For several decades around the turn of the 20th century, there were two towns in Pendleton, Oregon. One of those towns was a typical town above land, but the other was below… And only known to the chosen few.
Oregon is truly a state full of rich history, and you don’t have to look far in the Beaver State to unveil our amazing past. In case you weren’t aware, Oregon is actually home to the most ghost towns in the country. While it’s not generally referred to as your typical ghost town, this unique place is definitely worth a visit.
It’s known as the Pendleton Underground, a place that was booming with business in the early 1900s. If you are planning a trip to Oregon or you already live here, we definitely recommend taking a tour of this world-famous spot.
The Pendleton Underground is actually a network of tunnels, that was originally built by the Chinese in the late 1800s.
Sadly, Chinese workers were harshly discriminated against by Pendleton’s white population. The country no longer needed the thousands of Chinese workers, who helped build the railroad linking Portland to the East Coast in 1883. Their service to a new nation was being replaced by “native sons” for jobs and depressing the wages.
For over 100 years, this incredible secret district has been hiding beneath the streets of downtown Pendleton.
At one time, the Pendleton Underground was the place to party in Eastern Oregon. Around 1908, long before Prohibition, Pendelton was home to many secret and controversial businesses. Some were legal, others were not. The Pendleton Underground had saloons, apothecaries, bordellos, a butcher shop, opium dens, and more.
One story even suggests a pair of train robbers used the tunnels to store their ill-gotten goods. The robbers died here under an old home in a gun battle. It’s been said their ghosts still haunt this area and can even be heard screaming “It’s my gold! Mine!”
It wasn’t until sometime in the 1980s the Pendelton Underground was discovered, as mysterious potholes started to appear in the streets of Pendleton. And these were not your usual potholes — as city workers unveiled this fascinating hidden gem.
Today the Pendleton Underground offers tours, which will set you back about $15. It takes around 1.5 hours — but first, you must make a reservation.
Pendleton Tour office located at:
31 SW Emigrant Ave
You can head over to their website, or call (541) 276-0730 to make a reservation now.