The Mill Update

Preserving this historic water powered mill continues to be a challenging.  It seems like we take one step forward and then something happens and we have gone two steps backward.  The list of preservation projects is never ending.

Over the past months, the absolutely vital restoration of a sound foundation project was undertaken and completed.

DSCN1167 DSCN0940

Using historically accurate materials the building support structure was restored to a sound, solid and safe condition.

Many under basement water and bug damaged supports and joists were replaced.  Pillars supporting the upper floors were replaced or restored and basement decking was replaced.

DSCN0790 DSCN0895

Once again The Mill is on a solid footing.

Bids were accepted and a contract has been awarded for the restoration of the awning-like roof over the drive-on scale and the loading dock doors, including the guest entrance area.

DSCN0898 DSCN0895

However, during the recent rain and wind event it was discovered that the water leaks in the Service Bay building are much more significant and therefore challenging to repair than initially anticipated.  Also, a section of the catwalk roof connecting the main building with the storage tanks, aka silos, was blown off.

So in the grand scheme this isn’t too bad.  Two steps forward and two steps back.  At least, at as of writing, we appear to be holding our own.


We are back and will once again regularly update this site

Just a quick note to let any of you who follow this site that we will once again be updating this site on a regular basis. Much has happened since July 4th.  We will post significant happenings over the next few days. As far as this site goes, we have added a live video feed selection on the Webcamera page and we have removed some topic specific pages that are no longer relevant.

July 4th Weekend


That would describe how life at The Mill has been.  Many visitors taking short tours and then staying for a long tour.  Great sales in the gift shop and lots of poultry to watch.


Apparently the ducks and turkeys wanted to celebrate the Holiday Weekend by bring us 7 new ducklings and as of last night at least 14 new turkeys.

IMG_2125 IMG_2156


We are open every day from 9 to 4 with tours at 10, noon and 2 and maybe in between.


One of our major West side projects is starting to show results.  This summer we are going to refinish the main stairs and ramp.

Here is where we are in this project.


Will an Oak Plank Float?


Apparently NOT.

Hello – Goodbye


We welcome, for a return engagement, Ken and Karen as hosts to our wonderful State Historic Site.  They were with us last July.  If you toured with them, stop by and say “hi”.

We also welcome 8 new ducklings to our “farm yard”.  They showed up on the scene about 6 pm yesterday.  They took to water immediately.
IMG_2125 IMG_2119

A few weeks ago we welcome a mature chicken to our flock.  She fit right in as she was reared with a couple of our other hens.  However, she is adventurous.  She has been found on the other side of the mill pond.  We are not sure how she got there, but she had to be air evacuated* to get her back on the west side.


With the comings there are also goings.  Carolee is departing for another hosting gig in OR after spending two months with us here.  If you travel the south coast you may come across her.


What can one say, but WOW.  Things are really starting to grow.  The peas are succulent and sweet.  The lettuce is producing more than we can eat.  The early tomatoes are getting to a ripening size.  Hopefully in another two weeks we will start harvesting them.  The variety of greens is plentiful.


Ducks and ducklings everywhere and still more to hatch.
Turkeys and poults everywhere and one mom still sitting on eggs somewhere.
Chickens are not of a young rearing mindset this season and sadly our flock has decreased by two.

Water and Tours

The mill pond is FULL!

Self guided tours available from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm each day.
Guided tours are offered at 10:00 am, noon, and 2:00 pm.

Gift Shop

The Thompson’s Mills Gift Shop, operated by the Boston Mill Society, has been revamped.  New products have been added and many items have had their price reduced.  Stop to to see the new stuff and pickup bargain or two.

*Picked up and carried once she got sleepy.



Yesterday we were surprised to find another duck nest in the wood pile that was being relocated.  The duck was equally surprised and unhappy.  A lean-to was built.



Well, this morning we were greeted by 7 ducklings in the “farm yard.


Young Poultry

We have one oldish turkey poult, 5 younger turkey poults, and 7 ducklings running around.

P6120578 P6120579 P6120580

There is also a turkey mom sitting on eggs somewhere that we have not yet located and
there are 3 duck moms sitting on two nests with an unknown number of eggs.


Turkey Hunt

We just couldn’t stand it any more.

We took a walk in the field way behind Storage Shed and Hay Barn and found Turkey Mom #2 and her 5 poults.  All is well.

Water, oh Where is the Water

The Mill Race continues to drop ever so slowly as it does every year.  Sadly that means that only host accompanied tours are allowed.  We will do our very best to get you into The Mill should you not be here at regularly schedule tour times of 10am, noon, and 2pm.

This is a great time to visit The Mill

The weather is still cool, the crowds are light, we have great hosts and rangers to lead tours and answer your questions, the grass is green and the light is great.  Choose your recreational activity at The Mill.

Father Time, Mother Nature, and Tours

Father Time

has had his way with The Mill flume and head gates for a long, long time.  As a result there is a lot of water leaking through these.  Repairs are planned for much later this summer.

Mother Nature

has done what she does every year.  Because of the spring rains vegetation is growing rapidly and now, as happens every year, the rains have STOPPED.


As a result of those two named above, we have been put in a position were we can only offer accompanied entrance to The Mill.  The rangers and hosts will be conducting the regularly scheduled tours at 10am, noon, and 2pm and will do there very best to get those of you that want a self-guided or short tour into the mill at other times.

What else is there to do at The Mill?

This is a list of actual observed activities that have occurred during the past few months and are still available.

  • Bird watching
  • Canoeing
  • Family Outings and parties
  • Fishing
  • Geo Caching
  • Kayacking
  • Painting, sketching, artistic interpretation
  • Photography
  • Picnics
  • Poultry watching / feeding
  • Reading
  • Sitting by the mill race or Calapooia river and doing nothing.

The In-Water Work Has Been Completed – So . . . .


Self guided tours are again available during all hours that the SHS is open.  To review, the SHS is open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm each day.  Guided tours are offered at 10:00 am, noon, and 2:00 pm.

Gift Shop

The Thompson’s Mills Gift Shop, operated by the Boston Mill Society, has been revamped.  New products have been added and many items have had their price reduced.  Stop to to see the new stuff and pickup bargain or two.



This week we received our first gift of poultry food.  We gratefully acknowledge this generous gift of two bags of Crack Corn and two bags of layer pellets.

Needed Items

We still have a pressing need for a couple of bails of hay.   Please, if you have any hay, old hay is okay, send it our way.


Our two ducks are still sitting while the rest are just being ducks.
Turkey mom 1 is about to release her poult from her care, as it approaches quail size, and get on with her turkey life.
Turkey mom 2 is doing an excellent job raising her remaining 6 turkey poults.  She brings them “into the farm yard” early each morning and then disappears into the fields again.
The four tom turkeys are just fun to watch.  Jousting all day long.
Our chickens are just being chickens.


“What is a Weed?”

“…A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

A garden update: it’s growing! And yes, I realize that I have some weeding to do.

IMG_20140526_190736880 The weeds aren’t the only things growing like weeds…


nasturtium     IMG_20140526_190832829

Many thanks to Patrick for helping out


IMG_20140526_190750600Last but not least, some bonus pics of the one and only Bucky!


IMG_20140410_180414811  IMG_20140410_180447965