I’ve lived in this area for almost 6 years, and never knew this place existed. This weekend I was out driving around looking for things to take photos of, and totally came across this place by accident. I found myself in Shedd, Oregon and saw a sign pointing the way to Thompson’s Flouring Mills and knew I had to check it out.
I got there around 4:30 on Saturday, and they were just closing up the park. I drove down the road a little ways and caught the beautiful reflection of the mill in the river, so I parked my car along the side of the road so I could get out and take a couple of quick photos. While I was doing this, a young man came up to me on the road, who happened to be a park ranger at Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site. He told me that they do tours every day at 10:00 A.M., 12:00 P.M. and 2:00 P.M., and I told him I would definitely be back.
So today I called my brother and sister-in-law to see if they wanted to come down to check it out, and they were totally game. Our tour guide Carolee was so awesome and so knowledgeable as she took us all over the mill telling us the history of this place that was first opened in 1858 and was in operation until 2004.
The mill burned down in 1862, but was quickly rebuilt. It is one of Oregon’s oldest continuously operating water-powered businesses, and as times changed so did the function of the mill. As mill owners adapted to changing times, the mill served as a flour mill, a feed mill and eventually a hydroelectric plant. It is an impressive building and definitely worth making a trip to visit.
For more information and the history of the mill, here a couple of cool links to check out: