Timber, Oregon

Name: Timber, Oregon

Class: E3

GPS: 45.720605, -123.295563


Take Highway 26 West towards the Coast. Follow the signs to Seaside. Take a left at Timber Road after 36.5 miles. Timber is three miles up the road along the Nehalem River. The town is mostly at the bottom of the hill, but the Post Office is halfway up the hill.


There isn’t a lot of information about the now ghost town of Timber. A post office was established at this location on March 11, 1901 along the Pacific Railway and Navigations Companies Railroad. It was six miles north of Glenwood, and like the name suggests, was likely a location for trains to load up logs cut in the nearby hills. Joseph Burgholzer was the first post master.

The town seems like it was a pretty busy depot, serving at least one log train a day and possibly more. It’s estimated that there were probably 400-500 citizens, including those who worked the lumber camps up on the hills.

According to History of Oregon, Volume One by Charles Henry Carey, two US Army soldiers who died in World War I were both from Timber. Robert Christensen died from Pneumonia, while Edwin Smith was killed in action.

During the early 20th Century, rail roads had a huge problem making the trains pay for themselves. A typical train would handle both passengers and freight, but could still be under utilized. The Union Pacific commissioned the McKeen Motor Car Company of Omaha, Nebraska to build a series of self propelled single car locomotives dedicated to passenger service. One of these rare locomotives was seen, and photographed in Timber in 1924.

In 1948, Measure 3 was approved on November 2. This Measure established a delinquent boys camp at nearby Reeher’s Camp, an old CCC Camp.

Since then, history has been less than kind to Timber. The population has shrunk significantly, and timber trains no longer pass through the town on a regular basis.

Timber Oregon

Timber Oregon

Timber Fire Station

Timber Oregon

Tin Sided building in Timber Oregon

More Information:

The area around Timber is known for bird watching.

35 Responses to “Timber, Oregon

  • The house still standing at the intersection of Cochran Rd and Timber Rd is what used to be the Timber Tavern until the late 1980’s.

    There is also a legitimate fire station down Cochran Rd about 1/4 mile from that same intersection. A mile or so further and there is a campground.

    • Thanks for stopping by! I suspected that building was a bar, but didn’t know for sure. Are you from the area? and do you have any pictures?

  • I lived there for several years in the 1980s to 1993. You say a ghost town? Doesn’t anyone live there now? Yes there was a bar there, a church, a fire station and a machine shop. I worked as a fill in at the post office when the post master needed a day off. We heated the post office with a wood stove. The bar was sold food too and had built a separate area, plus they sold milk and bread. I can’t remember their names, but Betty and? They raised Winerimers and lived a ways down Cochran road.

    • I lived in Timber from 1962-64. Happiest place I ever lived. I was 13 when we moved there. My dad was on his way back from Vernonia in early winter and hit black ice. He was hurt badly and was at V.A hospital in Portland for a year. I went to the Quaker church there and got candy and pop at Ottos bar. The big white elementary school was there at the time. A friend That we went to school with in Buxton lived in a caboose on a railroad track not used. What a great town and great people. Will never forget living there.

      • My Aunt Lucinda and her husband lived there from the 1920’s until their deaths. He worked for the railroad. I was pretty little I was born in 1948. I do remember us taking my grandmother to visit them when I was like 9 maybe 10. Their house was provided by the railroad. There home was right next to the rail line. The line ran from like 6 feet or so behind the house to the back yard across the tracks. The car garage was across the tracks. There wasn’t enough room for a car beside the house. You had the main road about 8 steps up this small hill and then the house. To a kid of 9 or 10 that seemed like a big mystery. I wish I could remember his name.

    • Hap and Ilene owned the bar it caught fire and they rebuilt it

      • Ilene actually burned the tavern as she told Hap she would do.

    • The bar sold candy chips n soda to the kids at back door hap made adults wait kids came first

    • was it Hap you are thinking of?

  • i have lived there for over twenty years now. Church has since been turned into a home. The bar as well. Post office is still there and has several interesting pictures from the early 1900’s. The original house on our property was the school house built in 1911.

    • Thanks – join us on FB if you like! I want to document the great History https://www.facebook.com/groups/790567144464867/

      • My wife Teri’s grandmother, Reba Spittler, was born in Timber OR. 1912. Supposedly, Reba’s father was a mayor of Timber. Can you verify?

    • does anyone know where the old school house was? My dad grew up in house across the street in late 20’s and 30’s.

      • I was born there in 1947 my grandparents lived in that house across from the school where the bridge crosses the river The tavern was on the other side

  • my dad grew up there in the 40’s and 50’s. my grandparents lived there till the 70’s. i remember going into the post office and seeing patty hearst wanted posted hanging on the wall.

  • Just outside a tunnel on US 26, heading Northwest, on the south side of the road is a lake that looks like it may have been a quarry at one time. Just as you immediately exit the tunnel there is a paved road/ driveway that leads to some kind of industrial-looking property. (I spotted the property on a Google Earth overhead photo.)

    Can anyone tell me what that quarry-looking lake is or used to be? Also, what is the commercial industrial looking property, and is/was it somehow connected with the “quarry?” Thanks!

    • The lake that you speak of is the one that belonged to a company I believe was called Empire Lightrock, responsible for the poisoning of the Nehalem River over a period of years with uncontrolled runoff and was near the old Tunnel Cafe.

  • Use to ride motorcycle’s there in the 1970’s stopped at the tavern for drinks at that time there was some houses in Cochran and water towers still standing for trains

  • All of you join us on Facebook as we build a history and community group for Timber, Oregon! https://www.facebook.com/groups/790567144464867/

    • I have a image to share of the TImber Flagpole, how can I send it to you? Can’t seem to figure how to do it on this site.

  • My parents bought that gas station in 1945 and I lived in the house next door until 1958, across the street from the tavern. The bridge was a wooden covered bridge until 1950 when it was replaced by a cement structure. I have pictures of the wooden bridge in 1949-50 when it was covered with 6′ of snow

    • Sandra do you, or did you, have a brother named Dick ? I lived in Timber with my grandparents and attended the 2 room school there from 1st to 4th grade. The tavern accross the street from your house was owned by Bill Harkson. I went to school with Raymond Davies, Bill Mooney, Mike and Patty Dunn. My Grandpa retired from the Southern Pacific in Timber.

    • Hi Sandy, I am Judy Lolley, sister of Merdie and Larry Lolley. Do you remember us? It would be great for my sister to hear from you. After all, you were one of the West Sisters..LOL…If you are on Facebook, there is a Timber group (mentioned above) where you will find Sharon and myself. If you can, please look me up on Facebook and message me there?

  • I used to hike around Timber quite a bit with my cousins that lived there. We stumbled across what appeared to be an old brick factory. It was a cement structure with two large furnace like areas. Does anybody know if it was in fact a brick factory or have any knowledge of the history behind it? We also found quartz in the stream which runs next to it that I believe are some tributaries of the Nehalem river. Always wondered if there was any connection between that area and the mysterious gold that the native Americans brought into Forest Grove.

  • I lived in Timber from 1971 to 1991. My Grandmother Alice M. Wright Owned the Timber Inn Tavern from the mid 1960’s to the mid to late 1970’s. After the tavern burned down from a grease fire, I think but not sure, she rebuilt the Timber Inn and ran it for a year or so before selling the property to Hap,(which was an old grumpy man from a kids point of view.) Then in the early 80’s Hap sold the tavern to Burse and Betty, I don’t remember there last names, and after they divorced in the early 90’s Betty finally sold the Timber Inn to a privet party were it was converted into a residential home.
    I had a great time growing up in Timber and at the age of 15 I joined the Volunteer Fire Dept. as Jr. fire fighter for Timber and Banks and remained with the department till I joined the Army in 1991 a year after high school. My Mother Kathy Macintire and Grandmother moved to Forest Grove in 1993.
    I finally went back to the old town this year to reflect on my childhood, to find that most of the old homes and places that I once called my home were no longer there (though in some places new homes were built)
    There is so much history in the small community of Timber that it saddens me to see that the small town that I knew slowly becoming a shell of its former self.

  • the MacIntire is McIntire that was my uncle Ron McIntire

  • I lived in Timber from1951 to 1959 I attended the 3 room school from 2nd grade to 8th grade. We lived about a mile out of town toward Wilson River road. We lived in a log house. I loved living there. I was there as buildings one by one burnt to the ground. Every once in a while when I am close I drive through and It hurts to see the old school gone. I just loved that school. We use to go under the school fence and pick big bouquets of skunk cabbages for our teacher. I would love to know what happened to some of the kids I went to school with. There was a girl named Oma that I think of often.

    • where was the old grade school? My dad Don Hefner grew up in late 20’s to mid 30’s across the street from the school with his Aunt and husband Walter Brinkmeyer. I have a photo of the house, but not sure where, 1930 census says it was in flat by the river. Thanks!

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