McCoy, Bethel & Ballston, Oregon

Yesterday my sibs and I did some back road exploring to check out the semi-ghost towns of McCoy, Bethel and Ballston.

Our first stop was McCoy where we were on the search for this former substation along the old Southern Pacific Red Electric Line. This rail line was built in 1914, and was in use until 1929. This particular substation was built in 1916.


An abandoned home in McCoy. At it’s peak, the population here was around 110.

Our next stop was Bethel. The best part about these little trips is while we had certain destinations picked out, we also just drove around to see what we could see. We came upon this gorgeous old barn, and a random old boat. The Bethel Cemetery is absolutely serene and very well kempt. The headstones here date back to as early as the 1850’s.


Below is a photo of the Bethel Church, that was once a school. Empty swings silenced by memories of what once was. The sun sets, illuminating the past before all goes dark.

It is said that relatives of Daniel Boone were early settlers in Ballston (formerly Ballsville) The Lawn Arbor School was built in 1855 and was used until 1875. It is thought to be the oldest existing school building in the state of Oregon. We peeked through the windows of the school, and inside there are still desks and chairs, and an old potbelly stove.


We could have spent hours more exploring these almost forgotten places, but all the more reason to pay another visit soon.

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