Featured Stories

INSIDERS (Sponsored Content)

Brought to you by Craig and Jodie - Budget Blinds - WINDOW TREATMENT INSIDER -


BUDGET BLINDS - Craig and JodieStatistics show that an average of one serious injury or fatality occurs each month from blind cord strangulation, both of which are highly avoidable. Cordless window treatments can help make your home a safer place for family and pets. These coverings offer both stylish fashions as well as elimination of cords, allowing you to design as creatively as you would like to.

Wood, faux wood, composite, and honeycomb blinds are just a few of the options that can be made cordless, either through motorization or through wand-controlled operation of louvers, both of which eliminate dangerous, dangling cords.

Shades are the most versatile window treatment, offering a wide variety of styles, color options, fabrics and material choices. Best of all, shades can be cordless or motorized making them ideal window coverings for those with children and/or pets in their homes and/or businesses.

Another option to consider are shutters. Shutters are an incredible window treatment offering clean, crisp lines that complement all décor styles. Shutters are great for arched, rounded, and other unique window shapes that can be a challenge to address. All shutters are custom made from both premium wood and composite materials and they are always cordless.

If you are ready to make your home safer for those you love, call us at 503-590-4333 for a free, in-home consultation. We can translate your safety concerns and style preferences into beautiful custom window coverings for your home.

Budget Blinds

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(503) 590-4333

budgetblinds.com

Brought to you by John Sciarra - Bernard's Garage - AUTO REPAIR INSIDER -


BERNARD'S GARAGE - John Sciarra Before you hit the open road this summer, run through the Bernard’s Garage Road Trip Checklist to lower your chances of getting sidelined by vehicle troubles.

Check your tires: Are your tires at the correct pressure? How much tread do your tires have left? How even is the tire wear? Tires are the most common component of vehicles to fail, so make sure yours are in good condition

Make a road trip playlist: There’s nothing worse than the static of a radio with no service, so burn a CD or create an mp3 playlist with your favorite jams to keep the good times rolling.

Check your different engine fluids: If your transmission fluid isn’t pinkish and almost clear, have it drained and changed out. Check to make sure you have the proper amount of coolant in your cooling system. And change out the oil and air filter in your engine. The improved fuel economy alone is reason enough.

Bring some good snacks: There’s nothing worse than a car full of hungry people yelling at each other. Grab a couple of bottles of water per person, and have foods like trail mix, granola bars, bananas, and jerky handy for when hunger strikes

Stop by Bernard’s Garage: At Bernard’s Garage, vehicle safety is our number one concern. Our knowledgeable and experienced technicians can help ensure your vehicle is running smoothly before your trip. Give us a call, check out the website, or stop by today!

Bernard’s Garage

2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie

503-659-7722

bernardsgarage.com/

Brought to you by John Sciarra, Bernard's Garage - Automotive INSIDER -


BERNARD'S GARAGE - John SciarraWhat’s less fun than getting stuck in a nasty traffic jam? Getting cooked in your car on a hot day.

Summer's here and your vehicle's air conditioning system will soon be under serious strain.

If your A/C isn't as frosty as it used to be, but it's still blowing, the system may need to be recharged. Manufacturers used to use a type of refrigerant known as Freon. Now, manufacturers use R-134a to keep things cold in the cabin.

Working on a vehicle’s air conditioning system is about as much fun as sticking your hand in a blender. Twice.

Unless you are skilled in vehicle maintenance, it’s safest to take the job to a professional.

An AC compressor is usually driven by your vehicle's serpentine belt, and as it spins, it pressurizes the system's refrigerant. It's this change in pressure that cools the air coming into your cabin. The best way to keep your compressor from failing is to have your A/C system serviced once a year.

If your compressor needs replacement, most responsible shops will recommend swapping out a number of peripheral components at the same time.

Bernard’s, which has been in business since 1925, services our clients’ foreign, domestic, hybrid and electric cars, trucks, vans and motorcycles. We offer free pickup and delivery for our customers’ convenience.

Plan ahead and stay cool this season!

Bernard’s Garage

2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie

503-659-7722

>bernardsgarage.com/

Brought to you by John Sciarra, Bernard's Garage - Auto Repair INSIDER -


John Sciarra, Bernard's GarageWhat’s less fun than getting stuck in a nasty traffic jam? Getting cooked in your car on a hot day.

Summer's right around the corner and your vehicle's air conditioning system will soon be under serious strain.

If your A/C isn't as frosty as it used to be, but it's still blowing, the system may need to be recharged. Manufacturers used to use a type of refrigerant known as Freon. Now, manufacturers use R-134a to keep things cold in the cabin.

Working on a vehicle’s air conditioning system is about as much fun as sticking your hand in a blender. Twice.

Unless you are skilled in vehicle maintenance, it’s safest to take the job to a professional.

An AC compressor is usually driven by your vehicle's serpentine belt, and as it spins, it pressurizes the system's refrigerant. It's this change in pressure that cools the air coming into your cabin. The best way to keep your compressor from failing is to have your A/C system serviced once a year.

If your compressor needs replacement, most responsible shops will recommend swapping out a number of peripheral components at the same time.

Bernard’s, which has been in business since 1925, services our clients’ foreign, domestic, hybrid and electric cars, trucks, vans and motorcycles. We offer free pickup and delivery for our customers’ convenience.

Plan ahead and stay cool this season!

Bernard’s Garage

2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie

503-659-7722

>bernardsgarage.com/

Brought to you by John Sciarra, Bernard's Garage - AUTOMOTIVE INSIDER -


BERNARD'S GARAGE - John SciarraSummer's imminent arrival means your vehicle's air conditioning system will soon be under serious strain.

If your A/C isn't as frosty as it used to be, but it's still blowing cold, the system may need to be recharged.

Manufacturers used to use a type of refrigerant known as R-12, or Freon, until researchers found it caused ozone depletion. As such, it's illegal to use Freon in vehicles built after 1994. Now, manufacturers use R-134a to keep things cold in the cabin.

Working on an air conditioning system is about as much fun as sticking your hand in a blender. Twice.

Unless you are skilled in vehicle maintenance, it’s safest to take the job to a professional.

An AC compressor is usually driven by your vehicle's serpentine belt, and as it spins, it pressurizes the system's refrigerant. It's this change in pressure that cools the air coming into your cabin. The best way to keep your compressor from failing is to have your A/C system serviced once a year.

If your compressor needs replacement, most responsible shops will recommend swapping out a number of periphery components at the same time.

Why? The easy answer is working on an air conditioning system is about as fun as sticking your hand in a blender. Twice.

To avoid draining your refrigerant, removing your compressor, installing a new unit and refilling the system with new cool stuff — only to have you come back in a week and say it's still not cold enough — it makes sense to replace the necessary components.

Bernard’s Garage

2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie

503-659-7722

>bernardsgarage.com/

Brought to you by Mike Nielsen of Snap Fitness - FITNESS INSIDER -


SNAP FITNESS - Mike NielsenAs the inspirational saying goes, “Live less out of habit and more out of intent.”

While it’s true that starting a fitness routine can be difficult, I offer the following tips to get you in the gym door and on the road to good health.

Assessment — New SNAP Fitness clients receive a free jump-start session, including consultation with a trainer. The assessment determines the client’s baseline, helps us guide their first steps, and is an opportunity to discuss adding personal training.

Cardio — The national recommendation for exercise for all ages and fitness levels is to get to the gym at least three days per week, and to do a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio per visit. Working out with a friend will make it more fun, help you feel more accountable, help you stay at the gym for more months and achieve a higher level of success.

Strength training is key to replacing fat with muscle, becoming leaner, stronger and improving balance. Do two to three sessions of strength training per week.

Nutritional guidelines — Instead of eating three large meals per day, eat five to six small meals. This will fuel your energy throughout the day and avoid post-meal sluggishness. Also drink 96 ounces of water daily.

Online help — SNAP has a complete online nutritional program and training center. Free with membership, it provides a personalized workout plan, sample menus and a complete library of instruction videos.

Snap Fitness

Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.

503-353-7627

www.snapfitness.com/gyms/milwaukie-or-97222/1023

Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170

503-656-2580

www.snapfitness.com/gyms/oregoncity-or-97045/400

Brought to you by Mike Nielsen - Snap Fitness - Fitness INSIDER


Mike Nielsen, Snap FitnessStrength training is an essential part of an exercise program, even for someone who hasn’t been active in a while.

Lifting weights, using weight machines and doing core work increases muscle mass and bone density.

As we age, our muscles deteriorate (called sarcopenia) and bone density decreases.

Research shows that seniors are more susceptible to bone breakage that younger adults. As people age, their metabolism slows down. We are seeing more and more seniors joining gyms.

If we take the average adult between the ages of 40 and 50 and do basic strength-training three to four times per week for 90 days, the outcome can be life-changing.

Here’s a myth-buster: Muscle does NOT weigh more than fat! A pound is a pound. 

Muscle is, however, more dense than body fat and takes up less area than fat. If you were to start an exercise program complete with strength training, you would increase your lean body mass and decrease body fat.

The body takes up less space and metabolism speeds up, resulting in a higher BMR (base metabolic rate, the amount of daily caloric intake needed to maintain LBM and weight.) This reverses sarcopenia and increases bone density.   

Not everyone walks into a gym and knows exactly what to do. Snap gives new members an opportunity to meet with a Certified Personal Trainer, who assesses their body and their goals. 

Let’s get started.

Snap Fitness

Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.

503-353-7627

www.snapfitness.com/gyms/milwaukie-or-97222/1023

Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170

503-656-2580

www.snapfitness.com/gyms/oregoncity-or-97045/400

Brought to you by John Sciarra, Bernard's Garage - AUTO MAINTENANCE INSIDER


John Sciarra, Bernard's GarageRegular maintenance on your car is, quite simply, a good investment.

For example, when you bring your car in for a timing belt — typically needed at 90,000 to 100,000 miles— it costs in the range of $400 to $500. But if it breaks, it might be $1,800 to $2,000.

At our shop, when we do it, we do it right. With the timing belt, we also replace the timing belt tensioner, idler pulleys, camshaft seals, water pump and coolant.

Mileage interval maintenance, which is only done by shops, should be done at 30,000, 60,000 and 90,000 miles.

The ideal scenario is to get the car into the shop about three times per year for inspections, which will find things like rodent damage, which is more common than you might think. It’s mainly squirrels in this area.

An inspection will also uncover leaking coolant or oil, as well as plugged-up air filters. Once a year, you should get a brake inspection.

We do complete automotive repair, including pre-purchase inspections for $150. That’s a comprehensive inspection, which can detect unforeseen problems and save you from buying a compromised vehicle.

Our average cost for an oil change is $38; $58 for a brake inspection.

It’s a small investment. We do it properly and can save you a lot of trouble and expense down the road.

Bernard’s Garage

2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie

503-659-7722

bernardsgarage.com/

Mike Nielsen - Snap Fitness - Fitness INSIDER


SNAP FITNESS - Mike Nielsen“We are a friendly, success-oriented fitness center,” says Mike Nielsen, vice president and co-owner of Snap Fitness locations in Oregon City, Milwaukie and Canby. “We’re like the ‘Cheers’ of the gym world, where everybody knows your name.”

Nielsen has been a certified fitness coach for 13 years and has been with Snap for eight years. He says being a fitness coach is all about helping individuals achieve the best version of themselves.

“It’s not just something that’s done at the gym, but it’s a lifestyle change,” he said of Snap. “We focus on not only the physical but also the mental and emotional aspects of everyday life, to make sure we are able to achieve long-term success.”

He says Snap gyms have a family feel and a personal touch.

The gyms are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with monitored access for safety. Snap has more than 1,500 locations nationwide.

The fitness centers offer cardio, personal training, weight-loss programs, a health center, strength training and Olympic lifting. An online web page for members offers nutrition counseling and an online training center.

“Our members are our greatest assets,” Nielsen added. “We do all we can to make sure they have not only the best facility and equipment, but a wonderful experience.”

Snap Fitness

www.snapfitness.com/

Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.

503-353-7627

Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170

503-656-2580

Canby: 1109 SW 1st Ave.

503-266-5515

Brought to you by John Sciarra - Bernard's Garage - AUTOMOTIVE INSIDER -


BERNARD'S GARAGE - John SciarraAfter nearly 100 years of providing excellent full-service automotive repair and maintenance, Bernard’s Garage is a classic Milwaukie institution trusted by generations of customers.

Founded in 1925, old timers and area residents still remember Joe Bernard Sr., who would design and build custom car parts when his customers’ vehicles needed it. Joe Bernard Jr., a former Milwaukie mayor, helped modernize Bernard’s and continued his father’s tradition of excellent customer service.

The current owner, Jim Bernard, another Milwaukie mayor and current Clackamas County commissioner, has computerized Bernard’s—turning his father’s mechanics into today’s technicians.

Besides providing free pickup and delivery, Bernard’s offers DEQ repair and adjustments, check-engine light diagnosis, manufacturer-scheduled maintenance, brakes, steering and suspension repair, timing belt tune-ups, radiator and water pump work, as well as engine, transmission and air conditioning service.

“We are straight shooters and will let you know what the problem is and what the cost is upfront,” Operations Manager John Sciarra says.

Sciarra, an 18 year veteran of Bernard’s, has attained numerous specialty vehicle class certifications. With 26 years in the industry overall, Sciarra is our INSIDER for automotive excellence.

Bernard’s Garage is a 17-year-long supporter of the Milwaukie Farmers Market, a Milwaukie First Friday participant and frequently donates to the Annie Ross House, Milwaukie Senior Center and other local schools and events.

A member of the Clackamas County Chamber of Commerce since 1955, Bernard’s has been named Business of the Year twice since 2000, and has received the BRAG award from the county for practicing responsible recycling and waste management.

Bernard's Garage 

2036 SE Washington St, Milwaukie, OR.

(503) 659-7722

bernardsgarage.com

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


From grain elevator to sulphite mill: The transformation of OC's Mill C

Share

Commentary on the Willamette Falls Legacy Project -


(Second of a two-part history of Mill C. For Part 1, seeMill’s riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma,” Aug. 5.)

In its first-ever issue of Oct. 27, 1866, the Oregon City Enterprise ran a story on the Pioneer Paper mill, the first-ever in the Pacific Northwest. The article detailed the machinery and processes for making paper from that era’s primary input, rags, and a few weeks later the Enterprise even had a snippet about the ship named Pacific delivering “a considerable number of bales of rags, cordage, old sails, etc., for the Oregon City paper mills.”The end of that first article hinted at a new papermaking era on the horizon. The increasing scarcity of rags was leading paper-makers to seek other suitable paper stock, and, “it seems that for the future the main source of supply will be the forest.”

Photo Credit: PHOTO COURTESY: CLACKAMAS COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY - 1892: 1883 grain elevator and 1880 wheat warehouse (with inclining flour conveyor); Imperial Mills.Rags are soft. Wood is hard. Over time paper-makers devised two primary methods to reduce wood to a pulp of soft cellulose fiber. The first was mechanical: grinding wood into “ground-wood” pulp. While inexpensive, this process created short fibers and correspondingly weak paper, appropriate for end products like newsprint. Alternatively, and more expensively, chemical processes dissolved matter between the cellulose fibers, leaving a pulp with longer fibers. This pulp resulted in stronger paper, for such end products as bags or fruit wrap.

Sulphite milling emerged as the most common chemical process. The 1920 edition of “Modern Pulp and Paper Making” by G.S. Witham describes the typical sulphite mill of the era. The milling entailed placing wood chips into the domed top of a cylindrical two-to-three-story “digester,” assembled from steel plates and giant rivets. A “liquor” of sulphurous acid filled the digester. Steam heat and pressure “cooked” the chips until the latter broke down into the cellulose fibers. A valve in the conical bottom of the digester opened and the accumulated pressure forced the pulp out — an event known colorfully as “blowing the digester” — and into a vat, or “blow pit.” The sulphite pulp was then washed, processed, and manufactured into paper elsewhere in the mill.

In a sulphite mill’s “digester house,” a conveyor dropped chips into a chip bin that, in turn, deposited the chips into the digesters. The liquor corroded steel digester plates, so manufacturers developed acid-resistant brick interior linings. Exterior painting of the digesters ensured the detection of incipient defects before they could become dangerous. Sulphite mills often had on-site an “acid plant” for the manufacture of the liquor, and a boiler plant to generate the steam for the cook.

Hawley’s sulphite mill

Willard P. Hawley’s deep sulphite milling experience included two digester patents: for an improved process, and for a thermometer less prone to breaking. Heading the Crown paper mill beginning in 1892, he converted that mill from straw input to wood pulp. “I installed the chemical process,” he told the historian Fred Lockley. One of Crown’s new installations in 1900 led to some “digester humor” from the Democratic-leaning Oregon City Courier-Herald directed towards a Republican-leaning rival:

“We read that ‘The Crown Paper Company is putting in the machinery for a new digester, just received from the East, that will double its output of pulp. The new digester will fill a space 13x34 feet.’ If that machine doesn’t work, we advise them to try half a dozen Republican readers of the Oregonian. They can digest anything.”

Hawley Pulp & Paper Co.’s 1908 launch included installation of No. 1 Paper machine in a new annex to the Imperial Mills, now Mill B, and a sulphite mill in the Imperial Mills’ 1880 wheat warehouse and 1883 grain elevator, now Mill C.

The grain elevator “will be used for a digestor room,” reported the Jan. 28, 1908, Courier. “The building is exceedingly well constructed, and so solid in its nature that little change will be required.” The April 3, 1908, Enterprise updated, “there will be two digesters, 12x25 and the necessary equipment, for producing capacity of 25 tons daily.” Trains delivered wood blocks from Hawley’s sawmill in Milwaukie, known as Mill E,” and the wood blocks will be thrown from the cars at the sulphide mill directly into the choppers. ”In May, Oregon City sold an adjacent parcel for the boiler house.

Also in May, Oregon City allowed Hawley to construct rail sidetracks to his mill buildings, one of which entered right into the south wall of the newly renamed Warehouse No. 1. Hawley removed its elevated iron wheat conveyor and inclined covered flour conveyor over Main Street, but in July 1908 Oregon City allowed him to build a new bridge in order to truck pulp above Main Street across to Mill B.

Industrial behemoth

Mill C commenced operations on Saturday, March 7, 1909. From that moment, Mill C began to transmogrify into an industrial behemoth that bore little resemblance to the original wheat warehouse and grain elevator, and whose influence extended throughout the paper mill. In late May, 1909, the Enterprise reported, “The Hawley Pulp and Paper company is about to add two stories to Mill C of its plant, each story to be used as ware rooms.” The article added, “The company has purchased the property alongside the track, and behind Cliff House, and is tearing down the buildings to make way for a large warehouse.”Warehouse No. 2, known today as No. 4 Paper Machine warehouse, stored sulphur, and a plank walkway led from it to Mill C.

The 1911 Sanborn map diagrams the inner workings of early Mill C. Two digesters stood under a chip bin in the front of the former grain elevator. The rear, towards the railroad, housed the wood chipper and the rudimentary acid plant, including “magnesite grinding” and a lime vat. Outside, on the north side and along the railroad, a sulphur burning house generated the sulphur dioxide gas that, reacting with either lime or magnesia, formed the liquor.Between the sulphur burning house and Mill C were two acid storage tanks. On the second floor, also in the rear, “pulp washing and pressing” operations refined the cooked pulp — likely by “wet machines” that, according to Witham, created sheets folded into “laps”— and a doorway led to the warehouse for storage of the laps before transport across the elevated truckway to Mill B.

Hawley added new digesters with new paper machines. A third digester, installed in 1913 along with the construction of No. 3 Paper Machine, increased sulphite pulp production capacity to 35 tons per day. As part of his massive plant expansion in 1916, including the huge new No. 4 Paper Machine, Hawley anticipated “an increase of... 20 tons of sulphite in the sulphite mill” — but his plans expanded “so that at any time we may add a second additional 20 tons of sulphite to our sulphite mill...” The 1925 Sanborn map shows six digesters. Unfortunately, available sources do not reveal the manufacturer.

“Sulphite Plant of Hawley Mill Being Greatly Increased,” headlined the Morning Enterprise of June 22, 1916. “Additional wet machines and other pulp making machinery will be installed.” And, raising the question if water power had been the first power mechanism for, say, raising chips up to the chip bins, the article reported, “Electric elevators will be put in as the building is several stories high and concrete footings will be put in place.” Also in 1916, in the 30-by-60-foot space between Mill C and the No. 4 Paper Machine, Hawley built an enormous new boiler plant to serve — and whose smokestacks towered over — both buildings. Photos taken over these years show other changes as part of Mill C’s evolution: new pop-out elevator cupolas, and extensions towards Main Street.

Hawley kept up with acid plant technology. In late 1915, he installed the “milk-of-lime” system developed by the E.R. Barker company of Boston: sulphur dioxide gas rose up through, and reacted with, lime dissolved in a single stack of narrow, short cylindrical water tank chambers, to create the liquor. Hawley replaced his Barker system in 1919, when the Hurley-Mason Co. built one of the strangest, most fascinating structures ever to stand within the Blue Heron site: an acid tower remarkably like that described in Witham as designed by the G.D. Jenssen Co. of New York. Hollow reinforced concrete towers, lined with acid-resistant tile, were filled with chunks of limestone that rested upon a vertical series of grates. Water cascaded down from the top, and the sulphur dioxide rose from the bottom, and the reaction with the limestone created the liquor. The 1925 Sanborn map denotes on top of the towers a “rock storage house,” which replenished the limestone as it dissolved within the towers. The 1925 Sanborn map also shows that Warehouse No. 1 housed “pulp vats,” namely the blow pits. To this day, large cylindrical pulp vats can be seen in the basement of Mill C from the sidewalk along McLoughlin Boulevard. Post-1925 photos show two enormous blow pit smokestacks emerging through the north roof of this Warehouse No. 1. The map also shows a small new triangular laboratory jutting out from its south wall.

Mill C had survived the 1890 flood; it also survived the fire that destroyed Mill B:

“For a time it appeared certain that the flames would jump Main street and catch the digestor plant, another frame building opposite [from Mill B]. Centralization of the firefighting apparatus of the Hawley mills on this building, however, saved it, though it was on fire innumerable times...” wrote the Enterprise on Oct. 9, 1923.

The 1930s and 1940s brought more changes to Mill C. Warehouse No. 2 had extended Mill C’s influence northward; the 1944 construction of Mill E in the basin extended it southward. This new sawmill replaced the original Mill E in Milwaukie, which burned in 1933. By 1947 a conveyor carried wood chips from Mill E to the top of a new chip silo. A second conveyor rose from the silo’s base to a monitor roof atop Mill C,where a magnet removed nails and such before yet another conveyor deposited the chips into the bin above the digesters. By 1950, the Sanborn map showed the small laboratory replaced by a globe-shaped acid tank: the “sulphite sphere” prominent within the Willamette Falls Legacy Project (WFLP) as a “second-tier” historic structure. The most dramatic transformation occurred in 1956 under Publishers Paper, when Hoffman Construction Co. reconstructed Mill C completely around the digesters. As early as 1928, Hawley had announced plans — perhaps interrupted by the Great Depression — to replace Mill C with a new concrete sulphite mill. A 1956 photo suggests that Mill C operated even while under reconstruction: emissions still emerge out of an expanded acid tower. According to retired mill worker Vern Buttolph, who started working at the mill in 1948, the contractors cut holes in the original wooden structure and inserted the new steel beams before removing the wood. Transite, an asbestos cement panel, covered the new structure’s exterior.

It would be interesting to know what elements other than the digesters pre-date the 1956 modernization. Remnants of the original 1880 and 1883 foundations? The wood floor panels that surround the digesters? The chip bin and chip conveyor? The blow pits? Regardless, when finished, Mill C was the picture of an industrial powerhouse: an economic engine that embodied an era of paper-mill prosperity in Oregon City and family-wage jobs for employees like Buttolph — who could move up from the McLoughlin neighborhood to the affluent Rivercrest neighborhood where he lives today — and members of the Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers. It was an extraordinary evolution from a single, humble wheat railroad warehouse in 1880.

Historic pollution

Photo Credit: PHOTO COURTESY: OLDOREGONPHOTOS.COM - Likely 1909: Imperial Mills is now Hawley Mill B; addition of two stories to 1880 warehouse, right.But, pollution of “historic” proportions accompanied this progress: Mill C’s air and particularly water pollution contributed, with those of other pulp and paper mills, to 20th-century environmentalism, and even to the election of Gov. Tom McCall.

Photo Credit: PHOTO COURTESY: OREGON HISTORICAL SOCIETY - Early 1920s prior to Mill B fire. New Jenssen-type acid tower is at right. The pungent smell of sulphur was a defining characteristic of Oregon City. Early on, in 1913, a committee from the Commercial Club approached the paper mills:

“A communication sent to the three paper mills in regard to the possible elimination of sulphurous vapors from the atmosphere, elicited replies from the Willamette Pulp and Paper Co. and from the Hawley Mills. Both of these represent that they have gone to considerable expense and effort to modify the discharge of these vapors but that the only way to completely eliminate the odor would be to do away with the mills and by inference do away with the town. The committee has no recommendations to make as to further action along this line.

In a 1920 front-page article, the Enterprise lamented that “there are more than $5,000 per day floating down the Willamette River into the Columbia and out to the sea every day,” and challenged the Hawley Co. to make use of the mill’s “sulphite water” to manufacture products like wood alcohol, as was being done at a Wisconsin mill. A 1921 complaint to the state game commission against the Oregon City paper mills for polluting the rivers by the famed naturalist William L. Finley was a precursor to his later citizen activism. Finley, who at the time lived along the Willamette River in Jennings lodge, and who now has a National Wildlife Refuge south of Corvallis named after him, later became one of the key original organizers of the Oregon Stream Purification League, the group that organizedthe successful statewide citizen initiative that enacted Oregon’s water quality law

in 1938.

Photo Credit: PHOTO COURTESY: CLACKAMAS COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY - 1947: New chip conveyor (left) rises to Mill C. It would reach the ski jump-like structure, far right.The law created the State Sanitary Authority (SSA), which struggled to regulate the rich and politically powerful paper industry. In January 1948 the SSA ordered paper mills to “show cause” why their actions in dumping waste sulphite liquor “should not be adjudged a public nuisance.” The mills acknowledged the problem but claimed no solution existed. The “black liquor” was not toxic, however it depleted oxygen in the river so was deadly to fish, particularly during the Willamette’s low summer flows; and its sugars spurred the growth of sphaerotilus, a brown goop that fouled anglers’ nets and lines.

Photo Credit: PHOTO COURTESY: CCHS - 1956: Reconstruction of Mill C, expanded acid tower.Under SSA oversight, Publishers in 1952 began giving Clackamas County black liquor as a “roadbinder” to control dust on unpaved county roads. In 1953, apparently following the adage “the solution to pollution is dilution,” the company began barging the liquor for untreated discharge into the deeper Columbia River. A striking photo of two gigantic 60,000-gallon wooden tanks on a barge, pushed by a tugboat with Willamette Falls in the background, appeared on the front page of the July 22, 1953, Oregonian. They also appeared in Tom McCall’s 1962 documentary “Pollution in Paradise.” He narrated:

“One of the Oregon City mills barges its waste liquors to a rendez-vous with the diluting waters of the Columbia. The company got a ‘temporary’ permit to do this in 1953, nine years ago. The operation is

expensive, but the company has found no other more economical

way of trying to keep its waste out of the Willamette.”

Substantial progress abating waste discharges occurred after McCall became governor. Publishers built the clarifier in 1967. In 1970,

further extending Mill C’s zone of influence within the plant, Publishers completed the $4.2 million Mill G recovery boiler, which reduced Mill C’s black liquor discharges by 90 percent by recovering magnesium and sulphur compounds for re-use; in a way putting into practice the Enterprise’s recommendation of half a century earlier. Mill C thereafter fell under the permitting provisions of the federal Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.

Ultimately, not environmental regulation but obsolescence led to Mill C’s closure. By the latter half of the 20th century, technological improvements in other types of pulping processes — “kraft” pulping, for example, which produced a paper even stronger than sulphite pulping— ended new sulphite mill construction. In June 1983, a full century after completion of the original grain elevator, Publishers announced the closure of Mill C in favor of a new “thermo-mechanical pulping line” and expanded de-inking of recycled newsprint. Mill C has been mothballed since then; its acid tower and conveyor from the chip silo long since removed.

The future

Photo Credit: PHOTO BY: JAMES NICITA - Mill C today: 'Sulphite sphere' is at left. Roof indentation marks former location of chip conveyor.  Digester house is at right, with monitor roof. Acid tower has long since been removed. 
Aside from Mill No. 1, no other standing building within Blue Heron embodies and concentrates as much of the site’s legacy as Mill C, whose story touches upon Native American-pioneer conflict, railroad development, global flour trade, paper milling, water power and water rights, floods and fires, industrial might and industrial pollution. The good and the bad. Mill C merits a primary role in the future of the WFLP.

Mill C faces challenges in finding that role.

The discussion must begin with the environmental challenges, principally the residue of 75 years of sulphite liquor manufacture and use on the site. That residue, however, must be addressed whether Mill C stays or goes. The WFLP should make history with the thoroughness and completeness of brownfield abatement. The transite asbestos exterior panels must be removed, but that opens up the opportunity for a new glass exterior that could reveal newly polished and painted digesters — genuine machine artifacts of the paper-making era that escaped the trustee’s salvage process — to the public. One might even be cut open to reveal the fire brick inside, as Vern Buttolph has proposed. Necessary seismic upgrades will involve no small cost.

This past May 15, Blue Heron’s developer George Heidgerken issued a press release with two local governments, the Port of Olympia, the Olympia Tumwater Foundation, and three colleges committing to explore public-private partnerships to create a Craft Brewing and Distilling Center out of the historic Tumwater Brewery. That might be a model for Mill C. Through such a partnership, Mill C might also find new life as a funky Amtrak station, welcoming distant tourists to Willamette Falls. A bar in the monitor roof would have an amazing view of the basin and the upper Willamette. Evoking its grain elevator past, Mill C might support a new elevator to the McLoughlin Promenade: in the digester house, the 1947 chip silo, or in a new design based on the former acid tower.

The WFLP draft framework master plan includes both the digesters and the sulphite sphere as “second tier” historic artifacts meriting preservation. But Mill C is so much more than these two artifacts. The digesters, chip bin and the conveyor within the monitor roof make up the full context: a 20th century digester house. Two of the WFLP’s graphic scenarios show the taller north half of Mill C, the digester house, retained, with the shorter south half removed to accommodate a traffic circle with the sulphite sphere as its centerpiece. Ideally, a slight reconfiguration would also retain at least some of the southern half of Mill C, to guard the 131 year-old basic form and proportions that began with the shorter 1880 warehouse and the taller 1883 grain elevator.

That, under the WFLP’s own core value, would be true “historic interpretation.”

Oregon City resident James Nicita is a former city commissioner. The author wishes to thank Vern Buttolph, and Karin Morey and Adrien Wegner of Clackamas County Historical Society, for their contributions to this piece. Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are solely those of the author.