Ghost town of Ortley Oregon

Ghost town of Ortley Oregon

The remains of the town of Ortley are currently on Private Property with posted “No Trespassing Signs.”

Ortley started out as a planned farming community built by the Hood River Orchard & Land Company to take advantage of the Columbia River Gorge’s weather for Apple Orchards, specifically the Ortley Apple. The town was platted in 1911 and a Post Office opened. Land was divided into one acre parcels for homes, and five or ten acre parcels for orchards.

Unfortunately the town’s location upon a plateau overlooking the Columbia had two flaws that proved to be fatal to the townsite. First, the high winds destroyed tree branches on the river side of the trees. Secondly, the lack of water in the summer posed a large amount of irrigation issues.

After developer’s spent over $20,000 to keep the town going, the town Post Office was closed in 1922.

Ortley Entrance

Today the remain of the town are on private property. Ironically, nearby in Hood River Apples are a now a huge cash crop for hundreds of farmers.

Andy Pierson of Flickr has a few pictures of the town itself. One set in summer and another in the winter.

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  1. Rick The old house you show in Ortley was referred to as the Gardner place. Somewhere my mother has a picture of my farter standing in front of it in the mid 20’s. At the time my great uncle was living there. I had the fortune of going there with my great uncle in the late 70s and getting a first hand history lesson from him.

    Paul Agidius

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    • Paul, thank you very much for the information! I’d love to hear anything more you may know about Ortley that you learned from your Great Uncle.