Name: New Era
GPS: 45.300853, -122.658354
Located around the intersection of S Highway 99E and South End Road, about five miles south of Oregon City.
Origin of the name is unclear, there are two stories of it’s origin. According to Oregon Geographic names “Several persons have told the writer that the naming came about as the result of the construction of the railroad as far south as the mouth of Parrott Creek, which made it possible for Willamette River boats to stop there and deliver produce. This was hailed as a new era in river transportation as boats would then not have to go to the falls below at Oregon City.”
He goes on to say “…it should be noted that one correspondent has informed the compiler that a local family were spiritualists and devoted to a publication called the “New Era“, and named the place on that account.”
We do know that there was a religious colony here for some time. We do not know it’s origin, or what happened to it. It’s possible it lasted for some time though, the post office was established on January 5th 1876, and closed on January 31, 1940.
To deepen the mystery even further, I recently drove “through” town. Not a single building here looked to be older then about 1960 or so. Many such ghost towns will have a barn, maybe an outbuilding, or an older house around them. New Era has a small collection of homes that are all newer, or so remodeled that nothing remains of their original form.