My neighborhood went through a bit of a demographic shift last week. A number of years ago we had a block birthday party for the six 6-year olds on the block. It is not quite the same mix but we saw six graduates last week. This group combined with other kids that have grown up in the hood and recently left means our summers won't be filled with the noise of children playing through the yards. A new infusion of kids will likely come along, but for the time being the children population in the immediate hood has declined significantly over the past few years.
The Grant Street 6
Lined up on a glacial scoured ridge of Chuckanut Sandstone in Bellingham's York Neighborhood
John hands out coupons for York Neighborhood apparel at Nelson's Market
After first hand watching the demographic shift in my own neighborhood I traveled to the east side of the Cascade Mountains and pondered demographic shifts as I passed through various communities. Certainly there has been large influxes of population in in some towns and cities, but not all. Several towns that once served a significantly more populated area than today have declined in population. Demographic shifts in small communities are more obvious than in cities and in the dry climate east of the Cascade Range old buildings remain long after the populations they once served have left.
The hotel and cafe in Shaniko, Oregon are vacant and for sale
Old Shaniko Post Office
I will note that Shaniko looked better than I recalled from past trips. A labor of love by people trying to maintain the buildings of the old town. Someone had fixed up the old hotel and cafe. The small communities in north central Oregon are not short of money. Wind farms, regional landfills and high wheat prices have been a boom for the local economies and tax rolls.
New fire equipment at Grass Valley, Oregon