|Grand opening for historic sawmill at Philip Foster Farms posted on 05/01/2022|
The smell of fresh sawdust will greet history buffs,
pioneers-in-training and other guests at the grand opening of a historic
Pacific Northwest sawmill at the Philip Foster Farm National Historic Site on
the Barlow Road. The event will be held at the historic farm located at 22725
SE Eagle Creek Road in Eagle Creek from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 14.
“Our goal is to make history hands on. Being able to add
this sawmill is very cool,” said Elaine Butler, Educational Director for the
Although Foster Farm offers a hands-on educational
experience of life in the region during the pioneer days, guests are reminded
to watch their fingers around the saw. The sawmill was donated to the historic
site by the Heiple family, residents of Eagle Creek. The farm received a grant
from Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory, a branch of Clackamas County Tourism and
Cultural Affairs, to restore the sawmill.
Philip Foster came to Oregon in 1843 and established a
sawmill in Oregon City. Foster was originally from Maine, where he had a
thriving lumber business and store. He moved to Eagle Creek in 1847 to supply
provisions for settlers on the Oregon Trail and opened a second sawmill. These
sawmills were crucial for the development of the communities of the region.
The model recently acquired by the farm is a later model
from the early 20th century. Foster shipped his original sawmill from Hawaii in
the mid-19th century.
The grand opening will have a 2 p.m. dedication of the
exhibit and ribbon cutting attended by Clackamas County commissioners. Food and
beverages will be available. Admission is $5 for individuals or $20 for a
family. No reservations are required. Admission is free to Jackknife-Zion-Horseheaven
Historical Society members and Clackamas County Historic Pass holders.
Foster Farm is a reproduction of the site Philip Foster
originally settled in Eagle Creek. The facility has been open since 1993 and
offers school tours and summer camps for kids to experience life in region
during the mid-19th century.
Although the sawmill has been installed at its new home, the
historic site is still in the process of returning it to working order.
“If there are any volunteers interested in being involved
with the restoration of the sawmill please contact the farm,” Butler said.
More information is available online at
By Ben Simpson/MT