Ghost Town of Friend, Oregon

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.

Ghost Town of Friend, Oregon

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?

Ghost Town of Friend, Oregon

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.

Ghost Town of Friend, Oregon

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.

Ghost Town of Friend, Oregon

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.

20 Responses to “Ghost Town of Friend, Oregon

  • My mother, Pearl Wheeler Rockwell was born in Friend, Oregon, January 1, 1933. I will find out more about Friend from her and post what she shares with me. Vivian Rockwell Nasiatka

    • Thank you for stopping by Vivian! I’d love to know any history, and pictures, you may gather regarding Friend!

  • The old Friend School is used as a community center now. The next “Friend Pioneer Reunion Picnic” is June 22nd 2014.

  • My great grandmother Violet Ellis born Munger is buried in the Friend cemetery along with her parents.

  • Love/appreciate the comments…. They inspire me to visit this place so close to Portland.

  • Does anyone know anything about the old McCowen place in friend. The original farmhouse burnt down and I believe two people lost their life there. I lived there in the early sixty’s and I remember the McCowens and the Hendricks, Librants, Chases, Lindells. They were some great people. What we are really looking for is locating a picture of the ranch that the McCowens owned.

    • Yes I lived 3 north and one east of Friend. We got our mail at the Friend store for several years. so know many people there. We had a place on Larch Creek.

      • Did you know the McCowens or the Chases, Lindells or Librants?

        • Hi Alex, I remember all those people I use to ride the school bus with you. Marty was in my class. Bette Lou Chase and I are still really good friends. My name was Peggy Foster. I don’t know of any pictures of the McGowan place.

  • My Great Grand-father Daymond Smith was born in Kingsley. Son of Thomas Artemus Smith and Mattie Swearingen.

    • Hello Linda! Thank you for stopping by! Do you perhaps have any photos of Kingsley through your family? Pictures of the town are actually hard to find!

      • No. Soon after His Mother died in childbirth in 1893 census shows Him a short time in Oak Grove. Then in Glyde.

  • The store can be seem from a distance, but I don’t recommend driving up the road to it as a gentleman’s house and shop is not 20 yards from it. He was outside when I drove up, got about halfway down his driveway and wasn’t wanting to figure out if he was gonna be friendly or not as he watched me all the way down his driveway, and all the way out.

    Again he might be friendly but I didn’t want to find out!

    The ladies and gents outhouses are really cool , looks like they are still used and kinda throws you back in time.

    • The guy that lives there is Ron Sorensen. He’s been in Friend since 1948.

  • i would love to know more about Friend as well. i know i had relatives from that area many many years ago.
    My dad once lived near Portland Oregon. he would be 87 if he was still alive. There is a facebook page in memory of my dad it’s called. Ralph Friend, much more than a friend

  • A few locals started a Memorial Day parade and picnic in Friend. I attended and met a man that has lived there since 1948. He lives in the House next to the old store. I’ve been trying to find the population of Friend, I can’t find it so I’m guessing at about 40.

  • My mother had relatives that had a dry wheat ranch in or very near Friend. Their names were William and Walter Brown. William (Bill) was a fiddle player in the area. Their father’s name was also Bill Brown.

  • i order some of the best claro walnut from friend oregon from a place called pine creek.

  • I once took a picture of the store sign reading “The Friendly Store”

  • Hi there. Our family owns some property in friend and we were wondering if anybody would have some time to chat about who may have lived or homesteaders our place at leas a hundred years ago.

    We have remains of a structure and some stories but no real information.
    Feel free to contact me if you want. 503-515-5692

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