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Blast from the past | by Kirt Edblom
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Blast from the past

If it were not for a few residents, Chitwood would truly be a ghost town. The area was heavily wooded and not far from the Pacific Ocean when its first settler moved in during the 1860s. Not until 1887 was a school built which tells something about the slow growth of the settlement. Life was hard at first for the land had to be cleared before crops could be planted. The only "mining" done in Chitwood was that from a fine vein of sandstone suitable for the construction of buildings. The influx of workers for the quarry helped the local economy but only for a short while. What changed Chitwood the most was the coming of the Corvallis and Eastern railroad, later the Southern Pacific. The town prospered as a stopping point but it was not to last. The road to the coast was rerouted and paved which shortened the distance to coastal communities. When automobiles and trucks became available, tourists and freight began to use the shorter route to the coast. Southern Pacific discontinued service thus sealing the fate of Chitwood. The few residents who remain do so because they love the scenic beauty and solitude of Chitwood. SUBMITTED BY: Henry Chenowith

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Taken on October 23, 2015