[Heritage] Oregon Heritage News 2012-06-07

Heritage Info heritage.info at state.or.us
Thu Jun 7 08:36:56 PDT 2012

In this Issue:
1. “Willamette Falls Locks’ Future” Meeting Set
2. Willamette Falls Heritage Area Feasibility Study Announced
3. US Army Corps Materials Lab Story Subject at History Night


The One Willamette River Coalition of West Linn and the National Trust
for Historic Preservation will hold a public "Willamette Falls Locks'
Future" meeting from  8:30 - 10:30 a.m., June 20, at the Ainsworth
House, 19130 Lot Whitcomb Drive, Oregon City. 

Recently listed on the Historic Preservation League of Oregon’s 2012
list of the state’s most endangered places and as one of the National
Trust’s new “National Treasures”, the 1873 Willamette Falls
Navigation Canal and Locks marked a significant navigational improvement
on the Willamette River and in the greater Columbia River drainage
basin. Today the locks are unique in Oregon and a rare example of an
intact piece of America’s canal building era. The U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers decommissioned the locks indefinitely last year, giving it
non-operational status because of the risk of “catastrophic
failure.” Prior to that, the locks received maintenance and saw
occasional operation.

Listing as a National Treasure brings the Willamette Falls Locks
greater involvement toward its protection by the National Trust. The
meeting will launch partnerships with One Willamette River Coalition,
the Historic Preservation League and the National Trust.  The agenda
includes funding updates, a look at new partner resources and a
roundtable discussion to settle on strategies the will ensure the repair
and reopening of the canal. For further information or to register,
email willamettefalls at msn.com or call (503) 655-0649.


The Willamette Falls Heritage Area Coalition (WFHAC) recently announced
a feasibility study to establish the first National Heritage Area in the
continental Northwest.  The feasibility study is available for public
review through June 30 at local libraries and on the WFHAC website. 

To review and comment on the study, visit
http://www.wfheritage.org/feasibility-study-feedback.html .


The Oregon Encyclopedia’s History Night series continues with
“I’ll Be Dammed! So That’s What They Did in That Building:
The Story and History of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Troutdale
Materials Laboratory”, a presentation by Len Otto and Sharon Nesbit
beginning at 6:30 p.m., June 26, at McMenamins Edgefield Power Station
Theater, 2126 SW Halsey Street, Troutdale. 

For Len Otto, growing up in Troutdale a mile from the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers (USACE) Materials Lab had its disadvantages. He remembers
lugging 30 pound concrete cylinders from the facility to his father’s
pickup truck. The cylinders were discarded materials from the USACE’s
Troutdale Materials Laboratory. Little did Otto know that inside this
nondescript building a variety of human activities took place that had a
significant impact on the community and the Columbia Gorge region. Built
in the early 1940s, the Troutdale aluminum plant used the building to
store aluminum destined for WWII aircraft. After the war the War Assets
Administration stored and sold surplus war goods. In 1949, the USACE
purchased the building and tested virtually every batch of concrete used
in dam building on the Columbia River. It also became a laboratory to
test a variety of materials. 

For further information, visit www.oregonencyclopedia or call (503)


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