Oregon Map

South Central Plateau

Klamath and Lake Counties


Klamath County, 97737

Should you wonder why Gilchrist and Crescent are so close together when it looks as if one town would serve the area I will tell you. Gilchrist is a "company" town, built by the Gilchrist Timber Company in 1938. In the haydays of timbering if you wanted a town you just built it. Never mind that Crescent was only two miles away. The goal was to give the workers their paychecks on Friday and have it all back in rent, groceries, and beer by Monday morning. I spent my first days in Oregon (1948) in a small company town outside Myrtle Creek. The place did not even have a name, but the mill was Graham Lumber Co. The owner was not-so-affectionately referred to as "Old Lady" Graham. I suppose she had another name but I never heard it. While on one of those 1950's deer hunting trips Dad drove us through Gilchrist and explained what a "company" town was. It did not dawn on me until years later that the Graham Lumber town was the same thing only smaller. I think all of the company towns are now gone from Oregon, but they used to be common. While the Gilchrist economy is shrinking they see hope in a large resort development planned for the area. Almost 2000 homes and two golf courses are proposed.