Battle Ground ghosts

Digging a ghost ditch

C. W. Gatney, Vancouver

Troy Wayrynen/The Columbian

Troy Wayrynen/The Columbian

Several years ago, because of construction, I decided to take the back road to Battle Ground, where I worked. This route took me to “China Ditch Road.”
It was a very foggy morning, I was just past where the Little League field is now, going north. I was creeping because of poor visibility.
In front of me a ‘possum scooted across the road. As I slowed down, I saw what appeared to be four Chinese (workers) — two digging and two with shovels on their shoulders — on the east side of the road.
I did a double take and “they” vanished. I slowed down, turned around and returned to the place of the “sighting.” Nothing was there.
When I got to work, I did a little research. There was a large Chinese presence in the 1860s. China Ditch, as well as the Burnt Bridge ditch near 137th, were dug by Chinese labor at that time.
I was also made aware that although the deaths of several laborers occurred, no cemetery was ever found.
Creepy and unexplainable, but that is what I saw, even though I don’t believe in ghosts.


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