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Gilchrist, Oregon:  The Model Company Town 

Gilchrist, located in Klamath County, is Oregon’s most recently constructed company town and is also one of the most successful towns of its type ever established.  Gilchrist was Oregon’s first town which was entirely plumbed and wired for electricity at the time of its founding.  It was also Oregon’s first town to have all its houses equipped with a dial telephone system.  Oregon’s first mall, perhaps the first mall in the United States, was built in Oregon by the Gilchrist Timber Company.  The town was constructed with amenities which were often not found in larger communities.  Gilchrist, following its construction, was routinely described as a wonder town. 

Gilchrist was the culmination of decades of experience gained by the Gilchrist family constructing and then operating communities for its employees and their families.   The move by the Gilchrist family and their employees from Laurel, Mississippi to Klamath County was also a continuation of the movement of the Scots-Irish from the South to Oregon which began prior to the admission of Oregon to the Union. 

Gilchrist, Oregon:  The Model Company Town is a 190 page, 8˝  x 11 soft-cover book.  It is illustrated with dozens of color and black and white photographs.  The book’s color illustrations include reproductions of the architect’s drawing for the town’s houses and theatre.  Primary sources used to research the book include the Gilchrist Timber Company papers and interviews of past and present residents of Gilchrist. 

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