Ghost Town of Kerby, Oregon (Kirbeyville, Napoleon)

Ghost Town of Kerby (Kirbeyville, Napoleon)

Kerby is a Class E6 ghost town.

This former gold mining town is on US 199, five miles south of Selma, and just north of Cave Junction. Kerby was established around 1850 after a mule carrying a pool table collapsed and died here. Not being able to get paid for the failed delivery of the pool table to Althouse,“Tig” Martinez, erected a tent over the pool table and advertised a new saloon. Was a major mining camp through the 1850s with some 500 people. Several old houses, including one restored and turned into a museum.

Ghost Town of Kerby (Kirbeyville, Napoleon)
Unfortunately the museum has been closed every time I’ve ever been in the area.

Ghost Town of Kerby (Kirbeyville, Napoleon)


Kerby Old Building

Kerby was also the site of Fort Hay. (also known as Camp Hayes and Fort Hayes)

Ghost Town of Kerby (Kirbeyville, Napoleon)


The history sign here says:

“This fortified ranch was  a donation land claim filed by WM. B. Hay in 1854. It was attacked by 200 Takelma Indians March 23, 1856. A battle including hand-to-hand combat raged into the night. The hostiles withdrew in the morning and reinforcements arrived from Fort Vannoy.

Under Major Bruce they pursued the indians and on March 25th, the battle was resumed on the Deer Creek Side of Eight Dollar Mountain. The indians were dispersed and the volunteers proceeded to alert all settlers.

Fort Haw was later known as Anderson’s Stage Station. A Post Office named Anderson was established in 1889. It was moved to Selma in 1897.”


3 Responses to “Ghost Town of Kerby, Oregon (Kirbeyville, Napoleon)

  • Well that is the second time I have heard that type of town-founding story… Mitchell had one version that said a Mitchell wagon with a load of alcohol broke down there while heading toward Canyon City. They erected a tent over it and sold alcohol right there… hence the name Mitchell, for the wagon. I have also heard two more, and they sound more likely. Have you heard other stories like this?

  • Bakeoven also has a similar story. The mule pulling a wagon of flour died. So the driver built a clay oven, made the flour into bread and sold it to people passing by. A couple of tents sprung up there including a blacksmith, while the baker moved on.

  • I lived on the deer creek side of selma, off of hogue drive. the property is definitely spooky and from the moment i moved in everything in my life and on the house fell apart. it was like a negative vortex of depression and bad luck. the water is toxic, 6x the “safe” limit of arsenic, and when i moved out i had cameras set up around the property to keep an eye on it. no animals walked in front of the cameras or on the property in months. not one animal the entire time. Also, every person who had owned my home prior to me had gotten sick. I think i got out in time to avoid that, but my life was in ruins. this explains so much.

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