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Willamette Falls Locks: National Treasure and an Oregon "Most Endangered Place":
CLOSED LOCKS CREATE A DIVIDED WILLAMETTE
The Corps of Engineers closed the Willamette Falls Navigation Canal and Locks in West Linn in November for repairs to the gudgeon arms and anchors on Gates 2, 3, and 4 that will require a significant maintenance investment. The Corps has not identified any funds to carry out those (assumed to be needed) repairs.
River-users value the importance of maintaining the option of marine freight and recreation through our locks. An example of the financial benefit of being able to lock large cargoes around Willamette Falls was the passage this year of the Canby Ferry, down to Portland in January and back to Canby in July, which saved Clackamas County approximately $500,000. The One Willamette River Coalition seeks to identify a new owner for the canal and locks to ensure that the future economic and recreational potential of our 1873 locks is realized. The Coalition is currently fund-raising for an "Economic Benefits" study of the locks' impact on Oregon's Willamette Valley economy.
Whether you are a recreational boater, a marine business, a lover of heritage, or interested in river-based tourism, contact the One Willamette River Coalition, at 503-655-0649, if you'd like to contribute or be added to our mailing list.
National Trust for Historic Preservation selects Locks as a National Treasure
Willamette Falls Navigation Canal and Locks (1873) has been named a National Treasure by the NTHP, launching a powerful new partnership with the One Willamette River Coalition. We expect this story to break this week in the Oregonian newspaper and West Linn Tidings.
"Art Contemplates Industry: Bull Run Powerhouse" Catalog Available
Marvel at the views of artists of three historic Clackamas County hydro-power plants, as documented in our collection of project catalogs. See Bull Run Powerhouse, T.W. Sullivan Powerhouse, and the Hawley Pulp and Paper Company Powerhouse (no longer in existence) through the eyes of some of the region's finest artists and photographers.
AUTHOR APPEARANCES AND BOOK SIGNINGS---
$1.09 an hour and glad to have it--
Conversations with 17 mid-20th Century Crown Zellerbach millworkers
2012-- Many thanks to the Oswego Heritage Council for inviting Sandy Carter to appear at its "First Wednesday" lecture series at the Heritage House March 7. We also thank the Clackamas County Heritage Council for the time on its March meeting program and the Tigard Public Library for inviting us as a "Book Talk" guest speaker in January. We've also shared mill stories (by invitation) with the Federation of Active and Retired Federal Employees and the Seasoned Adults Enrichment series at Harmony Center and sat a table at the Atkinson Memorial Church Authors' Fair in May, 2012.
Labor Day saw us finishing our 11-day run at the Oregon Authors' Table at the State Fair, where we placed about 30 books in the hands of history-loving Oregonians from Woodburn, Gladstone, Salem, Rhododenron, Happy Valley, Damascus, Canby, Eugene, Oregon City, McMinnville, North Bend, West Linn, Portland, Silverton, Wilsonville, and Shedd, raising nearly $900 for the work of the Foundation. Favorite buyer so far? The Book House, in Michigan, ordered 25 books to sell to Michigan libraries.
We're now receiving orders and mailing books from our fourth print run (100 books per printing). The book, which has been featured in the October 2011 Senior and Boomer News, is now available to library patrons at West Linn, Milwaukie, Gladstone, Lake Oswego, Sandy, Oregon City and Canby libraries, the State Library, and the Clackamas County Family History Center at the Museum of the Oregon Territory.
Orders can now be made here on the website, by PayPal, or by calling 503-650-9570 and leaving a message, then sending a check to "Book, PO Box 635, West Linn, OR 97068". The price is $35. If you need us to package and mail it to you, please include $5 for shipping and handling.
All proceeds from sales go back into the project, which was grant-funded by the Kinsman Foundation and the Clackamas County Cultural Coalition. Thanks to all of you who have called and ordered and shared your mill family stories, papers and connections.
Since April 1, 2011, we've been doing the work of the Foundation two days a week in Suite 101 of the Promenade Building, 421 High Street, just off the Oregon City Promenade path. (Call ahead, 503-650-9570, as we're only in the office part time.)
Oregon City Mill Silent and up for sale--
It is with great sadness that we witnessed the February closure of the Blue Heron paper company and the loss of so many well-paid jobs in Oregon City on this historic industrial site. (NOTE: Although many confuse the two mills at Willamette Falls, the closure of Blue Heron has nothing to do with the West Linn Paper Company mill in West Linn, which has different ownership and produces high-quality coated papers, rather than recycled products.) Blue Heron had kindly allowed us to operate in rent-free office space at the OC mill since 2006.
As Oregon City and the region look at the now-silent mill complex and consider its future, we trust people will remember what the great floods are capable of doing to that site--a recurring situation that the mill has been able to adapt to, but that might not be as amenable to other, less sturdy uses. In the not-too-distant past, the Oregon City mill built its own temporary dam at the south end of Main Street (which runs through the property and ends near the boat basin spillway), to protect Oregon City's downtown from disastrous flooding. With several National Register-eligible historic resources on the Oregon City property, we hope to see a thoughtful long-term adaptive reuse of the site, incorporating some kind of new industry, increased public access to falls viewing, and on-site heritage interpretation.
The rich history of the Oregon City mill site may be found by going to:
Here is a beautiful image of Blue Heron painted by Phil Juttelstad for our "Art Contemplates Industry: Hawley Powerhouse" exhibit in 2008.
Public Meeting of Locks Stakeholders, June 20, 2012
Click on these links for the meeting notes, PowerPoint presentation and handouts about the historical importance of the locks, the pertinent Dam Safety rating, and an illuminating chart of relative fuel efficiencies across freight modes, showing the advantages of barging.
Dam Safety Class