Perrydale, Oregon – Not quite a Ghost Town

Perrydale, Oregon – Not quite a Ghost Town

Perrydale sits about ten miles north of Dallas, Oregon in Polk County. It can be accessed from either Perrydale Road north off of Highway 22 (Dallas-Coast Highway, or Willamina-Salem Highway,) or west of Highway 99 via Bethel Road. While residents of the town now have an Amity Mailing address, it’s counted as part of Salem. At it’s height it had roughly 100 residents, but now numbers about 60.

The town got it’s humble beginnings as Perrydale when the Post Office was established on August 12th, 1870. Also in 1870, the first school was built:

“In 1870, the first Perrydale school was built. This was a small building on the east side of Amity Rd. This building was used for a short span of time. Then the new school was built where our school stands now. This new school only had one room. In 1902 it was moved, so a two room school could be built. The old building was turned into a furniture store. The two room school house was not built until 1915. In it, it had a kitchen, auditorium, and a main room.”

“Perrydale is built on three land donations. They are the Townsend, Kinsey, and Butler land claims. The Townsend land claim was deeded to Narcis Provo in 1859 and then to William Perry in 1866; then he deeded it to John McGrew. Three years later Mr. McGrew plotted the town of Perrydale, embracing seven blocks and named the town after William Perry, from whom he had bought the property from.”

The post office was discontinued on Jun 30th, 1953 and became a rural route of the Amity Post Office. For a short while, a narrow gauge railroad ran through Perrydale on the way to Sheridan then Monmouth to terminate in another Ghost Town 9 miles south, called Airlie. This was the Oregonian Railway Company, which ceased operation to Perrydale somewhere between 1929 and 1945. The closing of the railroad south of Perrydale likely started the town on it’s downward trend.

Ralph Friedman reports in “In search of Western Oregon“:

“Community revolves around Perrydale School and Valley Baptist Church. House said by locals to have been erected 1885 must have been a beauty in it’s day. In 1915 Perrydale was really a village; it had flour mill, warehouse, two churches, two stores.”

Luckily, the house mentioned has been restored very nicely since then, but it was hard to get a good picture of. To me the most interesting feature in town was a vintage steam tractor sitting in front of one of the remaining stores.

Perrydale, Oregon - Not quite a Ghost Town

Perrydale, Oregon - Not quite a Ghost Town

You can see a view of one of the buildings damaged in the Columbus Day Storm.

Perrydale, Oregon - Not quite a Ghost Town

And one of the nicer old houses.

Perrydale, Oregon - Not quite a Ghost Town

And just south of town, this gorgeous view.

Perrydale, Oregon - Not quite a Ghost Town

2 Responses to “Perrydale, Oregon – Not quite a Ghost Town

  • I grew up in Perrydale, if your interested I probably have some pictures somewhere but if not it wouldn’t be a big deal to run back out there and take some pictures for your article since I still fish most the farmers ponds and have some good friends out there

    • Hello Jordan! Thank you for stopping by! I’d love any pictures, history, and stories from the area you might have.

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