Ghost Town of Hamilton, Oregon

There isn’t much history that I’m able to find about Hamilton, Oregon. Oregon Geographic Names states that the town was named for J.H. Hamilton, a pioneer stockman who first settled here in 1874 and lived there until his death in 1909. It also mentioned that a lot of settlers visited the area to race horses.

This is one of those small towns that slowly died over the years. There are several out buildings including barns. And a few homes that have seen much better days.

Ghost Town of Hamilton, Oregon

Ghost Town of Hamilton, Oregon
This poor house is right on the road. Luckily it’s not a very busy road at all.

Ghost Town of Hamilton, Oregon


A homestead just past town. A few horses were in the Corral, but the house itself was obviously abandoned and disused (September 2011.) When I drove by it a year later (June 2012,) the horses were gone and there were a couple of cows in the corral. The house looks to be in much worse shape now and probably won’t be around too much longer.

If you know anything about J.H. Hamilton, the town, or the history behind any of the buildings here, I’d be interested in knowing
more.

Update – July 31, 2015 – Jesse Hamilton, (comments below) provided some additional historic pictures of the town.

John Henry Hamilton is the third person from the left in this picture.

John Henry Hamilton is the third person from the left in this picture.

Hamilton Oregon in 1880 - from the Grant County Historical Museum in Canyon City Oregon

Hamilton Oregon in 1880 – from the Grant County Historical Museum in Canyon City Oregon

John Henry Hamilton is the third person from the left in this picture.

John Henry Hamilton is the third person from the left in this picture.

11 Responses to “Ghost Town of Hamilton, Oregon

  • My great grandparents lived there in the late 1800’s. I have a trunk with Hamilton as an address. Also some post cards to and from. Not much of an ongoing place now. K.G.

  • The red house is not in Hamilton it is in Long Creek which is NW of Hamilton. It was built in 1890. A friend of mine maiden name Derrick lived in that house and grew up in it as a young girl.

  • Do you mean the one with the red roof? If so, I believe you are right now that I look at it again.

  • The link below seems to have alot of info on J.H. Hamilton. FYI..

    http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~jtenlen/ORBios/jhhamilton.txt

  • This town was named after my husbands great great grandfather. His grandpa has the specifics……

    • Thank you for stopping by Misty! I’d love to share any photos or stories your husband’s family has about the town.

  • John Henry Hamilton was my great, great, great grandfather. He was the one who settled Hamilton in 1872. He was a state senator representing Grant County for some years (having come out from Indiana on the Oregon Trail in the 1850s), and a few generations of my family lived in Hamilton, when it was a reasonably thriving little town. There were a few businesses, a post office, and a lot of horse enthusiasts. At least 66 people voted in 1888 elections. There was still one extended family living there less than a decade ago, when I was there last. I have a few photos of Hamilton, the place, when it was still a going concern.

    Things obviously didn’t work out for Hamilton, as pretty as the area is. Though I’ve got three generations of family in the little cemetery there on the hill, later generations of us scattered, with some of them still in Portland and Salem. (In my case, a Portland transplant to Washington, DC.)

    I’m glad people are still interested enough to pause and give old Hamilton a look once in a while.

    -Jesse Alexander Hamilton

    • Thank you for stopping by Jesse! If you’d like to share any of your pictures, I’d love to post them here for you!

  • Jesse – I’d love to get in touch with you and see some old photos! My great great grandfather was Justice of the Peace and is buried at Hamilton (1921) as well. He also bred horses.

    • Happy to compare notes on Hamilton. I have a few pictures and have dug through old newspapers that illuminate what it was like there. I can be e-mailed at Hotmail.com, the first part of the address is jah123

  • My mother was born in Hamilton in 1906.. Jewell Arretta Wellman. What her parents, Frank Percy Wellman and Mother Golda Mae Williams were doing there I have never been able to determine.

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