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.

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. [zotpressInText item=”USXUUJFK” format=”%num%”] 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.


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