Named for the copious amounts of galena ore found nearby, this small mining town is now abandoned. Lying in Grant County east of the John Day River, the remains of the town are on Up Middle Fork Road. Originally named Susanville, the town was relocated two miles up nearby Elk Creek to take advantage of the ore deposits. Mining operations in the town took place from the 1860s into 1940, producing silver, lead, and gold.

In its heyday, Galena could lay claim to a single dancehall, a meat market, and, of course, as is typical for gold rush towns in the region, several saloons. The town's claim towards fame includes nuggets supposedly the size of a fist.

By nineteen forty-three, however, the town was in decline, and the post office closed, relegating the town to unincorporation.

Today, what remains of Galena is scattered over the rural landscape. Some thirty-six ranches are said to sit nearby, but very little of the actual town remains. Faded, greying buildings litter the verdant landscape amidst the evergreens - a rusting Conoco station has decayed enough to present interesting photo opportunities. A gravel road runs through the center of what was once a thriving town. Like many Western mining towns, Galena has fallen away and apart into obscurity.

Pacific Northwest Photoblog: Ghost Town of Galena Oregon
Travel Oregon - Galena