Ghost Towns of Central Oregon – Part Three – Antelope

ghost town
a town that was busy in the past but is now empty 
or nearly empty because the activities that kept 
people there have stopped


Antelope Public School

The Antelope Post Office was built in 1871, and the tiny community of Antelope became the tiny town of Antelope. The town’s population peaked at 249 in 1900, after the Columbia Southern Railway completed a rail line between the Columbia River to just north of Antelope in the town of Shaniko. The State of Oregon incorporated Antelope in 1901 and the population has had a pretty steady decline since then. The 2010 census put the population at 46.

One of the older buildings in Antelope. I am sure these walls have secrets.
City of Antelope Fire Department
An old hose house for the fire department.
Hose Cart No. 2

Antelope found it’s fame in 1981 when the Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh purchased the Old Muddy Ranch land just 18 miles southeast of Antelope. It quickly became clear to the residents of Antelope that the Rajneeshees were not just there for some small town farming. The Rajneeshees turned the Old Muddy Ranch into their own city, named Rajneeshpuram.

Lead by Bhagwan and Ma Anand Sheela, the Rajneesh flexed their newfound local power and took over the city council of Antelope – and even went so far as to rename the town Rajneesh. After nefarious actions by some of the citizens of Rajneeshpuram were discovered and investigations began, the town formally known as Antelope began to dwindle. In 1985 the remaining citizens of Rajneesh (including some Rajneeshees) voted 36-0 to restore Antelope’s original name.

The Antelope Garage
School’s Out.
Yes, this is pretty creepy in person too.
An original building from the community of Antelope

The citizens of Antelope commemorated their resistance to the cult of Rajneesh by installing a plaque next to the Antelope post office.

Dedicated to those of this community who throughout the Rajneesh invasion and occupation of 1981-1985 remained, resisted, and remembered…”The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

Want to know more about Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his cult followers?

The office building in Rajneeshpuram, now known as The Washington Family Ranch/Young Life Camp.

UP NEXT Ghost Towns of North Central Oregon – Rajneeshpuram!

Ghost Towns of Central Oregon – Part Two – Kent & Shaniko

ghost town
a town that was busy in the past but is now empty 
or nearly empty because the activities that kept 
people there have stopped
Kent, Oregon


The town of Kent is located on Highway 97, south of Grass Valley and north of Shaniko. The town site was originally called Guthrie, and a smaller town site, named Kent, was in a nearby canyon. When the Columbia Southern Railway arrived in Guthrie around 1900, the people of Kent moved to the larger town, and the town of Guthrie was renamed Kent. The post office is the only active business in town.

Kent false advertising.
Kent Market
Cheapest gas in Oregon!


August Scherneckau moved to the area in 1874, after the Civil War. It is said that the town was named after the way that the local Native Americans pronounced Scherneckau’s name. The Shaniko Post Office was opened in 1900, and the town was incorporated the next year.

Shaniko Schoolhouse

The town of Shaniko became a transportation hub between the Columbia Southern Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad. Between the years of 1901 and 1911, Shaniko was known as the “wool capital of the world.” The largest building in town was a wool warehouse, which still stands today.

Wool Warehouse

In 1911 the Union Pacific Railroad began using an alternative route to Portland, and Shaniko started losing businesses and population right away. Shaniko was first called a “ghost town” in 1959. According the last census the population is now 36.

The Shaniko Hotel
Inside the Shaniko Hotel
Shaniko – The hub of transportation.
Another example of the local transportation.
I bet there is some antique dog tinkle on this.

UP NEXT Antelope!

Smith River Falls – Reedsport, Oregon

Smith River Falls

There are five Smith Rivers in the United States, plus the town of Smith River in California. Obviously, Oregon’s Smith River is the best because it has awesome free BLM campgrounds, as well as dispersed BLM land to stay on along the river, including near the Smith River Falls – which are really more like big steps than falls, but falls does sound more impressive.

Steps fit for a cave troll…

…which lives in the adorable heart-shaped cave! <3

Smith River Falls

There are a few privately owned RV parks and campgrounds, which includes a brand new one that will open soon. The falls are about 35 miles from Reedsport, OR, which is the closest town. There is an abundance of farms and farmland along the drive, plus some old abandoned barns that make for some great photo opportunities.

Smith River Highway

I love old barns. Imagine the history! Bucking hay, storing hay, rolling in the hay…

Another barn resisting time.

The local bovine are apparently very particular about their morning and afternoon road-crossings.

These are Great Egrets, or the Great White Heron. They can be seen along the first few miles of the Smith River Highway 

The Great Egrets in flight

This area is very popular with the local people, so it’s fairly busy on the weekends. During the week it wasn’t too crowded, but there were some camping neighbors that could learn a thing or two about camping etiquette…and better taste in music. If you’re going to play it that loud please don’t play crappy music.

Great clean campsites. 

In spite of the annoyances with some of the locals, we had a nice time completely off grid for a few days. Which we are determined to do more often to release our political pressure valve since we won’t have access to news 24/7. It’s better for everyone that way. Which also reminds me…make sure you are registered to vote!

Keys Ranch – A Photographic Tour

Keys Ranch, Joshua Tree National Park.

I introduced you to Bill Keys and the Keys Ranch in a three part series that you can find here: Keys to the Desert Part One ,  Keys to the Desert Part Two , and Keys to the Desert Part Three.

A Photographic Tour

The Buildings

The main house seen through the corral and fences in the front yard area.

The main house is the first building that Bill Keys built on the ranch…the house kept growing as his family did.

Apparently, Bill didn’t know how continuing to add rooms could end up being more difficult than anticipated…

The main house and the well outside. Frances, Bill’s wife, would joke about how she had always had running water…the kids ran out to get it and brought it back in.

Kitchen in the main house

Desert cooler outside the kitchen window to keep food cool.

The main house and Frances’ store and desert museum right next to it.

Handcrafted fireplace and chimney

Desert Queen Store and Desert Museum

Various license plates and wall hangings inside the store. The paper with the drawings on it are showing the two cattle brands that the ranch used.

I would check the weight limit on these before having a sit-down…

Artifacts and merchandise still set up in the store.

Artifacts and merchandise still set up in the store.

Artifacts and merchandise still set up in the store.

Artifacts and merchandise still set up in the store.

Artifacts and merchandise still set up in the store.

One of the rental cabins on the ranch.

Inside of rental cabin. Insulated with heavy burlap.

Another rental cabin.

I’m assuming it used to have a door…but if not, it just acted as a desert exhaust fan…

The Schoolhouse and Teacher’s Quarters

The first schoolhouse built on the ranch. Later replaced by a larger building for more area kids to attend.

Desks stored in the old schoolhouse

The newer, bigger schoolhouse.

Furniture left behind in the schoolhouse.

Teachers cabin

Kitchen in the teachers cabin

The Keys Used Car Lot

A great trailer to haul….air?

Bill’s favorite vehicle, “Willy’s Jeep.” The canvas top ended up dried out and ruined in the desert, so Bill’s son, Willis, replaced it with the top of a Model A Ford.

The Mack truck that Bill salvaged from the desert after San Bernardino County workers got it stuck in the sand.

Bill’s son actually got this truck running after the National Parks Dept took over the ranch. He moved it a couple of hundred feet away and then it died. He left it there, but left instructions on how he got it started so they could move it back.

Mack Truck

I am not a car person, so I have no idea what most of the are.

It may need a new engine.

The used car lot…


A mechanics dream!

Buy this used beauty and we’ll replace the windshield for free.


Just waiting for the perfect owner…take her for a spin!



Old hand crank for the well under the windmill


The Supply Yard

You will find any kind of brick you can imagine!

Tires! Buy 1, Get 27 free!

Nuts, bolts and screws galore!

Need to blow some stuff up? No Problem! Hercules Powder!

These explosives are…explosive. Be careful.

Is it a milk jug? Oil jug? Water jug? Iced Tea jug? Whisky jug? Have a sip and find out!

More buckets, jugs, and pans.

Willydings, Whatchamacallits, and Whoozigadgits!

Appliance center

This, that, and some of those!

And this!

Barrels, buckets, and Billywigs!

Adobe Mill

This was originally dug as a water well, but they only found mud down there, so Bill turned it into an Adobe Brick Mill

Part of the Adobe Brick Mill

Adobe Brick Mill

Adobe bricks made on the ranch

Adobe bricks

The Machinery and Inventions

There is this thing…

…and this one.

A cement mixer! I knew one!

Oh, and this!

Plus one of these!


Small retaining wall near the main house. There is not normally flowing water through here, but we brought the rain from the southern Oregon coast with us…

Dam wall.

Water behind the dam

Farmer Bill

This is a chicken coop…

Really. A chicken coop.

Rabbit hutch

Orchard trees

Garden area

More Joshua Tree National Park coming soon!

Ghost Town – Cisco, Utah

When you Google for ghost towns across America, Cisco, Utah will come up in most of the lists that you find. Cisco is located near the junction of Utah Highway 128 and Interstate 70 in Utah.

Before it added ghost to its town, it had roles in a couple of movies such as Thelma and Louise and Vanishing Point. Cisco has some interesting history to be found. It was a mining town, that slowly deteriorated over time and the final killer was the installation of Interstate 70 that took travelers out of it’s path.

The hubby had always wanted to stay the night in a ghost town and write a ghost story, so we checked with multiple authorities in the area trying to find out if it would be okay. We didn’t get an answer that was totally “okay,” so we decided against staying there and just settled for a long drive through and a lot of photos.

Although Cisco is listed as a ghost town, that isn’t entirely correct – which makes it even creepier, I think. The town still has a few residents that, obviously, do not want the company of tourists. It is unclear as to which buildings the residents live in, because none of the buildings look remotely livable.

KODAK Digital Still Camera
Gas Station from Thelma & Louise

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Through the window…

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Horses mural on the inside of the gas station

KODAK Digital Still Camera
Cisco Landing Store

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A lot of abandoned cars and trailers in the town

KODAK Digital Still Camera
I’m sure it runs just fine…

KODAK Digital Still Camera
Just a small lean, maybe you don’t even notice…

KODAK Digital Still Camera
Cisco Post Office

There are some not-so-polite messages spray painted on the buildings and some rather discouraging homemade signs declaring your judgement by God. I’m guessing the residents have had enough tourist shit, or there is some weird The Hills Have Eyes stuff going on there, I’m not sure which.

KODAK Digital Still Camera
Danger! Attention Person!

KODAK Digital Still Camera
Friendly barbwire fence…

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Stay Out. You will be punished by God and Man

If you can’t take the hint with the various threats of guns, expletives, or judgement from God, then maybe the rotting animal carcass will do the trick for you…

KODAK Digital Still Camera
Maybe it was just an invitation to lunch?

It was an interesting visit, although the hospitality was a little lacking.

KODAK Digital Still Camera
The only living resident of Cisco that we found…