Mission: Preserving and sharing stories of human enterprise and the power of the water at the great falls of the Willamette River.

Willamette Falls Heritage Foundation Banner

Willamette Falls Heritage Foundation

(aka Friends of the Locks)

2019 Goals and Vision Statements

Mission Statement

Preserving and sharing the stories of human enterprise and the power of the water at the great falls of the Willamette River.

Our Focus and Priorities Include:

* Developing information sources about the industrial and cultural heritage at the falls.

* Being supportive of current facilities and industries to the extent they remain economically viable.

* If current facilities are no longer viable, promoting a transformation and repurposing of facilities that preserves and reflects their long heritage in the communities at the falls.

* Encouraging and repurposing or adaptive reuse to preserve iconic historic structures while increasing accessibility to the falls and historical features, and ensuring on-site interpretation of their history.


Implement our mission and priorities through education, outreach, advocacy, art, conservation, partnerships, service and research.

Multi-Year Vision Statements:

Three Years From Now:

West Linn Mill / Arch Bridge Area Redevelopment

* Vision for waterfront complete.

* Lock repairs complete to allow reopening.

* Locks Reopening Lock Fest Celebration.

* Mill and Willamette Falls Tours Plan implementation underway. Partnership has been established with PGE and other essential stakeholders; public access areas have been defined; other planning for area integrates the Tours Plan; partners are seeking funding for future phases; design for tour route and interpretive signage underway.

* Old City Hall listed on National Historic Register; renovation complete; housing heritage partners and used as venue for exhibits/museum.

National Heritage Area designation achieved with our support.

Virtual Tour Exhibit complete for website and old City Hall kiosk.

Projects and Initiatives:

* Support Transfer of Ownership and Reopening the Willamette Locks

* Coordinate with PGE, West Linn Paper, and ODFW on ways to preserve and utilize Mill A and provide access to the viewing of Willamette Falls.

* Advocate for Heritage and Preservation Interests within West Linn Old City Hall District and the Industrial Heritage District of the West Linn Waterfront Project.

* Collection Responsibility.

* Increase Awareness of the Foundation and its Mission.

Multi-Year Vision Statements:

FiveYears From Now:

Work with Other Groups to have our Story widely Understood and Compelling Historic West Linn Mill and Locks Site more vibrant and accessible.

* Mill and Willamette Falls Tours Plan being further implemented; tour route and interpretive signage construction underway; Willamette Falls viewing area and potential commercial opportunities (cafe, etc.) are refined and planned.

* Locks open and become popular route for river users.

* Museum and its contents are preserved, and site is promoted as Mt. Hood Territory tourism destination and included in school curricula.

Ongoing Activities Established to Celebrate, Educate and Promote (in collaboration and partnership with others).

Multi-Year Vision Statements:

Ten Years From Now:

By 2029, strong partnerships within the Heritage Area and leadership by the Foundation will have resulted in a vibrant and varied community of Locks users navigating once again around the Willamette Falls. 

We will have interpretive information within the Locks to educate travelers from the water. Our industrial history will attract both heritage and natural history tourists from around the world and children from classrooms across the State. Stern Wheeler heritage tours are part of this vision.

Willamette Falls area attractions include: 

* River City Walk

* Tours of historic mills within the former West Linn Paper Company 

* Restored and reopened Locks Museum

* Heritage bed and breakfast accommodations

* A new historically respectful West Linn river-view hotel

* Seasonal events on and along the river for all ages on the completed Greenway