OAS Events

Next OAS General Meeting April 4, 2017

“Industrial Archaeology at Willamette Falls: Exploratory Investigations in the North Woolen Mill Foundation at Oregon City”

presented by Dr. Rick Minor of Heritage Research Associates, Inc.

Willamette Falls was a major fishery for Native Americans as well as the setting for some of the earliest industrial developments in the Pacific Northwest. The 2011 closure of the Blue Heron Paper Company in Oregon City provided an opportunity to undertake exploratory archaeological investigations on the site of the Oregon City Woolen Mill constructed in 1865. Limited investigations in 2015 focused on the north side of the original mill, where several wood frame buildings stood before the North Mill addition was constructed in 1890. A GPR survey confirmed that construction of the mill buildings involved importation of fill material to create a level surface over the sloping bedrock of the river terrace. Removal of a section of concrete within the North Mill foundation enabled manual excavations in a trench that extended across the former locations of a saloon, undeveloped lot, waste wool storage building, and the Barlow House (hotel).

orc150814 (22) copy

In addition to fragmentary ceramic, glass, and metal artifacts associated with use of the wood frame buildings, mill-related artifacts recovered from the fill included teeth from carding machines, straight pins, and burlap fragments.A deep test at the south end of the trench encountered a fragipan (compact silt) layer. Coring through the fragipan established the presence of intact native soil. Lithic artifacts were recovered in these native sediments, as well as charcoal which produced an AMS radiocarbon date of 1490 ± 30 years BP. The result of this project established the presence of archaeological remains associated with both prehistoric Native Americans and early industrial developments in the old industrial core of Oregon City.

Rick Minor is Senior Archaeologist and a co-founder of Heritage Research Associates located in Eugene, Oregon, a small business conducting archaeological and historical studies in the Pacific Northwest since 1980. He received his graduate training in anthropology at the University of Oregon, and has over 40 years of experience in prehistoric and historical archaeology. His research and publications reflects a long history of collaboration with professionals in other fields, especially geologists and historians. As an Instructor in the University of Oregon Historic Preservation Program since 2009, his teaching stresses the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to the study of historical resources, and he advises M.A. students whose thesis and terminal projects incorporate historical and/or anthropological perspectives.


Oregon Archaeological Society
Lecture Series 2016-2017

Sept. 6, 2016: Dr. John Kelly,
“Mississippian Mound Builder Cultures of the
Mississippi Valley.”

October 4, 2016: Dr. Alison Stenger,
“Woodburn Paleoarchaeology Project.”

November 1, 2016: Dr. Pat O’ Grady,
“The Vital Role of Oregon Archaeological Society in the 2016 Excavations at Rimrock Draw Rockshelter”

December 6, 2016: Dennis Griffin, Oregon SHPO,
“Oregon’s Cultural Resource Management.”

January 3, 2017: Dr. Cameron Smith,
“By Sea, By Snow, By Land, and By Shore: Dispersals
of the Genus Homo.”

February 7, 2017: John Pouley, “Stewardship, Archaeology, and Public Outreach: The Background and Sundry Implications Concerning the First Recorded Biface Cache (35MA375) in the Willamette Valley.”

March 7, 2017: Jack Brink, Royal Alberta Museum,
“Thundering Herds: The Great Buffalo Jumps of the Northern Plains”

April 4, 2017: Rick Minor, “Industrial Archaeology at Willamette Falls: Exploratory Investigations in the North Woolen Mill Foundation at Oregon City”

May 2, 2017: Bill White, Cultural Resource
Archaeologist, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe,
“Cixwicen Village and Cemetery.”

OAS General Meetings are held at the auditorium at
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)
OAS business meetings convene at 7pm,
with the lecture following at approximately 7:45.

The OAS General Meeting and the lecture are free and open to the public.

1945 SE Water Ave.
Portland, OR 97214-3354

OAS Board Meetings convene at 5pm before the general meeting, and OAS members are welcome to attend.
For information,  info@oregonarchaeological.org