Rick and MJ got us into a tour of the site that used to be the Blue Heron Paper Mill (Previously known as "Smurfet" Yes, really. Smurfet.) It's a 23 acre site right on the Willamette River at the falls - very scenic, and really cool. Tony was our guide and was full of interesting information. For example, when the paper mill was running, they stored sulphuric acid in this thing called, "a Hobson's Sphere." Or maybe it was hydrochloric acid. Anyhow, it was dissolve-you-to-a-puddle acid stuff. And there it sits now, empty and quietly rusting away. (MJ in the yellow hat, Rick in the white.)
The first long distance transmission of commercially generated electricity happened here at the falls. The turbines are in a row in the middle of the photo.
Gates to adjust the flow through the turbines were raised and lowered here.
The Willamette Falls Legacy Project is trying to fins someone to develop the site in a way that will be good for Oregon City and the community. A river walk would be a great start. And I do hope they can leave these cool old artifacts to add historical interest.
Willamette falls is a pretty cool place. I have seen these falls when the floods were so high that this was a big ripple in the river instead of a waterfall. Come August, you could almost cross dry shod, leaping from rock to rock.
Another power station, across the river in West Linn. Down by the arches, you can see where the salmon fishermen have anchored their boats.
MJ looking back at the Pioneer Historical Society building with the red roof.
I'm queen of the world!!
This is where the river boats used to tie up when they were delivering wool to the Oregon Woolen Mill, another historical area on the site.
We were lucky enough to catch an Indian boat headed back downstream. I don't know why they were there.
And then Kyle, MJ, Rick and I took the Oregon City Elevator because I never have. As far as I know, it's the only municipal elevator in the country. A retired Korean War veteran sits inside and runs it. A job with lots of ups and downs I guess.
The view down- river from the top. This is a lovely place to live.