Ghost town of Granite, Oregon (Independence)

Ghost town of Granite, Oregon

Oregon Geographic Names allows a bit of disagreement about the origin (and possibly original location) of Granite. It says that Albert G. Tabor discovered gold along Granite Creek on July 4th, 1862 and named his claim Independence to commemorate the date. A Granite City was shown on maps created in 1863 and 1864, but in the same area, Independence is shown on another map dated 1888. There was also another city called Pleasant City in the area, but it’s unknown if it was part of Granite/Independence, or if the two were separate locations. To further muddle issues, Tabor’s Diggings are three miles up the river, and the Independence Mine is three miles south.

Ghost town of Granite, Oregon

A picture of Granite in 1955

Funny enough, the population in 1990 was ten whole souls, but it’s obvious the town is much bigger. There are at least a dozen original buildings, and a dozen more newer houses. Plus there is a line of post office boxes on the main street that is a hundred feet long.

Ghost town of Granite, Oregon

Ghost town of Granite, Oregon

Ghost town of Granite, Oregon

Notice that each building has a sign and a number. I couldn’t find any documentation (in town) that discussed what buildings were what, but it’s obvious that the residents are trying to preserve history. Several newer houses are built in style to match the town, and buildings are being actively restored.

Ghost town of Granite, Oregon

Ghost town of Granite, Oregon

Ghost town of Granite, Oregon

The above Church on July 12, 1955.

9 Responses to “Ghost town of Granite, Oregon (Independence)

  • Albert G Tabor’s home and that of his son James Waucup (Walkie) cabin are just below Granite a few hundred yards off the road that leads into Granite. Albert G is buried in the Granite Cemetery along with his wife and other family. The town was originally named Independence but when they filed for a post office there was already an Independence, Oregon so the name was changed to Granite. They were my Great Great and Great Grandfathers.

    • If you would like more information his granddaughter Theresa Tabor Fowler of Baker City, Oregon (deceased) wrote a book entitled Granite and Gold based on writings by her father James Waucup Tabor. I don’t know that it’s in publication anymore but I’m sure the Baker City Library has a copy as well as John Day Library.

    • Hi Carol! These fine gentleman are also my ancestors!! They would be my 3x great and 2x great grandfathers!! I have a copy of the book you referred to and have LOTS of family history research!

      • They are my great great grand fathers as well, that would make us related too.

  • Long lost relative! Theresa was my Great Aunt, her niece, Helen Christina Rowe was my mother. Helen Christina’s father was Christopher Rowe, the one fatality on the Sumpter dredge. It was my understanding that almost the entire town of Granite was relocated at one time. The Tabor house is one of the few buildings, if not the only one in it’s original location.

    • My name is Randy Hunt, my Mother is Theresa “Landers” Briske I am looking for information my email [email protected] please send me yours and we could talk.

  • My grand father hauled Freight into mines in the early 1900, Andrew Jackson Merritt, my dad, David Wesley Merritt & his brothers/sisters went to school their, with a infant brother buried there.

  • I’ve been interested in Granite ever since I read about in the book “Ghost Towns of the West” by Lambert Florin, borrowed from my elementary school library multiple times between 1996 and 1999.

    Strangely enough, when Google Maps became sophisticated enough for me to finally get a good overall look at the town (satellite), I note that one of the streets (a very short street, with very little on it, to be sure) is named “Barrett” street.

    Barrett is my last name!

    Now- I have to wonder who this person was that the street was named after.
    Does anyone know?

    There is no mention of Barrett in Mr. Florin’s book and I can’t explain why I feel drawn to this town but perhaps this person was some long lost ancestor…

  • Hi Carol and Ellen My name is Randal Hunt, My Mother was Theresa Landers, Daughter or Sarah Rowe and Dale Landers. My mother was named after Theresa Fowler. My mother has recently passed and we are wanting to bury her with her Mother which I have been told was buried in Sumpter on a family plot. If you could help me with some information I would appreciate it. Does the property still belong in the family? does anyone know where it is. The last time I was in sumpter was as a child and don’t remember where the property is. My Aunt Elaine is the one who told us of where her Mother was buried, she is my mothers sister, Helen Elaine Kurtz. Please let me know what information you could provide. My name is Randall Hunt phone number is 509-979-2159 thank you

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