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Greenhorn was also a hell of a hoax that turned out to be bare truth. When a couple of would-be prospectors wandered into a nearby mining camp looking for a place to dig a mine, they were sent right up the hill to one of the most inhospitable places in the mountains to set up shop. Never the less, the land, being rotten with gold, quickly yielded a fair amount of the ore, with some of the first nuggets being pulled from nearby Olive Creek.

Despite the rotten weather in the Greenhorn Mountains, the population bloomed to 3,200 souls. The influx of miners meant the usual large amount of saloons, hotels, and even a local newspaper.

However, declining production and inclement weather meant the near doom of this town. Somehow, while the population fell briefly to zero during World War II the blow failed to land.

As Glowing Fish notes above, the town still reports a population of two citizens and a mayor who lives three hundred miles away. The town is even stranger for being right on the border of Grant and Baker counties and being the town with the highest elevation above sea level in all of Oregon. Snow falls frequently: one of the top news articles to be found reports that roads, being entirely gravel and remote, are often some of the last to be cleared.

Pictures of the area show dilapidated, fading wooden buildings, often with accompanying drifts of snow. Only a few pictures show what appear to be intact homes in this remote remnant of the gold rush era.

ghosttowns.com - GREENHORN
Oregon Gold - Greenhorn - Oregon Gold Locations
The Oregonian - Oregon's smallest city a mile high gold rush town