Idaville, Oregon – Ghost Mill Town (Jawbone)

Name: Idaville, Oregon (Jawbone)

Class: G3

GPS:Latitude: 45.5098266, Longitude: -123.8656834

Directions: Head north on Highway 101 from Tillamook, Oregon. After about 4 and half miles, turn right on Idaville Road. Take the first left on Vaughn Road. The Idaville Post Office would have been at the corner of Alderbrook and and Vaughn.


Idaville has always been over shadowed by nearby Bay City, even though it was platted as a town first.

The first major event that happened in the area was the building of the Morningstar. This ship is credited with saving the residents of Tillamook County as it was the only ship able to go across the bar in Tillamook Bay when it was built. The keel was laid in September 1854, and finished a mere three months later on January 1, 1855. Local Natives scavenged rope, canvas and iron from the bark Oriole that had wrecked to the south. They sold the entire lot for $10. The builders also traveled north to scavenge iron from the U.S.S. Shark, the wrecked Navy vessel who’s cannons gave Cannon Beach it’s name.

Among the builders was Warren N. Vaughn who founded Idaville in 1870 in the “Bay District.” He named the town after his daughter Ida. Before then the area was known simply as Jawbone.

Lucy E. Doughty and family “arrived in Idaville or Bay District” in September 1870. When they arrived the “Bay Preaching Place” was being held in the nearby Kilchis River School House. This was closer to the bay’s shore then, but the bay shore has moved west quite significantly since then. Reverend James McCain was the circuit preacher in the area and rode through once a month to preach at the school. Before him as far back as 1860, the circuit preacher was A.J. Howard.

When the Doughty’s arrived, only eight other white families lived in the area. Lucy later wrote;

“There were only eight white families on the whole bay shore: the Vaughns and Aldermans on the little ‘prairie’ or open land reaching back from Idaville, Mr. and Mrs. Coleman on the tideland nearby, the Davidsons at the mouth of the Wilson River, the Hiram Smith and Hiram Terwilliger homes at the present site of Bay City, the Elmers across the bay on what is now the Beals place, and the Bayleys at Garibaldi; besides these, Webley Hauxhurst lived on the Sandspit that is now Bay Ocean.”

Bay City was found as a city in 1888 by W.S. Cone, taking over some of the area of what was Idaville. The location where the Morningstar was built, is now the Bay City History Museum. The Bay Preaching Place moved to the the Methodist Church built in Bay City in 1892. Settlers across the area, including J.C. Bewley, W.T. Doughty, W.S. Cone, and A.E. Richardson donated money, labor, and materials to build the church. Some even mortgaged their houses to do so. Brewley ended up loosing his house by doing so in the 1893 depression.

The first mill in Tillamook county was built about 1890 on Killam Creek by the Whitney Lumber Company. It was built to make lumber for a copper plant. The copper was in turned used to make containers for Tillamook’s famous cheese and butter to be shipped in.

Idaville, Oregon

Idaville’s Post Office is big news in 1922

On November 22nd, 1922, Idaville finally received a post office. Is was built on Pike Creek about two miles southwest of Bay City. This is about where the Idaville Grocery is now, and I’d be interested to know if it is the same building. The post office only lasted until 1927, moving to Bay City. William J. Norris was the first Post Master.

Today Idaville is little more then a suburb of Bay City. Even that is generous, but it’s a peaceful area to live in. The town still has a group of houses, most of which are newer construction. Outside of town are farms, some of which still contribute product to the Tillmook Creamery. But Highway 101 bypasses the town completely so other then locals there isn’t much traffic through town.

Idaville, Oregon

Barn just outside of Idaville, Oregon

Idaville, Oregon

The Idaville schoolhouse. Now a private residence.

Idaville, Oregon

Idaville Grocery Store.

More Information: None known, please comment below if you know anything about Idaville, or ever lived there. Pictures would be appreciated! You can send copies to [email protected]. Thank you!

4 Responses to “Idaville, Oregon – Ghost Mill Town (Jawbone)

  • Loved reading this info as I live on Alderbrook Rd just past Idaville.

    • This was interesting,to know,my parents bought a small piece of land on idaville rd. Where me and my 8 siblings grew up on,it was the best place to grow up,we had so much fun as kids,and everyone knew everybody,we could leave and not worry about a thing cause back then everyone look out for you,I remember going to the idaville store as a kid and getting candy and buying cigarettes for my mom and dad,brought a note telling Charlene what my mom needed.when it snowed we would sneak onto the golf course and sled down the big hill,best times we would also play in the creek down on alderbrook,we didn’t need toys or games computers ect. We made our own fun best times,best times.thanks for the memories.

  • I also enjoyed reading this piece since I was raised on Doughty Road and my wife on Bewley Street in Bay City, when Don and Gladys Runker owned the Idaville grocery. As kids, we walked through the woods to that store to buy candy.

  • It was a “cooperage” for making barrels for the cheese. Great info, though!

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