Categories: Business

Butte Creek Mill: In-Grained in Tradition

(Scroll down for a gallery of photos of Butte Creek Mill by Ezra Marcos)

“I have always wanted to own a historical building,” says Butte Creek Mill owner and operator, Bob Russell, as he strolls through his water-driven mill in Eagle Point.

The retired sales manager from Portland crossed over the battered metal threshold of the once-dilapidated mill in 2005 and knew he was home. Russell, who is also mayor of Eagle Point, and his wife, Debbie, together run the Butte Creek Mill, mercantile, and adjacent antiques store seven days a week.

“I have been a collector since I was 9 years old,” explains Russell as he stands in his office, surrounded by a lifetime of storied artifacts. “I always wanted a country store to display my country store collection.”

When the couple bought the mill, they were the fifth owners in the mill’s 140-year history. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places as “the last water-powered grist mill still operating this side of the Mississippi,” the former Snowy Butte Mill still grinds thousands of pounds of wheat with the original 2,800-pound mill stones imported from Paris in 1872.

A portion of Little Butte Creek flows through a millrace to the basement of the mill, where a turbine generates power for a series of belts and gears. All of the mill’s products come from farms in Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

Not only have the Russells renovated the mill and surrounding buildings, they also cleaned up the riparian zones around Little Butte Creek. Over the past few years, salmon have returned to spawn along the creek’s bed.

All gallery photos by Ezra Marcos.

Share
Published by
admin

Recent Posts

Home + Design Trending

Connect to the local & regional market with our Home + Design Issue! DURING THESE…

3 weeks ago

Last-minute Local and Sustainable Father’s Day Gifts from the PNW

Father's Day gifts from the PNW—sustainable, local and well made.

2 months ago

Sign Up for Adventure

Subscribe to get more trip, recipe, nesting ideas from us!

4 months ago

An easy homemade upgrade to your Marinara

1859's Home Grown Chef Thor Erickson shares the secret to a gourmet alternative to marinara…

4 months ago

PNW Businesses Rush to Aid in the Battle Against COVID-19

Across the region, theater companies are making masks, distillers are bottling hand sanitizer, restaurants are…

4 months ago

Chanterelle Mushroom Compound Butter

Home Grown Chef Thor Erickson | photography by Charlotte Dupont Thud, thud, thud! The knock…

5 months ago