Dodson, Oregon – Ghost Town in Columbia Gorge
Dodson was never a very large town. It was a railway stop, although the actual station was physically moved several times. No reasons I can find why it was moved or even when. Lewis MacArthur mentions this fact in Oregon Geographic Names and leaves it at that.
The town doesn’t even seem to ever have had a post office. Most likely citizens got their mail from Warrendale (where the Dodson train station physically was at one point,) or at Bridal Veil. What we do know is that the town was named after Ira Dodson who claimed 80 acres here. We also believe that Lewis and Clark had a hunting camp at Dodson April 7-9th 1806. The hunters were apparently unsuccessful having found that all the elk had been scared away by the natives. I believe that the local indians probably did this to protect one of their other major food sources – Camas which grows heavily through this area of the Columbia River Gorge.
Along the Old Columbia River Highway are these two old buildings, an abandoned gas station, and a hotel. Both seem to date from the 60’s and probably went out of business when the new Columbia River Highway was built. There are houses behind the trees here, about a dozen or so, but the roads are all dead ends now even though maps say they go through.
Most recently a massive landslide took out a farmhouse in 1996. The entire area is so over grown now that you can’t tell there ever was a landslide.