Ghost town of Hoskins Oregon
GPS: 44.676272, -123.467843
Directions: From King’s Valley, drive south along Kings Valley Highway. Take a right onto Hoskins Road, following the signs to Fort Hoskins.
Hoskins sprung up after the buildings from Fort Hoskins were sold at auction when the the fort was closed on April 16th, 1865. Buildings from the fort were moved to nearby towns, including what would become Hoskins.
It was not until 1891 that the town’s population was big enough to necessitate a post office though. Jonathan N. Hoffman was the first post master when it opened on March 2nd of that year. In 1900 a covered bridge was built across the Luckimute river.
The town thrived for a few decades with the arrival of the Valley & Siletz Railroad, incorporated by Cobbs & Mitchell Lumber Company in 1914. Hoskins would become the railroad’s headquarters where several diesel engines and a couple of self-powered passenger cars were stationed. The 40 mile railroad connected Independence with the logging town of Valsetz and was mostly used to move lumber, although it did business in agriculture and passengers.
The second Hoskins Covered Bridge was built in 1938 over the Luckimute River. It was destroyed in the 1962 Columbus Day Storm, which blew several fir trees into it, irrevocably damaging the structure.
As the timber industry shrunk over the next few decades, the town shrunk too. The Postmaster closed the post office for the final time on December 31, 1958 in favor of a rural post office out of Philomath that only lasted an additional 7 years. The railroad was sold to Boise Cascade who discontinued and removed the section containing Hoskins in early 1979.
Ralph Friedman states that the big white house on the hill, 0.1 mile west of the Tavern used to the be Fort’s Hospital.[. Unfortunately neither of these landmarks exist. In addition, The Hoskins Covered Bridge was already gone when he visited in the late 80s. All that remains is the Franzt-Dunn House, and the Fort.
Please comment below if you know anything more about Hoskins, or it’s history.