Ghost Town of Kent, Oregon

Name: Kent, Oregon

Class: D4

GPS: 45.1951258, -120.6942154

Directions:

From The Dalles, head east along Highway 84 19 miles towards Biggs Junction. Follow signs south along Highway 97 towards Wasco or Grass Valley. Kent is 40 miles south of Biggs Junction.

Description:

There isn’t a lot of information about Kent. It seems that not a lot happened here, nor did the town get very large. Lewis McArthur writes in his venerable tome, Oregon Geographic Names;

“J.E. Norton, postmaster at Kent in 1926, wrote the compiler that a petition was circulated in Jan 1887, for a post office where the community of Kent is now situated. In order to select a name a number of persons wrote their preferences on slips of paper, which were subsequently stirred in a hat. The name, Kent, was drawn and was the one suggested by R.C. Bennet. M.H. Bennet was the first poster master. The only reason R.C. Bennett gave for the election of the word Kent was that it was “nice and short.” However, Giles French of Moro told the writer in 1975 that R.c. Bennett was not involved and that Milton H. Bennett was alone in the Kent venture and named the post office on his own.”

Richard Helbock in “Oregon Post Offices , 1947-1982″>Oregon Post Offices, 1947-1982” adds that the Post Office was opened on February 17, 1887 and that it was on the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company’s spur line.

Kent Oregon

Kent Oregon

Kent Oregon

Kent Oregon

Kent Oregon

The old wooden grain elevator, situated directly next to a newer concrete one, was removed several years ago.

More Information:

If you know any more information about Kent, please leave a comment below. Thank you!

7 Responses to “Ghost Town of Kent, Oregon

  • Hi Rick, sorry I’m late to the party…..another resource that is especially helpful for E. Ore towns is the Pacific Christian Advocate, a Methodist newspaper published first in Salem (1855), then in PDX from 1859 until 1932 where it merged with a larger paper. Why is this important? Because in those days Methodists were the MOST active of any entity in the NW in going where settlements were, and one can commonly find comments about small settlements in C and E Oregon (and W Oregon). All Methodist pastors took it, and one can find population stats, names, biz data, etc. Very valuable.

  • That is really cool! Do you happen to know if the paper’s archives are online anywhere?

    • They used to be. There was a woman who maintained a site long ago….but that is long gone, I believe. The best way is to go to your local library, and get microfilm through Inter-Library loan. If you know your target range, then you order what you’re looking for. Most of the settlement areas are clustered around certain dates and so you can narrow it down. For example, the heyday of Sherman County was about 1877-1910, and there is tons of stuff in there about Wasco, Moro, Grass Valley, Kent, Shaniko, Klondike, Grant, Rutledge, etc., etc. But you need to grind it out in front of a microfilm reader! Methodists were extremely active then, and they did not wait long before starting up a church……

      • Do you happen to know the name of the paper or the lady who was maintaining it? A quick Google search found the Oregon Spectator out of Oregon City was heavily Methodist, but I was not able to find any obvious ones from Salem.

        • No clue as to her name. The paper was called the Pacific Christian Advocate, printed in Salem in 1855, then moved to Portland from then on. If you live close to Salem I would imagine the state library carries it and I know that Willamette University carries it. So does the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma.

  • With this ghost town called Buncom which should have an better name that one called Buncom should be replaced and call it wolf town. from Wendy Sells

  • The majority of what made Kent a ghost town is Gone there was a really nice old homestead there with the windmill that you see in these photos its now gone too bad I wish we could preserve these old towns for historical and photography reasons

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