OAK PARK -- To some it may be seen as a ghost town, but there is still some life in this small Benton County community.

Oak Park got its start in the early 1900s, establishing bars, businesses, a church and pool hall.

Mary Ostby is the Executive Director with the Benton County Historical Society. She says the town was really put on the map when they had their own post office.

"Having a post office back in the day was a huge thing. If you had a post office you had something," says Ostby.

But as quickly as it grew, by the 1950's the town slowly started to disappear with the improvements to cars.

"Around that time you start to see the passenger trains not running as much with the improvements to cars. By the 1980s they were pulling out the tracks and not even running freight trains," says Ostby.

As you drive by today you can see the remains of what once was. Several of the original buildings still stand, along with a few homes and the Oak Park Creamery.

"It still is a very agricultural community and the creamery does well serve the area for supplies, seeds, farm supplies and stuff," says Ostby.

Ostby says while she isn't sure if Oak Park may one day become a ghost town, for now the community is getting by just fine.

(Photo: Benton County Historical Society)
(Photo: Benton County Historical Society)

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