Ghost town of Kinzua Oregon

Do you know anything about this town? Have you ever lived here? Please leave your recollections in the comments below!

10 Responses to “Ghost town of Kinzua Oregon

  • I lived in Kinzua from 1956 to 1961. My dad was a lumber grader and my mom worked as a janitor for the school I attended. When we first moved into the house, located approximately a quarter mile from the school, which was up on a hill from our house, the telephone was the crank type.

    Our neighbors across the street had one of the first televisions in the area. I would spend hours over at their house watching TV.

    There was a small lake about 2 miles due south of our house where we used to go swimming in the summer months.

    I remember walking down the railroad tracks towards the golf course. Along the way, we would look for things to explore. It wasn’t unusual for me and my friends to wander all over the town looking for things to do.

    I attended the Sunday school offered by the non-denominational church where I first was well grounded in learning the various aspects of the Bible.

    Winters were cold, but I always looked forward to the snow so we could go sledding down the many hills in the area. That was where I got my first set of wooden skies.

    I would often wander up behind the school looking for various animals. I even caught a lizard and took it home as a pet. Needless to say, it was gone by the next morning. But the adventure was worth it. I would often see deer, rabbits, squirrels, snakes, raccoons, porcupines, etc. while out on my adventures. Sometimes I would go with my best friend and others (more often than not) I would explore on my own.

    The library was in the upper level of the cafe/saloon. I enjoyed looking for various books and could spend hours there.

    There was a lake at Camp Five, just east of Kinzua where I caught my first and only 20+ inch trout.

    • Thank you for stopping by Steve! It’s great to hear first hand information about these places. Do you by chance have any pictures of the area from back in those days?

  • Yes Kinzua my father and uncle Fred Beard and Chuck Beard, my grandmother was the cook and an aunt Betty was the Bell Telephone operator. I attended first grade in Kinzua when they were constructing a new school. At that time 1956, we also lived in camp 5. I am 67 now, I’ve been trying to locate maps of the time so as to locate the camp…..I’ll be traveling to the area and would like to do some metal detecting at camp 5 to locate a SECRET hiding place for my toys and etc. My name is Dean C Beard my em@ago l is [email protected] and my phone number is 707 951 5851.y mother’s name was Elizabeth Beard.
    Any maps or photos that you may share would be very helpful

    I live in Brookings Oregon and am a retired DAV

  • My grandfather took his family there in 1928 in hopes that a drier climate would help my grandmother’s asthma. He worked as saw filer. The climate actually made my grandma’s problems worse and they left after 2 months. My Aunt was 9 and my Dad 5. My aunt wrote a story of he memory of there which mostly was about their travels on the narrow road into and out of the camp.

  • My uncle Mike Coleman, his brother and their father built the sawmill in Kinzua. I was born in Kinzua in 1952 and moved to Eugene in 1960. My Dad was the head electrician at the mill in Kinzua. My mom was born and raised in Fossil, a town about 10 miles near Kinzua. I remember my parents being really involved in community things like developing the golf course and later playing golf there. My mom and a bunch of people out on a play and traveller around locally with these people from the play putting it on at other towns. The Masons and Eastern Star were really popular, too. I remember My Dad giving all of us kids rides in the snow at the airfield and I remember My Dad and his brother putting a midget car race deal in Fossil for the kids. I just remember having so much fun in that little town of Kinzua. Skating at the roller rink, dancing lessons…golfing. The things just not found in small towns.

  • I lived there in the early 70s..I was about 5 or 6…Mrs Hines was the Sunday School teacher I got my first Bible for perfect Sunday school attendance.. sometimes a bald eagle would sit on our fence..we would wander around the forest behind our house and play on this huge gravel pile, catch crawdads in the creek ..we would get in some ones truck and go Christmas caroling and the people would always give us cups of hot chocolate we would take the school bus into fossil I think I was in kindergarten or first-grade we used to go into the little store there and the man at the meat counter would always give us kids hotdog we thought it was such a treat… I have lived in New York City San Francisco Los Angeles but nothing will ever compare to that town I’m so sad it’s not there because I would have gone back there to live I think about living there all the time

  • I have an elderly friend named Bonny who is always talking about Kinzua but didn’t know why they tore the town down and put a fence around it she said that they tore her home down too . If there is anyone out there who knows the reason it was tore down please respond through this site . Thank you , Randy F.

  • Dear Randy, it is my understanding that the town burned to the ground (via arson) in the 70’s or 80’s. Very very sad.

    • My cousin (who I called an Aunt) & her husband and 2 boys lived there in the 60’s I believe up to when the mill closed down or he retired possibly before this. Al & Patricia Bell and their 2 boys Kevin and Kent. I remember visiting them probably mid 60’s or so and just remember dirt roads and not alot there in the town.

  • I and me 4 brothers lived in camp 5 my dad worked in the woods there i dont know what his job was. His name is Kenneth Rico. Had 5 kids 4 boys and 1 girl. We were there 2n or around 1961 62. We then moved to mossyrick wa. Which is a small town but I remember seeing real houses and paved streets. Camp 5 didn’t have paved streets I dont believe. We were there with other relatives the Howells and the Medlocks Rusty and Jean medlock. I remember the school bus was like a crummy the back doors opened up and the bigger boys would lift us little ones up and we had just two benches to sit on. I do have some photos some place of the town. I remember a hill that we would ride our bikes down . It seemed like a big hill at the time. But apparently its not that big. My oldest brother Richard Rico went there to see the place not much was there the hill he said wasn’t much of a hill. The post office I think was at the top of that hill .

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