|Unnamed grave in Pratt Pioneer Cemetery
|Abandoned equipment near White River Falls
Many traces of those dreams remain in place names, in the history books, and in the old buildings left behind. Some of these are in "ghost towns," but often a few hardy residents remain. Please be respectful when stopping beside abandoned structures; it might be news to some "west-siders," but just because you find an old building doesn't mean it's a museum. Respect fences, gates, and signage; you can see just fine from the road. It should go without saying that all we take is pictures; in fact, we don't even photograph private residences without permission from the owner.
|Antique oil rig
Back on 197, cross Tygh Ridge, drive through Butler Canyon, and take a left turn onto Highway 216 to White River Falls State Park. The picnic area offers an excellent view of the falls and canyon, but for a closer look walk down the steep dirt path. The White River, born on the slopes of Mt. Hood, plunges and froths through the canyon it has carved. Beside the falls sits an eerie abandoned powerhouse that supplied nearby towns from 1910 to 1960; the gaping doors reveal glimpses of the old turbines still inside.
Continue on narrow Highway 216 to see the site of Sherar's hotel and toll bridge, where Joseph and Jane Sherar hosted countless travelers in Oregon's early days. Nothing remains of their settlement today; the land is tribally owned, and a day-use fee is charged. This rugged section of the Deschutes, with its powerful waterfall, is a traditional fishing site for Native Americans.
Return to 197 and cross the highway to find the small, sleepy community of Tygh Valley. Follow the main road through town to Wamic Market Road. This road quickly climbs to reveal breathtaking views of the beautiful Tygh Valley. Drive 5.5 miles to the friendly little town of Wamic, the "Gateway to the Barlow Road." You will find a well-preserved schoolhouse, moved to this location from nearby Smock Prairie; according to the local folks, nothing remains of that old community but the schoolhouse you see here. You will also find the picturesque Pratt House; in fact, Wamic was originally known as "Prattville." Continue down the gravel street to find a tiny, rugged pioneer cemetery tucked underneath the pine trees.
Retrace your route back to 197 and drive toward Maupin, where we will spend some time beside the Deschutes and top off our gas tank before exploring the Wapinitia Highway.
|Balch Hotel, Dufur
|Antique farm equipment, Dufur
|Antique car, painted pink, with a wooden pole and metal barrel attached to the back. Explanations welcome.
|Endersby Schoolhouse, Dufur
|White River Falls from parking lot
|White River Falls from lower viewpoint
|Abandoned dam near White River Falls. Note the "1910" plaque in the lower left corner.
|White River Canyon, with powerhouse visible
|Powerhouse at White River Falls
|A peek though the doorway at the turbines inside
|Site of Sherar's Hotel and Toll Bridge
|Historic Pratt House in Wamic, now a private residence. Photo taken with permission from owner.
|Smock Prairie Schoolhouse, Wamic