County: Chane County
ABOUT TOWN: Located off the Surprise Valley Highway, Connelly is a small community in western Chane County. The community is connected to the Surprise Valley Highway by a single bridge. There are no other roads in or out of town except for old logging roads which weave into a maze within the Chase Mountains. The old docks that used to welcome riverboats in Connelly no longer exist and the entire riverfront old town is gone. All that is left today is a very small portion of the old commercial district. Basic goods can be found in the town as well as a local grocery store in a historic old building. A cafe and barber shop are among some other businesses in town. There is a historic fire station in town as well as a few historic churches. The western division of the Chane County Sheriff's Office is located in the town as well as a ranger station, post office, and a school that also serves the town of Mitts.
LOCATION: The community is located off the Surprise Valley Highway and sits along the Wishcana River. The town is located within Surprise Valley and is surrounded by the Chase Mountains. It is the farthest southwest town in Chane County, and the first town when entering the county from the west heading east.
HISTORY: Connelly started as nothing more then a stopping point for boats along the Wishcana River as the miners headed their way to Mitts. There were very small isolated peaks in the towns history that involved gold being found on the river banks in 1860, the same year the town found, William Ashcroft opened up a general store along the river banks. The following years the town had extreme growth as miners began living in Connelly and boated to Mitts for work. A few firms tried opening mining operations in Connelly with little success, but this did not hinder the towns economic growth. The town exploded as it was a easier place to access compared to Mitts. There was no rail and still is no rail connecting the town, but boat traffic is what kept this town alive and thriving. Riverboats would dock daily at Connelly's waterfront. Today there is no sign of the former docks or old waterfront town. When the highway was built in the 1912, examiners questioned about even building a bridge to Connelly to connect it to the main road system. There were even talks about letting the town fade away because of the expense for a bridge. The bridge was built in 1913 connecting Connelly to the road system. The town hit of population of 1,500 in 1921, making it the largest town in Chane County, even bigger then Chaneville (The county seat) at the time. As the mining gradually slowed down around Connelly and Mitts, Connelly became a commercial hub for people living in the region. Before Surprise Valley was incorporated, Connelly was the central location for anything in the valley. In the 1940's the town had a radio station and a small hospital. Today neither exist. The towns local police department closed down in 1985 when they contracted out the sheriff's office and now serve as the substation for the western portion of the county. In 1992 a rockslide partially damed the Wishcana River about 3 miles downstream from the town. Locals un damed the jam during the spring of that year.
ATTRACTIONS: A maze of old logging and mining roads can be accessed from the town. A small ranger office is located at the sheriff's station in town, and should be contacted before heading out on these roads alone. Fishing is a pass time in Connelly. Every spring, a fishing festival is held along the banks as live band music plays in town.
(Aerial of Connelly along the Wishkana River.)
(Old town Connelly.)
(Very little remains of Connelly's old downtown, but what still standing is used by the community as business space.)
(A view of the town along the steep terrain of the Chase Mountains.)