Ghost Town of Bourne, Oregon (Cracker)
Bourne is about six miles north of Sumpter, Oregon. I wasn’t expecting there to be much of anything here, but was pleasantly surprised by what I did find. Bourne is named after Jonathan Bourne Jr. from Portland who was Oregon state senator from 1907 to 1913. He had an interest in Gold Mines, and the town was named after him when the Post Office was established in 1895.
Like Granite, Bourne is a mixture of old and older. About a dozen houses of various sizes and age line the main road. There are the piled remains of a couple of buildings further up the road. Many of the houses have been repaired and “upgraded” over the years. Cedar Shingle roofs have been replaced with metal roofs. Expanding foam (as in picture #3) works to seal cracks in the logs. Windows have been replaced with more modern ones. Based on my observation of the town, I believe that most of the residents of Bourne actually own gold claims along the river and actively pan it. Some of the “houses” were very small, one was obviously brand new, but couldn’t have been more then one room.
There are a few possible “full time” homes here in Bourne. I’d be interested in talking more to residents of the town, but every time I come through no one seems to be around. Either they’re hidden away in their homes or out working their mine claims along the upper Powder River.
Here are some pictures from the Oregon State Photo Archives. The ruins of the white mansion are plain to see, but the remains of all the other buildings are long gone.