Ghost Town of Maxville Oregon (Vincent)

Ghost Town of Maxville Oregon

Maxville was a small company lumber town in the Wallowa’s known for being multi-cultural town in days when Segregation was still the norm. Unlike many other multi-cultural towns such as the Columbia River like Clifton that had Japanese, Chinese, Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian populations, Maxville had African Americans as a significant portion of the population.

Originally an lumber camp, the population grew big enough that a company town was founded as Vincent on December 14th, 1914. It was named for Vincent Palmer of the Palmer Lumber Company. Oregon Post Offices 1847-1985 says that the town was moved 6 miles South West from the “old” location at what would become Maxville. But, that would have had to happen after Maxville was founded.

The Vincent Post Office was closed (and never reopened at another location as far as I can tell,) on October 12, 1923. Which was the same day the Maxville Post Office was opened. The Post Office was named in honor of J.D. MacMillian. (Yeah, I don’t know the connection either.)

Sometime between after Vincent was founded and before Maxville was, the Bower-Hicks Lumber Company took over operation of the town.

In 1923 60 Black men and their families moved to Maxville to work for the lumber company. I currently don’t know much more history about the Black families and their day to day life, but the Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center in Joseph Oregon is dedicated to them. I plan on visiting it as soon as this next summer, and I’ll see if I can stop by the old town site too.

Maxville Post Office remained in business until March 31, 1933 when operation was moved to Promise. The town site of Maxville was completely dismantled in 1943.

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