Cross Hollows Oregon – Double Ghost Town
In some sources, Cross Hollows is listed as Shaniko. This is an understandable confusion, but based on my research I believe that it has always been a separate town. Part of the confusion comes from the fact that Cross Hollows is at the bottom of the hill from Shaniko along Highway 218.
The original location got it’s name from the crossing of two creeks along the Dallas to Fort Boise Military Road. In 1874 August Scherneckau purchased an already existing farm at this location. He built a stage coach stop here and the town grew large enough that a Post Office was installed in 1879. August was the first Post Master and remained so until 1887 when he moved away.
There is no information about why August moved from this area, but some reports say that residents were still in the area. Ten years later, the Columbia Southern Railway was incorporated. A town, Shaniko, sprung up at the top of the hill based on information that the railway would be building right there. The town name came from a Native American corruption of August Scherneckau’s name. By the time the railroad was built in 1900 Shaniko had become the “Wool Capital of the World.”
This rapid growth of Shaniko spilled over into Cross Hollows causing a second growth spurt there. Unfortunately both towns died in 1911 when a competing rail line was finished. Cross Hollows is now totally abandoned with only two buildings still standing, while Shaniko barely survives as a Tourist Town.