps says this location is the “center” of town. The purpose of this building puzzles me. Jail? Bank Vault? Pump building? Remains of the railroad?
If you turn 180 degrees to the right, you’ll see a front view of the old Friend Store and Post Office from the front. Side views of it can be seen through trees around the area.
Further west along Kingsley Friend Market Road is the Friend school. Note the outhouses, male and female, beside it. I believe this building is also identified around the Internet as the Friend Church. I’ve never been by when it was actually being used, so I have no idea what it’s purpose is these days.
There isn’t much history available about Friend. The location was the last stop on the Great Southern Railroad, which originated in The Dallas and went through Dufur. It started in 1904 and ran until 1933 when the railroad was reorganized as the The Dallas and Southern before operations totally ceased in 1936. There is very little sign of the train tracks any more,
Friend itself was named after George J. Friend who had the first Post Office on his homestead. It opened in 1903 and Theo. H. Buskuhl was the first postmaster. He was the one who suggested the name. The post office lasted until October 31, 1979.
If you have any more knowledge of history of Friend, or lived there, please post in the comments below.