The Mormon settlement formerly known as Nauvoo, Troy, Oregon
Name: Troy (Nauvoo)
GPS: 45.946431, -117.451158
From Enterprise Oregon, head north on Highway 3 towards Lewiston, Idaho. At 33.6 miles, turn left on Flora lane towards the ghost town of Flora. Flora Lane zig-zags until it hits the town of Flora. Half a mile after the town take a left on to Lost Prairie Road. This road becomes Flora Lane again, than changes back to Lost Prairie road. After 2.3 miles take a left on Redmond Grade Lane. Be aware that there is conflicting information about the state of this road, some places say it’s paved, others say it’s gravel. Follow this road 7.7 miles and cross the river. After doing so, take the left on to Troy River Road. Troy is about 1.5 miles from here.
Despite it’s location in one of the most beautiful parts of the state of Oregon, Troy is the quintessential small town hanging on by a thread. It’s over 50 miles to either Enterprise, Oregon, or to Lewiston, Idaho, and 40 miles to Wallowa. The town has a small school, a single restaurant, and a couple of businesses dedicated to exploiting this serene location where the Grande Ronde and the Wenaha merge. An RV park here provides lodging opportunities for fisherman.
The location of Troy originally started out as a Mormon settlement called Nauvoo. There is next to no information about this period in it’s history that I can find. It wasn’t even significant enough to make this list from 1980 put out by the Church. The town became big enough by 1902 to necessitate a post office when one was opened that year on August 30th. The post office was named in honor of an early resident, Troy Grinstead, son of A.L. Grinstead. But it was not until 1910 that the town was actually platted, so likely most of those served by Troy were ranchers living throughout the area.
Several places on the web suggest that the name was not changed to Troy until 1931. If true, the name was certainly in use before that though. In History of Oregon, Volume One by Charles Henry Carey, Harry Savage of Troy, Oregon is listed under the United States Army section as having died during World War I of Pneumonia. That would have been about twenty years before the town name was “officially” changed in the narrative.
No matter the actual date the town changed it’s name, it didn’t last long. The post World War II movement to more urban areas likely helped it’s ultimate demise. Nearby Flora’s loss of it’s General Store heavily affected Troy. By 1965 the population had shrunk so much that despite it’s remote location the post office was closed on March 26. The new Post Office was moved to Wallowa, a 40 mile drive.
The current population of Troy, Oregon is estimated to be 20-30 people.
Troy has two unique residents. One, the singer John Fogerty, of Creedence Clearwater Revival fame, lived near the town for many years. The other, and possibly more significant residents are a small native herd of Moose. These guys are not traditionally natives of Oregon, but have been spotted here as early as the 1960’s. It seems that of 2005 at least one calf has been born here.
Another interesting tidbit is that Troy was once home to a large herd of Lusitano, or Iberian, horses. Unfortunately they suffered from neglect and were seized in 2011. The horses have likely all been adopted out now.
If you plan on visiting Troy and don’t want to visit Flora also, it’s advisable to take the road from Wallowa instead of Enterprise. This will avoid the problems with the route outlined above.