Seen Better Days

April 15, 2010 at 9:10 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

I thought I would talk a bit about the black and white photo I posted of the Millican store. It has quite a history, and Millican itself was nationally known at one time for being a town with the smallest population in the U.S. – population 1!

Derelict Wreck - Millican Store

This store has quite a history. Millican was established in 1886 by George Millican with great expectations of farming and ranching. Central Oregon was experiencing above average rainfall at the time and when it dried out to its normal state again, the harsh desert claimed most everything the settlers of the area sacrificed to survive.

Millican found national fame in about 1942, coming to be known as a one man town. Billy Rahn (who homesteaded the area in 1914 or 1915) was the sole resident of Millican at that time, ran the store, was the postmaster (having become so in 1920), and even built and maintained an emergency landing strip out behind the store for military use during WWII.

When the Millican post office closed on September 2, 1942, 70 year old Rahn was forced to retire. He sold the store in 1945 and it has since passed through the hands of many owners.

In 1988, 70 year old Bill Mellin (after tragically having lost his wife, son and daughter through the years), was murdered in his store by a former employee.

The store has suffered a dubious history since Bill Rahn sold out, and despite the efforts of several different enterprising people, the old Millican Store has never recovered to its former quaint prosperity.

It stands derelict and abandoned today, and though the current owners tried to sell it in 2009 (included with the entire town of Millican in the sale for a mere $695,000.00) there were no takers and it has since fallen victim to vandals and scoundrels.

If nobody ponies up the dough to restore this sad, forgotten piece of history, the Millican Store will fade quietly away into the alkali desert dust and rabbit brush like the rest of this old west homestead town.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: