Since Halloween is just around the corner our family decided to go on a spooky day trip to Gold Hill, Oregon. The sky was overcast, it was drizzly, and the foothills were shrouded in mist so it really helped set the scene.
First stop was the Oregon Vortex and Mystery House. This place was wild! The ‘house’ was built in 1904 by the Old Grey Eagle Mining Company. The history of the vortex, in which the house was built, is much older. The Native Americans called it the “
Forbidden Ground,” and would not go there because their horses wouldn’t enter the area. In the 1920’s a physicist/geologist/mining engineer by the name of John Litster studied and developed the area. He opened it to the public in 1930. He continued conducting experiments there until his death in 1959.
The House of Mystery really messes with your perception. We saw people, including our own parents, appear to grow and shrink! The tour guide looked like she was nearly diagonal as she stood in the middle of the floor. The guide was super funny and shared a lot of history about the place. The Mystery House alone was worth the trip. Unfortunately we didn’t get many photos because as soon as we stepped foot into the house Mom’s camera died!
The next part of our trip took us to Rock Point Pioneer Cemetery. Supposedly people have seen a green mist among the graves, a hooded figure with a lantern, and even the ghost of a young girl who chases butterflies!
The town of Rock Point is no longer, but the graves remain. Somewhere between 800-1000 of them, many are modern. The cemetery started as the White’s family cemetery, around the 1860’s. It was near their stagecoach stop, now Del Rio Winery. The White family donated a little more than 26 acres of land for a cemetery in Rock Point. The Birdseye family were also founders of the cemetery.
There were some interesting handmade markers, like this tiled one. These all appeared to be fairly recent, dating within the last 30 years.
The older stones were beautiful. Some were quite unique, like this stone one carved to resemble a tree stump.
And this gorgeously carved one.
There were many other interesting graves, like one covered in deer bones and a row of servicemen. There also incredibly sad ones, such as a young girl who passed away exactly 110 years before Bean was born, and one that appeared to be a mother and infant who passed away only months apart.
We didn’t see any ghosts, but we did find a frog! Strangely, we’ve NEVER seen a frog in the wild since moving to the PNW, so it was pretty exciting!
Our last stop was Del Rio Winery, formerly the White’s stagecoach stop.
The Rock Point Hotel is one of the oldest standing buildings in Jackson County, Oregon. It was built by L.J. White. Construction was completed in February 1865, and the hotel opened to the public with a grand ball. The hotel served as a stop for travelers on the Oregon State Company line. In 1907 the hotel and surrounding land was sold to F.K. Deuel and others, who transformed it into an orchard. It remained in the Deuel family for 90 years, when it was sold to a couple from California, Lee and Margaret Traynham. They restored the historic structure and turned the pear orchard into a wine grape vineyard, Del Rio Winery. We didn’t go inside because we’re kids and don’t drink wine, but it was nice to look at the building and vineyard.
Besides learning about the area’s history we learned a little about our family’s history, because our Dad spent his childhood in Gold Hill. It was really cool to see the house he lived in and the school he went to when he was little. It was a great day, even if we don’t have any stories of ghostly encounters to tell our friends! We’d definitely recommend stopping by these sites if you’re ever in the area!