Steve Arndt – Oregon Ghost Towns
January 15, 3:30-5 pm
Did you know Oregon is home to more than 250 ghost towns more than any other state in the country? Steve Arndt, author of Oregon Ghost Towns A to Z and the Roads Less Traveled series, shares his lifelong passion for the topic with loads of fun facts that will inspire you to experience this state’s ghost towns for yourself. Read more about Steve and his books below.
Author Steve Arndt grew up in rural Independence, Oregon during the state’s centennial, a setting that kindled his curiosity about the region’s history.
His uncle, William Gilbaugh, now a retired Washington State park ranger and noted northwest photographer, further ignited his passion by occasionally taking Steve on tours of Oregon and Washington back roads and byways.
After earning a degree in elementary education from Oregon College of Education (now Western Oregon University), Steve completed advanced degree coursework in special education at OCE, school administration at Portland State University, and his school superintendent credentials at the University of Oregon. In his 40-year career in education, Steve served various Oregon public schools as teacher and administrator, and completed his last nineteen years in higher education (Warner Pacific College) as senior associate professor of teacher education, including ten years as a department chair. Arndt is the only Warner Pacific professor in school history to earn both faculty of the year awards, one for excellence in teaching (1996), and the other for outstanding research (2004).
Steve, his wife Diane, and their now-grown children have spent many weekends and school vacations exploring Oregon back roads and off-the-beaten path places. Today, their car is filled with child safety car seats for three young granddaughters that have begun road-trips with grandma and grandpa. Both Steve and Diane fill important roles at the Woodburn United Methodist Church and enjoy volunteering in the Woodburn community and participating in various philanthropic groups and endeavors.
Although Diane, a retired music educator and professional singer, has no formal training in photography, she enjoys her role as photographer, organizer, and proofreader of Steve’s book series.
About the ‘Roads Less Traveled’
Oregon is a state full of unique wonder and beauty. During his sabbatical in 2003, Arndt began writing a series of books, that linked out of the way places together on self-guided tours, focusing on history and things to see and do that most people by-pass. Chapter tours are full day events, experienced via family car, motor home, or motorcycle. He shares information about each out of the way community, explaining how places were named, when they were settled, historical sites and events, and common and unusual things about cities and settlements on the back roads of our state. Information about specific locations are found on ‘White Pages.’ ‘Grey Pages’ focus on the history, and what to see and do between the next two locations, to the tenth of a mile. Steve has his readers set their odometer to 0.0 miles at a designated location, and then directs the travelers to the next locality, identifying points of interest in between. There are currently 8 books in the Roads Less Traveled series, each geographic region. In 2009 Arndt literally started from scratch, re-doing each book, insuring that information is current and as up-to-date as possible, with each book in the series having a 2010-13 copyright.
Steve has released three new books – Ghost Towns in Oregon, A – Z, Volumes I, II, and III. Volume I was introduced in the summer of 2015, Volume II in early November of 2015, and Volume III in January of 2016. Each book contains information on 50 ghost towns including its location in the state, its county, driving directions, and ghost town classification. His latest Book, “A Compendium of Oregon Ghost Towns,” was released in August of 2017. It is an alphabetical listing of over 350 Oregon Ghost Towns, with two to seven paragraph summaries on each one. Two more books – ‘Beyond the Roads Less Traveled’ and ‘Oregon Facts and Trivia’ should be released later this year.