The Lost City

On September 8, 1881, the Port Orford Post ran the following story….

“There have recently been discovered near Floras Creek in this county, what appear to be the ruins of an ancient city, built of cut stone. The site of the numerous buildings of the ages gone by are indicated by mounds, in and under which, by making excavations, are found masses of cut stone, bearing quite plainly the marks of the stone cutter’s chisel, and lying as if the wall had tumbled down.

These relics of ancient masonry were first unearthed to view by the storm uprooting a large tree which had grown up on one of these mound-like elevations. Thus the blocks of sand stone were exposed to view, and thus curiosity excited which led to the prospecting of other mounds (of which there are many) in the same locality, in all of which the phenomena were present. Further explorations will be made with a view to throwing more light if possible on this curious spectacle.


There have also been discovered near the ruin remains of what, to all appearances, had been a mining ditch, which seems to have coursed along a hill side, and been walled up on the lower side with stone of a character similar to those of which the walls long tumbled down were constructed. We shall visit and personally inspect these alleged ‘ruins’ at no distant day, when we hope to be able to give a detailed description of the ‘town’ and its immediate surrounding.”

Despite the fact that the Post promised to investigate this marvel at ‘no distant day’, no later edition of the paper ever mentioned the mounds. Did they simply disappear? Not likely. Was the public imagination distracted with some greater event? Not likely. Is there a mystery still waiting to be unearthed? Who knows? … Bill Wallace