Rickard Train Station and Ghost Town

Name: Rickard
Class: A4
GPS: 44.4067889, -123.2900982

Directions: Unable to reach from public roads. Located in what is now the William L Finley National Wildlife Refuge.

Description:
The Rickard family came to Oregon on the 1853 Wagon Train. Caspar Rickard and wife Catherine Kime took up a land claim south of what was then Jennyopolis. Their son John Rickard also settled in the area. The two land claims were both on the SE Corner of Nimrod O’Kelly’s claim.

Rickard OR

Closeup of the Survey Map from 1861 showing the O’Kelly and Rickard land claims

After O’Kelly’s death, his Widow, Sally O’Kelly sold the south half of their claim to Caspar Rickard for $600 on November 21st, 1864. A number of legal issues, covered in Nimrod: Courts, Claims, and Killing on the Oregon Frontier kept them from outright owning the land in the eyes of the government until 1881! The Rickard Family did eventually come to own the entire southern half of the claim once the question of ownership was finally settled.

Despite that set back, the Oregon and California Railroad built their railroad along the western edge of the O’Kelly Land Claim. In the early 1870s they built a station. The post office was added on April 28, 1879 and named for John Rickard, but it was short lived. It was closed on October 5th, 1880. Robert S. Brown was the post master. There is no record that I can find of when the station was closed for good, but it was only one mile north of the Bruce train station so the two were likely consolidated.

Today, the location of Rickard is now on the eastern side of the William L Finley National Wildlife Refuge. Access to the townsite is via private property, or a mile hike along the train tracks. According to the maps, there is nothing there except for an active field.

Bibliography:

2 Responses to “Rickard Train Station and Ghost Town

  • Rick, this is really fabulous that you have put this information together on the Rickard family, Jennyopolis, the Rickard station, the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge, and of course Nimrod O’Kelly. All of this is such rich Oregon history and so fascinating on many levels. The more I learned about all of this, the more I just kept learning, it was very amazing. I am a direct descendent of (1853 John Rickard’s) brother, Andrew Jackson Rickard. From what I know, Andrew Rickard had a small cabin built on his brother, John Rickard’s claim, but then shortly after he went south to the gold rush. He came back to his cabin and settled, got married to Mary Elizabeth Barclay and had a family. It would be nice to include some pictures in this write up of some of these Oregon pioneers. There are some great photos in the book, The Rickard Family History, written by Aileen Barker Rickard. It’s nice to see that your post on all of this is new. I just wanted to say thank for sharing the write up and taking the time to research this stuff and know about it. 🙂

    • Hello Thomas! Thank you for stopping by and your kind words. I’d love to post copies of any photos that are available. I’m not sure if my local library has a copy of that book or not, but I’ll be on the look out for it.

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