Williams, George

From Lane Co Oregon

The Thurston area gained its only sawmill in about 1919 (Jones 1958:36). According to a Springfield News article dated April 9, 1986, owner George Williams dug a millrace connecting a natural backwater of the McKenzie River with Cedar Flat Creek and built a sawmill which he operated until 1936. At that time he sold his millsite to the Eugene-Springfield Land and Water Company. The new owners decided that money could be made by supplying irrigation water to the fertile fields in north Springfield. The company installed a headgate near the old millsite and constructed a 40-foot wide canal that at one time ran from near the intersection of Thurston Road and the McKenzie Highway west to farms in what is now the Gateway area (Springfield News 1986). When the scheme did not pay off, the company shut down the operation and went out of business in 1940.

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