BAKER CITY — A ghost-themed reality TV show that was made this summer near Sumpter is scheduled to debut Jan. 16. "Ghost Mine" will air at 10 p.m. PST on the Syfy network.
The new show, as its name implies, combines both the ghost hunting for which Syfy is known — the network's roster of programs includes "Ghost Hunters," which airs directly before "Ghost Mine" on Jan. 16 — and mining.
The latter topic makes Sumpter a logical choice for the show's setting.
The town, about 28 miles southwest of Baker City on the opposite site of the Elkhorn Mountains, was the largest of the mining towns in its area during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Sumpter reached a population of about 3,000 during the peak of the hard-rock mining period in the decade or so before World War I.
But the mines mainly played out, and then a massive fire in August 1917 destroyed almost all of the town's buildings. Sumpter's population now is about 200.
Here's how Syfy describes "Ghost Mine":
"In the remote woods of Oregon lies one of the richest gold mines in the U.S. that was abandoned 80 years ago when a series of tragedies gave it an infamous reputation for being haunted. Now, a new owner has decided to take on the notorious legend and reopen the mine, assembling a colorful team of miners — both seasoned and new — to battle the elements along with a pair of experienced paranormal investigators, in hopes of finding a fortune."