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Fairlane500 last won the day on April 8 2017

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About Fairlane500

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  • Birthday January 25

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  1. Next on my list comes... Hooper, Washington Since its founding circa 1883, Hooper has been a central part of the operations of the McGregor Company, a fertilizer giant with operations spanning the Northwest's Inland Empire. The McGregor family originally came to Washington Territory as sheep farmers, and set their eyes on expanding their operations. They soon founded the community of Hooper, situated near the border between Whitman and Adams Counties, envisioning it as a burgeoning center for sheep raising and shearing that might soon grow into a metropolis. Though the optimistic predictions of a population of 90,000 were never reached, by the 1920's Hooper did manage to boast a population of approximately 200. In addition, the town also featured a company store, post office, hotel, saloon and schoolhouse. Though the McGregor Company, which expanded its operations to include wheat and fertilizer, has succeeded in lasting the decades since, many of the town's institutions have not. The post office still operates, but the store is closed, used now for company offices, as is the hotel. The saloon, moved multiple times across the county line depending on liquor laws of the day, is now also shuttered. As for the school, all that remains is a small memorial in the center of the town site, elaborating on the building's legacy and topped by its former bell. Today, the 20 or so remaining residents, most of which are employee families, truly make up among the last of Washington State's company towns.
  2. Wow, time really can fly by when you're keeping yourself distracted... Anyways, for the next entry from my roadtrip, I bring you a little bit on... Creston, Washington Originally established as a station on the Washington Central Railroad in 1890, named for being the high point on the line to Coulee City. That same year an H.S. Huson purchased a plot of land from the railroad for $800, and on June 23rd platted the townsite. Soon a store was moved to town from the nearby community of Sherman, and a post office was established. The Panic of 1893 bankrupted the town's owner, and devolpment stagnated, but fortunately a bumper wheat crop in 1897 spurred growth, with a school, store, hotel and flour mill soon being added to the community. By 1903, when the citizens voted to incorporate, the town had grown to over 100 residents and by the 1910 Census, the trend had continued, with 308 people living in town. Among the development in that time was the construction in 1905 of a new brick building to house the Creston State Bank. Unfortunately, the town's continued success was stymied by a great fire that broke out on July 17th, 1925. Heavy gusts of winds spread the flames with no hope for stopping them, and by the time the fire burnt itself out, half of the town had been leveled. Among the losses was nearly the entire business district, with the bank building left as one of the few surviving structures. Two years later the town passed a new building code to prevent future blazes, but by that point automobiles allowed for easy access to the nearby towns of Wilbur and Davenport, leaving little chance for the business district to recover. This misfortune, coupled with the effects of the Great Depression, meant that by 1930 the population had dropped by a third to 216. As an additional affront, the bank moved to Davenport as well, leaving the town to purchase the building. The establishment of the Lincoln Lumber Company on the shore of Lake Roosevelt north of Creston helped boost the town in the days after the depression, and by 1970 the Census showed an all time high population of 325. Unfortunately, the mill closed in 1983. In addition, the construction of Interstate 90 resulted in less cross state traffic on US Highway 2 through Creston, and by 1990 the population decreased to 230. In the years since, Creston has remained a sleepy farm town, supported mainly by local grain growers and a handful of business on Highway 2. Though still an active and fairly well-kept town, perhaps the best indication of Creston's decline over the years is the ghostly main street. The bank building, now used as the town hall, is the only traditional building left on Creston Avenue, and none of the commercial structures seen on Sanborn Maps facing the railroad tracks remain. After a slight rise in recent decades, current estimates predict that the population has dropped to a current total of 217.
  3. I tried to get access to the church, but the owner's wife wasn't comfortable letting anyone look inside. Instead she just told me to take pictures from the fence line. As far as I know the grain elevator is still active, as it looked like a fairly new grain bin alongside it. As for the buildings downtown, I can't say. They look like they're kept closed-up pretty tightly, but asking the right questions when the gentlemen working around them are their could get a visitor inside. It's definitely some country worth visiting. There's quite a bit in the old towns and farmsteads in between that looks almost as if someone just decided to get up and walk away.
  4. Sounds a bit like Elkhorn, Montana in that respect. Hopefully the residents are better about keeping the old buildings intact than they are in Elkhorn, however. Silver City is definitely on my list of places I want to visit within the next few years.
  5. Winona, Washington continued: Located in the wye where the Union Pacific main line and branch to Pullman meet is the only reminder of the railroad's operations at Winona, the foundation of the former water tower. At the far end of former Main Street from downtown stands the grain elevator built circa 1920 by the Sperry Flour Company. In 1929, Sperry became a part of General Mills, as still can be seen in the ghostly lettering on the side of the structure.
  6. Thanks Bob, there's more where that came from that I'll hopefully get uploaded in the next few weeks. It's definitely a neat place to visit. There are quite a few ghostly towns in the area, but Winona is really the most so. Also, don't feel intimidated if there's anyone working on the buildings downtown, in my experience at least one of the gentlemen is quite friendly.
  7. Hello all, After too long being absent from the online ghost town community, a recent trip out to the eastern half of the state has inspired me to start posting again. So to kick that off I'll begin with a series on dying and dead towns in the state's Palouse Country. First off... Winona, Washington Like the nearby living town of La Crosse, Winona was established as a station on the Oregon Railroad & Navigation (Union Pacific) railroad line between the Tri Cities and Spokane. Its name came from one of the lead construction engineers, who hailed from Winona, Minnesota. Home to a camp for railroad workers building the main line and a branch to Pullman, the town quickly grew, with a post office opening in 1891. By 1910 the census showed 624 residents in Whitman County's Winona precinct. Like the rest of the fertile Palouse, Winona continued to flourish in the first half of the 20th centurydriven partly by the construction of grain storage facilities by the Sperry Flour Company in the early 1920's. However, like many small farm towns, the lure of bigger communities became too strong. The 1940 census shows that the population had decreased to 410. The Winona School District consolidated with that of nearby Endicott in 1955 and the school was sold to a local resident. By 1970, Winona didn't even appear as a census location. Then disaster struck. According to a gentleman I met while visiting the town, circa 1970 an out-of-control grass fire swept through the town, destroying much of what remained. Either due to the destruction of their structures or just simply the collapse of Winona, the Union Pacific closed its depot in 1971. The post office soon followed suit, ending operations in 1973. Today, looking at census data for the precinct subdivisions in Winona, only about 20 people live in the community. Looking at the former downtown, only a handful of structures remain in a neat, if worn, little row. First on the left is Kuehl's, which apparently served as a longtime hardware and grocery store. Next is the former bank building. I was told it was built circa 1890 and is one of the oldest banks in the region. The grey, concrete structure is the grange hall which despite being long-closed still supposedly bears a mostly intact interior. The brick building farthest to the right at one time hosted a general store, and one of the last businesses to operate there was a grocery store. Just uphill from the downtown, on what was Main Street stands the former Methodist Church. Long out of operation, and now used for storage by one of the few residents, it will likely collapse soon unless the roof is replaced.
  8. I have quite few pictures from Amboy sitting around from visits in 2011 and 12, I'll have to get around to editing a few. As an appetizer, here's a mangled early 70's Monte Carlo found at an abandoned mine just to the east of Amboy, just before the road to Kelso. It's visible from Route 66, to the north, if you keep your eyes peeled.
  9. Thanks Bob. The T2i is definitely a good camera, too. Canons in general seem to be some of the best choices out there for "affordable" SLR cameras. I've been taking pictures for a long time, but I didn't really get into photography as a hobby until about 6 or 7 years ago, and I didn't pick up the SLR until the Summer of 2011. Thanks for the kind words about my Flicker collection, I wish I could post more often, but I have too many darn hobbies that get in the way.
  10. Thanks for the kind welcome, Bob. My go-to camera is a Canon 60D with an 18-200mm lens. The only filter I tend to use is a circular polarizer, otherwise I've got Photoshop to tackle any other edits I think a photo needs. Some of my older photos, and a few to this day, have come from a series of Panasonic Lumix point-and-shoot cameras, the most recent of which is a DMC-ZS6. For the size and the price, the things seem to pull off some surprisingly good results.
  11. Hi all, Kyle here, I used to be quite active over on "that other site," then life got in the way, then site troubles, yadda yadda yadda... Anyways, I'm a big fan of history, that related to either transportation or small towns and ghost towns, and I'm big on photography and travel. I've got quite a backlog of photos from sites I've visited throughout the Northwest, Southwest, Great Plains, and a handful from New England and the Midwest. Much of that I haven't ever gotten around to posting, so I'm excited to join what looks to be a fun and interesting new forum, and share some of my adventures. Also, I'm fairly active on Flickr, so if you feel like digging through pictures of small towns, abandoned cars, ships, and forgotten places, you can find my photostream here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/59218668@N04/ Regards, Kyle
  • Our picks

    • South Pass City WY
      South Pass City, approximately 90 miles north of Rock Springs, is a historic site administered by the state of Wyoming.  It consists of over 30 log, frame, and stone buildings, along with the Carissa Mine and Stamp Mill.

      South Pass City Historic Site
      • 11 images
    • Surprise Canyon, California
      Recently, I’ve been going through my old VHS video tapes and digitizing them to DVDs.  These tapes contain my travels and explorations between 1995 and 2009.  I thought I’d start releasing some video shorts of my early travels on this forum.

      The back story for this particular video is as follows.  On March 30, 1996, I made a short hike of about a mile and a third up the lower third of Surprise Canyon, on the western slopes of the Panamint Range, Inyo County, California.  This canyon is just outside of Death Valley National Park.  This canyon has running water running year round through the stretch shown, fed by substantial Limekiln Springs, and the canyon is a water wonderland.  For those not familiar with the area, refer to the two maps.  The first one shows the canyon in relation to the region, the other a close up of the canyon and the ghost town of Panamint City.  The blue line in the close up image shows the route that was taken.

      • 19 replies
    • Exploration Field Trips - March 31-April 2, 2000 - Into the Nevada Triangle with Lew Shorb
      My next series of videos will be based on a trip in 2000 that I took with Lew Shorb.  Lew is a board member here, as well as owner of the popular website http://www.ghosttownexplorers.org/ghost.htm

      In breaking with my past habit of culling out historical sites and ghost towns and creating short videos dealing with these, I decided to keep the exploring part of Explore Forums in and create videos of each day of my travel and exploration, including our camps.  Scenery, travel, camping ghost towns and wide open spaces.

      Part one of this series, as well as subsequent videos, will all appear here within this same thread. Part I will start in my garage, where I was finishing up with the packing my truck.  The following day, after work, I begin my travels to meet Lew Shorb at Rhyolite, Nevada ghost town.

      Our three day, two night travels prowled about the "Nevada Triangle" section of northeastern Death Valley National Park; and will include such sites as:

      1. The Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad
      2. Gold Bar
      3. Phinney Mine
      4. Strozzi Ranch
      5. Currie Well (LV&T RR)
      6. Mud Springs Summit (LV&T RR)
      7. Happy Hooligan Mine

      This video, that of March 30th and 31st, will start off this series; and is brief, only being 3:28 long.  Nevada-Triangle_Shorb-2000_Part-1.wmv

      So, below is my narrative of part one of this series to give full context of what is seen in the video.  It will probably take longer to read than the video is long.


      • 6 replies
    • Exploration Field Trips: May 1-3, 2000 - Trip with Alan Patera and Alan Hensher into Death Valley
      Exploration Field Trips:
      May 1-3, 2000
      Trip with Alan Patera and Alan Hensher into Death Valley

      What do you do with three authors, two 4x4’s, two two-way radios, three cameras, and camping supplies? Send them to Death Valley, of course. For three days in the first week of May, 2000, fellow authors and historical researchers Alan Patera, Alan Hensher and myself explored Death Valley north and south.

      Alan Patera writes and publishes the WESTERN PLACES series of monograph books.  Alan Hensher has been published in several periodicals as well as authoring several books, centering primarily on the history of Mojave Desert sites.

      Alan Patera, who hails from Oregon, came south to California and picked up Alan Hensher; then the two came my way. At the time I was living in Ridgecrest, California. After overnighting with my wife and I, the three of us took off for Death Valley.  Alan was busy researching and photographing for a future edition of WESTERN PLACES, this time centering on the camps of the Funeral Range, which forms the eastern border of east central Death Valley.  Circumstances and changes of our journey lead Alan to plant the seeds of two more future books, this time centering just outside the northernmost section of Death Valley.


      • 3 replies
    • Trip 2001 - Northeastern Nevada, Southwestern Idaho
      Reconnoitering Trips
      Northern Nevada, Southwestern Idaho
      (and a Blip of Southeastern Oregon Thrown in for Good Measure)
      June 19 - 28, 2001

      This is the trip that I consider to be my favorite trip I have ever undertaken.  It had been in the planning stages since the previous December.  Originally, quite a number of people were invited and had semi-committed themselves to come along.  Over time, however, eventually the number of people whose semi-commitments became firm commitments to this trip narrowed to four.  And I was one of them.

      Below, a list of historic locations we visited – in the order that we visited them:

      1. Bodie & Benton Railway, California.
      2. Stillwater, Nevada.
      3. White Cloud City (Coppereid), Nevada.
      4. Unionville, Nevada.
      5. Midas, Nevada.
      6. Spring City, Nevada.
      7. Paradise Valley, Nevada.
      8. Buckskin, Nevada.
      9. National, Nevada.
      10. Delamar, Idaho.
      11. Silver City, Idaho.
      12. Rio Tinto, Nevada.
      13. Pattsville, Nevada.
      14. Aura, Nevada.
      15. Cornucopia, Nevada.
      16. Edgemont, Nevada (from a distance – on private property)
      17. White Rock, Nevada (from a distance – on private property)
      18. Tuscaurora, Nevada.
      19. Dinner Station, Nevada.
      20. Metropolis, Nevada.
      21. Charleston, Nevada.
      22. Jarbidge, Nevada.
      • 14 replies
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