Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Found Oregon- Simnasho Church
While out in Wasco County last week, tracking T-lines (which often involves driving slowly up some dirt road and craning your neck through the windows to see where some group of nearly invisible conductors track across the landscape to a giant latticework tower. When you finally stop and get out of the car, underneath this huge humming thing, you feel like a moron for having not seen it in the first place) I happened to be cruising through the town of Simnasho, on the Warm Springs Reservation. All things being equal, the Warm Springs has a GREAT road system, well-marked, mostly paved, and really easy to navigate. The intersection of S-400 and S-100 (one of which is also numbered Road 3, I have no idea why) is downtown Simnasho. According to the McArthurs, the post office here began in 1886 and with several service gaps more or less continued until July 1954. Today Simnasho has a small market, an elementary school, and some residences but for my purposes the intersection was mostly notable for a neat collection of early wood-frame residential buildings. And, in the “Found Oregon” series, the really amazing Simnasho Church. It was an unexpected diversion from T-line inspired neck-craning, and for most people certainly made for better pictures.
I wasn’t able to find out much about the church beyond the fact that there are a LOT of photos of it all over the web. A local history site reports that it was Presbyterian, and hasn't been used since the late-1960s. I can believe it. The church and the small house to the west, what I assume must have the manse, are something of a testament to the impacts of the environment on wood buildings. Anybody know anything about this one?