Millrace (Springfield)

From Lane Co Oregon

GcF2aD It's pleasant sitting at work to distract from it�to relax and read the information written here:D


[edit] Recreational Uses

[edit] Fishing

According to Mr. Leonard Clearwater, "We used to fish the Mill Race every once in a while... go clear down as far as where 28th Street crosses the Mill Race..." When asked what type of fish he was catching, Mr. Clearwater replied, "Well, a lot of cutthroat. It was fairly shaded and cutthroat like to live back under banks and [in the] shade."

According to Mr. Robert Edmiston, "You see, this, unbeknownst to most people, this Mill Race in Springfield has one of the best salmon runs in the country. People came from up to 100 miles to go fishing and in this Mill Race, we have native cutthroat trout, we have native rainbow, and then for some reason, which is beyond anybody's understanding, the salmon came up river. And instead of staying in the Willamette River, they make a left turn and go up the Mill Race. Go over a fish ladder that's between the old Booth-Kelly Lumber, there's a fish ladder there. I did security on both ends of that place, off and on for seven years and one of my jobs was once an hour to police the salmon ladder to keep the poachers out."

Mr. Edmiston also mentions that "pond monkeys' would use their "pikes" as spears to catch salmon in the Mill Pond, "The salmon runs used to be so prolific that as they were working the Mill Pond and they saw a salmon, they would spear it with their pike. They'd take that salmon back to the lunchroom and cut it up and come evening they would stack it in their lunch pails and go home. ...Those guys used to pull salmon by the hundreds."

According to Steve Moe, "A lot of people went fishing down there."

[edit] Swimming

According to Jane Brown and Jo Anderson:

Jo: "But we always referred to it as the Mill Race. I don't know if Mr. Gorrie tacked his name on that or not. I have no idea. Okay you're looking here... and this was the swimming hole right here. If you went right back behind those trees... you were there. I used to go back there all by myself... just a little kid walking around and enjoying it. But this is... that was THE diving board... and you could dive in here and dog paddle or whatever you did right down here and there was a place to get out where it was real shallow."

Jane: "Well you know, somebody built that diving board- I have no idea who. Somebody built a little dressing room."

According to Mr. Leonard Clearwater, " used to go out and swim in the Mill Race back there at 28th street- there's a bridge (Gorrie Bridge) across the Mill Race there- and that used to be a great swimming hold and there was kind of a picnic area there too." He goes to say, "A lot of the guys from the [Springfield] Plywood Plant, lunch hour or whatever- cigarette break and take a quick dip in the Mill Race."

According to Mr. Lewis, "I remember from swimming there (the Mill Race) that the water was kind of swift. You may have had to sometimes dodge pieces of bark."

According to Mr. Node Palanuk, "It had a good strong current. In fact, you had to swim pretty hard to get upstream."

According to Mr. Everett Chetwood, "it looked like a pretty stream running out through the farming land. We called it a City Park at one place, but there was nothing there but a picnic table and a springboard for diving. It was a nice, fresh, clean swimming pool. It was beautiful."

According to Mr. Ed Harms, "We used to come over to Springfield at night and go swimming down there. I haven't been back there for 60 years."

[edit] Canoe and Boating

According to Mr. Everett Chetwood, "We use to go up the Race. We would steal the canoes and boats that the others kids had. Leonard Clearwater, I stole his canoe one time and its been 65 years or so. We were talking about it the other day. It was a homemade canoe some people made out of airplane silk and ribs. I found it, so another kid and I stole it and brought it down the Mill race. He and I were talking. He was telling me about you and I said, well, tell him about when I stole it... That's the way kids in those days got their entertainment. I had it hid in the upper pond in the tulips, turned it upside down, hit it, went back wtih stuff to fix it in a week or two and it was gone."

According to Mr. Ed Harms, "...and on at least one memorable occasion, we came down the Springfield Mill Race as far as the log pond where the people working on the log pond were going to chase us off."

[edit] Further Reading

1884. Walling, Albert. Illustrated History of Lane County, Oregon. Portland, A.G. Walling Publishing House.

1906-1907. E.J. Frasier vs. The Booth-Kelly Lumber Company, Case No. 5846, In the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for Lane County. Document available at the Public Works Department, City of Springfield.

1976. Baldwin, Ewart M. Geology of Oregon, Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co.

1983. Clarke, David W. The Springfield Millrace and Early Mills, Portland, The Oregon Committee for the Humanities.

1985. Velasco, Dorothy. Lane County: An Illustrated History of the Emerald Empire, United States, Windsor Publications.

1986. Hyde, Greg. Making Connections: Place to Place, Time to Time, Report prepared by the University of Oregon's Landscape Architecture Department.

1990. Water Resource Assessment for the Springfield Millrace, Slotta Engineering. Document available at the Public Works Department, City of Springfield.

Parsons. Survey of Property Lines. Document available at the Public Works Department, City of Springfield.

Army Corps of Engineers. 1991. Section 205 Reconnaissance Report for Flood Control. Document available at the Public Works Department, City of Springfield.

1992. The Mill Race Concept Report, compiled by the City of Springfield/ Willamalane Park District, National Park Service, document available at the Public Works Department, City of Springfield.

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