NAME: Ortley
CLIMATE: Mild winter and summer.
COMMENTS: Near Portland.
REMAINS: A few remnants.
Ortley became a town for an unusual reason and a ghost town for an unusual reason. A group of businessmen in Hood River conceived the idea in 1908 of creating a European type community for the purpose of raising apples and distributing them worldwide. The site selected was an exposed plateau on the eastern side of the summit of the Cascades high above the Columbia River. A plat was filed in 1911 in Wasco County for the town of Ortley. The location on a bluff surmounting high cliffs facing the Columbia offered a spectacular view up and down the river. Lots for homes were an acre in size and orchard space was in 5 and 10 acre plots. Homes were built, a school erected and other buildings for stores and even a hotel. People moved in eager to set out their little apple trees. By this time, the developers had spent $200,000 on the project. No one seemed to notice that the fir trees in the area had branches only on one side. No one questioned why until the apple trees had branches only on one side. The gorge cut through the Cascades by the Columbia River create terrific winds that whistle through the gorge much of the time during some seasons. Lack of water in the summer and too much of it in the winter and lack of adequate drainage all combined to spell doom for Ortley and its 300 residents. SUBMITTED BY: Henry Chenowith