Buxton, Oregon

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Buxton Food and Feed
Buxton Assembly of God Church
Buxton Assembly of God Church

Buxton was named for Henry T. Buxton who settled there in 1884 and was appointed its first post master in 1886. He was the son of Oregon pioneer Henry Buxton who came to Oregon in 1841. Buxton lies on the higher ground to the North of Manning. It has faded a bit since Highway 26 (The Sunset Highway) bypassed it. It is fairly compact community consisting of a number of older houses on what appears to have been a lot and block plat along with a couple of churches and a fire station. As of 2007 the business building in town was vacant.

Buxton had its heyday in the 1920's as a railroad town and sported as many as 7 sawmills in the area. The general store and a few streets remain today as well as a small cluster of homes. Buxton is strategically located at the 'bottom of the hill' in so far as the railroad is concerned. The Southern Pacific line to Tillamook turns from the valley floor and heads into the hills at Buxton. In the era of Railroad wars, the Tillamook line was built on a crash basis Southern Pacific not because of the expectation of business in Tillamook, but because Southern Pacific was paranoid of the intentions of Jim Hill and his Northern Pacific Railroad. Southern Pacific coveted it monopoly position on traffic into San Francisco and was concerned that Northern Pacific was going to build into San Francisco. Already in the very early part of the 20th century Northern Pacific had opened a competitive route of sorts. Northern Pacific ran fast steamships from Astoria to San Francisco, and then ran a highball passenger train from Astoria to Portland. The locals around the Portland-Astoria tracks called it the 'steamer train' because it met the steam ship (and therefore was on no predictable schedule) and went lickety-split to Portland trying to compete in overall time with the rail only service of Southern Pacific from San Francisco to Portland.

The competition and the paranoia was intense, and one day the word arrived at Southern Pacific that Northern Pacific was laying rail south out of Astoria along the Oregon Coast. Fearing that that trackage was headed for San Francisco, SP decided to cut them off at the pass so they slammed a track over the coast range, down the Nehalem and almost into the surf at Rockaway and then South to Tillamook. The NP track building stopped at Seaside a few miles South of Astoria and whether NP ever intended to build south is not part of recorded history. Most accounts that I have read suggest that it is and was probably not technically feasible to drive a railroad down the Oregon Coast.

There were 2 railroads near Buxton

As a point of clarification, it is noted there were 2 railroads near Buxton but neither exactly in town. the Southern Pacific line mentioned above follows highway 47 up the West Fork of Dairy Creek, and then turns west on a trestle over the highway. The other railroad which was a different railroad company, and which now makes up the Banks-Vernonia State trail went side by side with the Southen Pacific to about Manning when it turned up the hill and went up Mendenhall Creek as far as it could before doubling back and skipping to Williams Creek---a tributary of the West Fork which converges above Buxton. The Buxton Trailhead is on Mendenhall Creek. The townsite of Buxton is on the ridge between the West Fork of Dairy Creek and Mendenhall Creek.

Places of special interest

See also Manning

- - Updated 12/08/2012
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