Mill News and Updates

 

August 11, 2021

 

It’s Getting Real! 

Yes, that is the sheetrock going up in the Packing Room and Milling Room! Thought I would give a peek at what has been happening this week in the Mill. 

Our goal is to get those rooms certified, and a few more requirements finished up, so we are able to mill grains in a limited capacity in a few months. 

We are so thankful for every donation, large and small, financially and in-kind, and supporters purchasing the flour we have as well as our other Mill merchandise!  Visit our website - buttecreekmill.com and click on the “Shop” button at the top to see what we have in stock!

 

August 7, 2021

Community Bulletin Board at the Mill

Do you have an event poster or maybe a flyer for a lost pet, or would you like to get the word out about a service you offer? Thanks to Dennis Godfrey and his skills, we have our Community Bulletin Board back up on the front of the Mill! Go ahead and put up your appropriate announcement on the board. All are welcome to stop by and check out what is on the board too! 

 

August 2, 2021

The Mixers Arrived!

A huge thank you goes to Mike Curtis of the Oregon Bee Store for lending a helping hand with his forklift not only to move large lumber piles in the last few weeks, but also for helping to move our two mixers into the mill! Don Blaser picked those up in Eugene this morning and thanks to Dennis Godfrey, Paul Young, Mike Butterfield, and Jay O’Neil for their labors too, as we couldn’t have done it without our community helpers! 

These mixers will be going into the Milling Room to mix up our pancake, biscuit, cookie, and scone mix ingredients, to name a few! 

The drywall crew is scheduled to start work this week, so watch for photos - every day there is work being done, even if it’s just doorknobs being installed. But that brings us closer and closer to our milling days again! 

 Check out the Oregon Bee Store at 14356 Hwy. 62 in Eagle Point for their honey, strawberries and veggies grown on site, beeswax candles and more.

 

 July 19, 2021

Flour and Hats for Sale! 

Have you been looking for quality whole wheat pastry flour for your baking needs? Well look no further as we have the rest of our soft white wheat flour (whole wheat pastry flour) for sale in 2 lb. bags for $10.00! This is a beautiful flour great for non-yeast baking such as pancakes, cookies, biscuits, muffins, scones, etc. Get it before it is gone! 

Butte Creek Mill logo hats are back! Rich Medcraft of Stitchwise here in Eagle Point has worked to get us stocked up on our popular hats featuring the Mill logo embroidered on the front, for a price of $20.00. 

Our Mill merchandise is available to ship to customers out of the area through our website - buttecreekmill.com - and locals may contact me if you are interested in purchasing flour, t-shirts, tote bags, or hats - therese@buttecreekmill.com or 541-826-3560. 

 

July 18, 2021

Working Together 

We would like to give a big shout out and "THANK YOU!” to Home Depot in Phoenix (OR) for donating $1600.00 in materials to our rebuild! Paul Young and his small company of volunteers are working to get the Milling Room and Packaging Room ready for drywall coming up here really soon and the materials will help get us closer to our opening goal!

 

July 8, 2021

Grateful For Our Supporters! 

We would like to say a hearty “Thank You!” to a few of our many helpers who have contributed - from financial donations to construction to yard work.

Thanks Luke Ozcelik at Eagle Market and Gas for hosting a donation box at the Market and for your recent matching gift with customer’s donations! 

Thank you Paul Young, Mike Butterfield, and Joe McGlothlan for all the interior framing of the Milling Room and cooler area, and installing insulation, among other things! 

Thank you Dennis Godfrey for constructing the Bulletin Board that is now up again outside the Mill so friends can post about community happenings! 

Thank you to our Yard Work Helpers - LDS students who have come to help clean up around the Mill building - Emma Crouch, Kalen Serabia, Savannah Lunt, Shelby Pontious, and Carlee Nuttall. Also thanks to Mike and Sandy Butterfield, Jay O’Neil, and Paul and Barbara Young who worked in the heat to continue to clear vegetation around the Mill. 

Every volunteer is greatly appreciated, and helps us get closer to our goal of reopening the Jewel of Eagle Point once again! 

 

July 6, 2021

Independence Day at the Mill

Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate Independence Day at the Mill and throughout Eagle Point on Sunday! A great time was had by all and we were so encouraged by the tremendous support for the Mill rebuild.

A big thank you to our vendors who came out and were there in the heat to make everything festive. Thank you Jay O’Neil, and Paul and Barbara Young for giving all the informative tours to our guests, and thank you to Sharon Close for being an invaluable help for our Porch Sale. Congratulations to Rob M. for being the winner of our Mill Merch Raffle Prize!

With continued help from our great Eagle Point community (and beyond!) we will be able to reopen again soon!

 

June 18, 2021

Celebrate July 4th at the Mill! Sunday • July 4th • 9:30 - 2:00

The Butte Creek Mill will be hosting a “mini” Old Time July 4th. Please come and enjoy our "vintage” food and craft vendors and check out our Porch Sale! Flour, t-shirts,  tote bags, postcards, and more and don’t forget to buy some raffle tickets for our Mill Merchandise Raffle Prize - $1.00 a ticket or $5.00 for 6 tickets. You will not need to be present to win. 

Don't feel like shopping? We will be giving guided construction tours of the Mill in small groups of 3-4 people at a time. Learn about how the Butte Creek Mill Foundation has kept to the old ways of construction.

Drop by for a snack or just to say "hi"! We would love to see you anytime from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm.

Be sure and stop by Youth 71:5 Campus at 226 W. Main Street in Eagle Point next to the High School for lots of fun and games too! 

 

May 13, 2021

Water Rights Challenge and Opportunity

As many are aware, after the tragic 2015 mill fire and subsequent sale of the mill to the Butte Creek Mill Foundation, the water right used to operate the Mill was not transferred to the Foundation and was instead retained by its prior owner, Mr. Bob Russell, who now wishes to sell the water right to Trout Unlimited. The water right is a power generation water right that varies seasonally from 22.62 cubic feet/second during irrigation season to 24.4 cfs during non-irrigation season. It is also among the most senior rights on the creek with an 1872 priority date. Importantly, because it is a large and senior water right located low in the Little Butte Creek system, this water right ensures that approximately 22 cfs remains in Little Butte Creek mainstream during irrigation season before reaching the Mill.

The Trout Unlimited purchase price for these water rights is $591,000. In that the Butte Creek Mill Foundation does not have the financial resources to compete with this buyer for the purchase of the water rights, it was critical for the Foundation Board to reach out and establish a long-term water lease agreement with Trout Unlimited to secure a sufficient supply of water and ensure that the mill could continue to operate as it has historically done.

Trout Unlimited seeks funding to transfer a portion of the water right (6-8 cfs), instream and to buy the remainder of the water right (16 cfs) from Mr. Russell to be maintained as a power generation water right for use by the Mill via a lease agreement for a minimal amount per year.

Trout Unlimited is currently seeking 75% of the project cost from Oregon Water Resources Department Water Project Grants and Loan Program and intends to secure the remaining funds from a mixture of additional grants and private donations. Trout Unlimited and the Butte Creek Mill Foundation are partners in this project.

Little Butte Creek also supports important community needs, most particularly for the City of Eagle Point. The Creek flows through the center of the City and its community park, providing enormous scenic and recreation value to the City’s residents. Water quality in the city reach is already impaired, (ODEQ 303d listed for multiple parameters), and this impairment results annually in public safety postings to avoid contact with the water during the summer season. Protecting and improving instream flow conditions will be critical to improving water quality. Most essential however, is protection of the mill water rights so that the Butte Creek Mill can continue to operate as a historic water powered facility while ensuring that the creek stream is not further dewatered through the town by other out of stream appropriation.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions! info@buttecreekmill.com or 541-690-5356.

 

May 10, 2021

Vintage Fair at the Eagle Point Grange and Tours at the Mill! • Saturday, May 22 

Mark your calendars for some fun in Eagle Point!

The Eagle Point Grange will be hosting a Vintage Fair  with creative vendors, good music, and great food from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.

Then be sure to come on down to the Butte Creek Mill, between 10:00 am - 1:00 pm as we will be open for free tours, flour and merchandise sales, and some raffle prizes! We will be open at the Mill from 10:00 - 1:00.

Besides our Butte Creek Mill t-shirts, we will have Mill logo tote bags for sale, all printed at Buffaloe Graphics.

We are sold out of our pancake mix, but we still have a limited amount of our "first grind" whole wheat flour for sale! 

Raffle tickets are $1.00 or 6 for $5.00 for some special Mill items and you need not be present to win. Hope to see you there!

 

April 19, 2021

Coming up next!

Framing the Milling Room is the next project that we are ready to start on! The big items that were in the space have been moved to other rooms at the Mill, and it is cleaned up and ready for our volunteer Paul Young to get those walls up. We will also be focused on the Fire Suppression system getting put in place as well as the Packaging Room finished out. Step by step we are working to get the Mill open again! 

Thank you everyone for your support thus far, financially as well as all our volunteers in this great community! 

Stay tuned for some information on our part in the Vintage Fair that will be happening at the Eagle Point Grange.

 

March 6, 2021

4th Annual Golf Tournament 

Come join us! It promises to be a day of fun at the Eagle Point Golf Club on May 21st with great raffle prizes, lunch, friends, and of course golf! 🏌🏻‍♀️ Teams are filling up fast, so click on the link below that will take you to the events page on our website where you can download team forms and sponsor information. Thank you to our sponsors so far:

Sisul Engineering
Airport Chevrolet
Comfort Inn North
Harry and David
Million Air Medford
Hamcon Builders LLC
Kelley Connect
Medford Auto Care Center

 

February 17, 2021

Welding the Future to the Past

A huge thank you to the Eagle Point High School welding students for their fantastic professional work designing, fabricating, and installing the front railings for the Mill porch! 

Stop on by and check out the solid work done by the teens and overseen by their instructor Daniel Langston. 

They can be proud of the 4 months of work they spent on the project, and will be able to show off their achievement for many years to come.
Great work Isabella Camarena, Madisyn Gerdes, Rylie Fernandes, Sam Rademacher, Brenden Monroe, and Parker Edwards! 

 

February 4, 2021

Water- the Life of the Mill

For 143 years the Butte Creek Mill has relied on its 1872 non-consumptive water rights to power the millstones. 

After the 2015 fire, and subsequent sale of the mill to the Butte Creek Mill Foundation, the mill has been without its original water rights.

When the 2018 mill sale took place, the property and building were transferred to the Butte Creek Mill Foundation, but the previous owner's water rights were not.
The Butte Creek Mill has been promoted as the only commercially operating water- powered grist mill west of the Mississippi River, and it has a valuable historic relevance to our region and state.
The water the mill briefly borrows from the creek is categorized as “non-consumptive” as it is not consumed but rather simply diverted from the creek into the mill to provide power for the turbine, and then released back into the creek.
The Foundation has been informed that the previous mill owner has an offer for the water rights from a third party who is not able to leaseback any portion of the 1872 water rights. The loss of waterpower to the mill could be devastating if a replacement cannot be found.
The Butte Creek Mill Foundation is therefore soliciting community assistance in raising the necessary funds to purchase a portion of the original 1872 water rights or the donation of alternative water rights to meet the Mill’s power needs.
At this time the Mill estimates that it will require a minimum of 10 cubic feet per second to power the millstones. The original water rights totaled 22-23 cfs.
The purchase of the 10 cfs from will cost an estimated $257,390.
If the Foundation is unable to raise these funds, the Butte Creek Mill will likely have to convert to electric power and lose its historic status as a water-powered mill.
Having access to enough water is vital to the life of the Mill, both now and into the future.
This is an urgent issue for the Butte Creek Mill Foundation as there is only a short window of opportunity to purchase a portion of the 1872 water rights before they are sold off.
The Foundation has a separate fund set up for water rights donations.
You may donate on our website - buttecreekmill.com and note that it is for the Water Rights or send a donation to Butte Creek Mill Foundation, PO Box 957, Eagle Point, OR 97524.
For more information call us at 541-690-5356 or email at info@buttecreekmill.com.

 

January 21, 2021

Volunteers from all over! 

These young people who volunteered their time and energy on Tuesday to prepare the area between the Butte Creek Mill and Antique store for Debbie’s Garden are LDS missionaries. They are here on assignment from Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Washington and California. When the job was done, Bob Russell conducted an informative tour of the work-in-progress inside the mill. We appreciated their enthusiasm and hard work! Thanks so much kids! We are another step closer to getting the garden prepped for planting! 

 

December 29, 2020

Thank you to everyone for all your support this year! 

We know everyone is eagerly waiting for us to officially open our doors and we are working hard toward that goal. To reach that point, we do need to raise a bit more. Completing the electrical, plumbing, and fire suppression systems are first, then framing in and finishing the rooms is on the list, as is securing the grain bins and coolers. Replicating the store will be an exciting part of the project too! 

We estimate we will need approximately $500,000 to complete our mission, which is a fraction of what was needed from the beginning, so we are almost there! Currently there are grants being submitted, and we have more fundraisers planned for the near future. If you would like to make an end of year donation, you may do that through our website buttecreekmill.com or send your gift to Butte Creek Mill, PO Box 957, Eagle Point, OR. 97524. If you shop on Amazon, go to smile.amazon.com to be able to donate directly to the Butte Creek Mill when you make your purchase. Every donation helps and we can’t do this without you! 

P.S. We still have a very limited amount of Pancake Mix and Flour available!  We will be selling on the Mill Porch again on January 9th, time to be announced soon! If you are out of the area, you may order on the website and we will ship to you!

 

December 23, 2020

What’s Next? 

There are countless people to thank for getting us to this point. From past Board members and volunteers, to current Board and Advisory Committee members, and numerous locals who have given their time, gifts, and talents to restore the milling equipment. And where would we be without Mike Hawkins, our former miller who came down from Portland to dress the stones (as you see in the photo) and mill 3000 pounds of wheat far into the night. Many community members have volunteered to mix up pancake mix at two separate bakery kitchens, as well as package hundreds of bags of whole wheat flour and pancake mix. Bob Moore from Moore's Flour Mill in Redding donated fresh ground corn meal for our original pancake recipe too! Even Eagle Point High School welding students are creating the front porch rails which will be going up soon! 

We have been overwhelmed with the support not only from Rogue Valley residents, but from around the country, and indeed around the world! We know many are eagerly waiting for us to officially open our doors and we are diligently working toward that goal. To reach that point, we need to raise a bit more. To open the doors we need to complete the electrical, plumbing, and fire suppression systems.  Framing and finishing the rooms is on the list, as is securing the grain bins and coolers. Replicating the store will be done too.

To get these items checked off, we estimate we will need approximately $500,000, which is a fraction of what was needed from the beginning, so we are almost there! Currently there are grants being submitted, and we have more fundraisers planned for the near future.

If you would like to make an end of year donation, you may do that through our website buttecreekmill.com or send your gift to Butte Creek Mill, PO Box 957, Eagle Point, OR. 97524. If you shop on Amazon, go to smile.amazon.com to be able to donate directly to the Butte Creek Mill when you make your purchase.

Thank you to everyone who has supported the rebuild in so many ways! We can’t do this without you! 

 

December 20, 2020

Two more shopping days on the Mill Porch!

Because of the absolutely wonderful overwhelming response, we will have more of our Pancake Mix and the little bit of Whole Wheat Flour we have left for sale on Tuesday, December 22 and Wednesday, December 23 on the Mill Porch from 3:00 - 5:00 pm. Hope to see you there! 

 

December 16, 2020

Pancake Mix and Flour at the Mill Porch 

Saturday - December 19th - Noon until 2:00

We have had a wonderful response to the first flour from the grindstones in five years! We sold out of our first round of Butte Creek Mill Pancake Mix, so we have mixed up and packaged round two. 

If you haven’t had a chance to purchase Pancake Mix or our Whole Wheat Flour, or would like to purchase more, come by the Mill porch this Saturday, December 19th, from noon - 2:00! Our 2 pound bags are $15.00 each and all proceeds go toward the rebuilding. 

(I will be posting additional Pancake Mix inventory on our website for shipping out of the area on Friday.)

We could not have done this project without many volunteers helping to grind wheat, mix product, and packaging.  A big thank you to Sensational Sweets and Great Harvest Bread Co. for the use of their kitchens for mixing. And a huge thank you to the folks at the Eagle Point Grange for their facility for packaging and storage! Truly a community endeavor!! 

 

December 9, 2020

We have flour! 

After nearly 5 years the stones are grinding wheat again! Through countless hours and numerous volunteers we have ready our first offering of Pancake Mix and Whole Wheat Flour packed in 2 lb. commemorative bags selling for $15.00. We still have a ways to go until we can open our doors and be fully operational again, but this fundraiser will help keep us moving toward that goal.

We have a limited amount this week, but will have more coming later next week.

If you are a local, email Therese at therese@buttecreekmill.com to order. Pick up of your order will be on the Mill porch on the following days: Monday, Dec. 14th from 4:00 - 6:00; Wednesday, Dec. 16th from 1:00 - 3:00; and Saturday, Dec. 19th from 12:00 - 2:00.

If you live out of the area, you may order online beginning Friday, December 11th on our website - buttecreekmill.com - and click the “Shop” button at the top. We will ship to you!

Remember to come and enjoy some live Christmas music 🎶 at the Mill on Saturday, December 12th from 4:30 - 5:30, with hot cider and cookies. Plan on staying with your family unit, practice social distancing, and bring your mask. And as a bonus we will have our Pancake Mix,  Whole Wheat Flour, and some t-shirts available as well! 

 

December 3, 2020

There has been some great activity inside the Mill this week! Ian Dilworth used his awesome timber framing skills once again and built a timber crane for the millstones. Medford Fabrication helped with the supports, as well as Paul Young. It was installed and works great doing its job of lifting and positioning the stones so they can be dressed and maintained. 

Mike Hawkins will be arriving on Sunday to do just that, getting them ready for milling. Then he will grind some beautiful hard red winter wheat into flour.  

Our team has been working behind the scenes in preparation for our next fundraiser, using the flour that will be produced by Mike next week. See the photos below to get a hint of what we have coming up…we are excited! 

 

November 28, 2020

Christmas Caroling at the Mill!   Saturday, December 12 • 4:30 - 5:30 pm

The community is invited to experience this tradition at the Butte Creek Mill with Christmas music led by Bob Sullivan.  Warm yourselves by the fire pits, enjoy some cookies and cider, and listen to music of the season as well as some updates on the Mill restoration progress! We will be in front of the Mill this year and there is thankfully a lot of space to stay with your family unit and socially distance, but bring your mask as well. We hope to see you there! 

(We had a team putting up Christmas lights today so the Mill is looking festive!)

 

November 22, 2020

Eagle Point High School and the Mill

Thank you to Daniel Langston and his welding students who are creating the iron railing for the front porch of the Butte Creek Mill! They have been hard at work crafting the necessary parts and fabricating the handrails using the same design as we had previously, in keeping with our restoration.

A big shout out to the students on the project: Isabella R. Camarena, Parker Edwards, Madisyn Gerdes, Rylie Fernandes, Brenden Monroe, Samuel Rademacher, and Randy McMahan.

We look forward to getting the railing in place and enjoying their great work! 

 

November 5, 2020

Debbie’s Garden

Bob and Debbie Russell owned the Butte Creek Mill from 2005 - 2015. If you visited during that time, you most likely had the privilege of chatting with Debbie as she ran a lot of the day-to-day operations at the Mill. She always had a smile and kind word for those who came to visit, not to mention seemingly boundless energy! 

Sadly, Debbie lost her battle with cancer in September 2015, a few months before the fire at the Mill. A fund was set up to create a garden in her memory on the land between the Mill and Bob Russell’s antique store. I am happy to say we are ready to break ground on the garden and create a gathering place for our visitors. 

In the photos below you’ll see the plans which include a gazebo, pathways, grass and beautiful landscaping. The lovely large tree next to the Mill, originally planted by Peter Crandall over 30 years ago, will unfortunately be removed as its roots have become problems with the possibility of them affecting the foundation walls. Another tree that doesn’t have potential root issues will be planted in its place.

We owe a tremendous thank you to James Hoffman, our landscape architect who designed the garden,  and another thank you to Tim Elbert, owner of 4 Seasons Nursery, who will be donating the plants and his expertise.  We will be looking for some volunteers in the future to help with laying the pavers and gazebo construction, as well as some other areas. So be watching for the opportunities to help out! 

 

October 16, 2020

A big THANK YOU to Luke Ozcelik, (on the far left in photo) owner of Eagles Market and Gas in Eagle Point for his great support for the Butte Creek Mill Foundation!

Luke has set up a donation box at the front counter in his store on Highway 62 for customers to drop in loose change to benefit the rebuilding of the Mill. The first collection was $150.00 and as Luke is matching donations, the total given was $300.00. 

We are grateful for the community encouragement in this project to get our city’s landmark rebuilt!

 

October 14, 2020

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! 

We are looking for volunteers to help us weather proof our windows at the Mill THIS Saturday , October 17th, starting at 12:30 and going until about 4:00. 

We will be applying Teak oil to the windows themselves as well as the wood frames. The windows will be removed from the frames so most of the work can be done outside, which helps for staying socially distant. 

We need a couple people still to help with applying the oil, a couple more to help clean the glass after they are finished, and a couple people to help with removing windows and reinstalling them when they are done. 

Thanks in advance!!

 

September 26, 2020

Behind the Scenes

It’s hard to see behind the exterior walls of the Mill, but there is a lot of activity going on in there! Besides the main structure of the building, the electrical and plumbing is roughed in, along with the interior insulation installed.

A recent post on September 3rd recorded the millwright’s progress, and the millstones are now working and capable of milling wheat. Yay!! The water run from Little Butte Creek is all spic and span and currently capable of providing more water volume than the Mill needs. 

But wait, there’s more!  We have a number of locals to thank for their work on various projects: Thank you to Ian Dilworth of Treeborn Timbercraft who is busy constructing the timber millstone crane which is used for lifting the stones for dressing and maintenance. 

Dan Beeks is designing and building the wood Wheat Hopper that will sit on top of the millstones. 

The steel rim around the millstones is currently being sand blasted and powder coated by ABC Powder Coating in Medford.

In addition, the wood floor in the basement is a project taking shape right now by some great volunteers. 

The Butte Creek Mill Foundation Board wants everyone to be assured that we are all working daily. We are making progress getting estimates for the finish work which includes electrical, plumbing, and interior pine wood paneling, as well as pricing and purchasing needed items for grinding wheat, such as a flour sifter. And so much more!

The next volunteer opportunity coming up will be weather treating the windows, so be watching for that! We will try to make it fun…

Thank you for your kind and valuable support!

 

September 18, 2020

Many of our valley residents have experienced a great loss of lives, homes, and wellbeing.

But we are a strong community and shall rise from the ashes.

Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone who has suffered from the recent fires and COVID events.

The Butte Creek Mill is an example of the ability to rebuild after tragedy. We are all working for a better tomorrow.

As part of the Rogue Valley community, and in support of those who have bigger and more critical needs, the Butte Creek Mill Foundation is suspending its local fundraising programs for the next 45 days so that collective energy can be focused on where the need is greatest.

We thank all those who have supported the Mill and who have responded to the urgent needs of our region.

 

September 14, 2020

Meet and Greet at the Mill- update

Due to the local fires and resulting smoky skies, as well as the losses our community and neighboring towns have experienced this past week, we have decided to reschedule the “Meet and Greet at the Mill” until sometime in October.

While we are so thankful that the town of Eagle Point, and the Mill too, are safe from danger, our hearts go out to those who’ve lost so much. 

Be watching for the announcement for the new date! We are looking forward to meeting our supporters and are hopeful that we will have a beautiful, crisp, and clear Autumn day for our event!

 

September 3, 2020

Millwright Progress Update!

The High Caliber Millwrights of Vancouver, WA have been skillfully working on the mechanical repair and operational issues of our Butte Creek Millstones and mill shaft drive. They have completely rebuilt our 1916 Leffel Turbine and poured 8 different Babbit Bearings. 

Besides rehabilitating the turbine, belts, pulleys and shaft that operate the millstones they were able to get the stones turning. Our millrace system was updated with new screens and gates.

Mr. Bill Thorndike of Medford Fabricators has graciously agreed to donate his company’s time and labor to design, build and install new water control gates for the water run entrance to the Mill. 

With the millstones now operational, our next step is to construct a wooden wheat receiving hopper for the stones and a wooden floor and flour receiving system in the Mill basement. The millwrights will be building grain elevators and transport systems and refining our total mechanical systems.

High Caliber Millwrights have donated scores of hours and hundreds of dollars of materials. We are grateful for all the work they have put into the restoration!

 

August 29, 2020

Update on Grant Money!

The Butte Creek Mill Foundation is greatly encouraged by the Eagle Point City Council's approval of a motion to provide an extension of time for the $200,000 State/City grant for the Mill project.

The Foundation appreciates this show of support and window of opportunity to capture the important State grant funding. 

The Board of Directors looks forward to negotiating a mutually acceptable contract extension with the City in within the next 20 days.
It is critical that the Foundation, City, and Community all work together as partners in this vital community project.

August 24, 2020

The Mill Needs Your Help! 

A special Eagle Point City Council meeting via Teleconference has been called for this Wednesday, August 26 at 7:00 pm! The only agenda item is the discussion regarding the Intergovernmental Grant Agreement with the Oregon Business Development Department ant the Subgrant Agreement with the Butte Creek Mill Foundation- the $200,000 grant. 

If you are able, PLEASE call in to the meeting to show your support for this project!

The call in information is as follows: Call in before 7:00. Call 617-691-8419. Stay on the line when you call in. You will just give your name so they know who is calling. There may be a slight delay when calling in and speaking. 

( Be sure to mute your phone when the meeting starts.)

 

August 14, 2020

Butte Creek Mill Clean Up Day! Saturday, August 22  8:00 - 10:00 am

We are looking for approximately 10 volunteers  to come help clean up around the outside the Mill. We need folks with weed-eaters, rakes, saws/chainsaws, and a dump trailer for debris removal to help spruce up the place. Be sure to bring work gloves! 

We will especially need those with experience weed-eating on steep slopes as the rear of the mill is steep in places with weeds that need to be cleaned up. 

Water and snacks will be provided 

Mill t-shirts will also be available for purchase. 

Please contact therese@buttecreekmill.com or message me here to sign up please!!

 

August 2020

The Mill is an iconic structure that was built in 1872 in Eagle Point, Oregon. It is on the National Register of Historic Places as the last water-powered grist mill, still commercially operating, this side of the Mississippi. After a fire on Christmas morning in 2015 burned the beloved landmark to the ground, the Butte Creek Mill Foundation was formed and became the owner of Butte Creek Mill. 

Butte Creek Mill Reconstruction is currently moving through Phase 3 of a 4 phase Rebuild project. As part of a natural evolution in such long term projects, the Butte Creek Mill Foundation Board recently transitioned with new Board members stepping in to take the project into the business phase. The new Foundation Board owes the previous Board a debt of gratitude for their years of dedicated service and for bringing the Mill project from a burnt pile of rubble to the beautiful building that stands on the site today. The new Board is comprised of Eagle Point residents with specific areas of expertise required to bring this project to completion and full operation. This news should be viewed as a positive progression in the work being done to complete this important community project. New Board members are Jay O'Neil, Barbara Young, Therese Hoehne, Don Blaser, and John Parsons.

We are hopeful that we will be open again in late 2021!

 

April 17, 2020

Times are unpredictable right now but we here at the Butte Creek Mill Foundation wanted to assure all of our supporters that we are doing our best, while making sure our employees and volunteers are safe and healthy, to keep the progress on the reconstruction of the Mill going. 

Here's a few pictures of what been going on. 

~The restoration of the Turbine continues

~The original fridge from inside the Mill's general store was rescued from the fire and a local Eagle Point Community member has offered to donate his time and materials to restore it!
~The block of wood, Lignum Vitae hard wood, was milled down to become the pivot point the Turbine spins on. Any left over will be saved for a display piece.
~ The car is Ginger Rogers (of Ginger Rogers Theater) and has been lovingly restored and donated for auction.

Thank you for your continued support and generous donations that make this possible!

 

February 19, 2020

Thank you for your encouragement and donations.

Our latest challenge is rebuilding the turbine that turns the grinding stones. Help us by Donating today. www.buttecreekmill.com.

 

July 15, 2019

A big thank you to an anonymous donor who gave the rest of the money to finish paying for the restoration of the Bean Counter from the store! Thank you Black Oak Furniture Restoration in Medford for your hard work!

 

July 8, 2019

If you had stopped by our Butte Creek Mill booth on July 4th in Eagle Point, you would have heard Bonnie tell the encouraging story of how the Statue of Liberty was completed because of many small donations. I looked up the details and it is an inspiring story to be sure! 

In 1885, the gift of the Statue of Liberty from France was in New York, in pieces, waiting for the base so she could stand and welcome people to our shores. But the last $250,000 (about $6.3 million in today’s currency) for the granite plinth, or mounting platform, was still needed. Although a group called the American Committee of the Statue of Liberty raised some of it, they still fell short. The New York governor at the time, Grover Cleveland, didn’t want to use city funds to pay for it, and Congress couldn’t get together a funding package.  Other cities even offered to pay for the pedestal in exchange for the statue’s relocation. 

It took Joseph Pulitzer to launch a fundraising campaign in his own newspaper The New York World. He reached out to all in the community and more than 160,000 donors, in about 5 months time, raised $101,091 - enough to cover the pedestal and a gift for the sculptor. 

The amazing part of this is that the majority of donors were young children, business men, street cleaners, just regular people, along with even a few politicians, with more than three-quarters of the donations amounting to less than a dollar! 

We too are nearing the end of our fundraising goals! No donation is too small, and if we work together as a community, we will be able to get our Eagle Point landmark open again soon! 

Or purchase a Butte Creek Mill t-shirt when our next batch is ready in a few weeks! (We sold out on July 4th!) 

We got this! 

All donations are tax deductible too buttecreekmill.com

 

July 2, 2019

4th Of July! 

Join us as we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Eagle Point 4th of July Parade! Be a part of history and the biggest day of the year in the Upper Rogue!

Be sure to stop by and say hello to us at the Butte Creek Mill booth! You’ll be able to get a Mill rebuild update, buy a t-shirt and support the rebuild effort by buying a raffle ticket for a great handmade quilt!

The day will start off with the Fun Run through downtown Eagle Point as well as the Boy Scout Pancake Breakfast from the Eagle Point Grange. An epic parade starts off at 11:00 a.m. with a flyover of the F-15 Eagle fighter jets. 🛩 One of the unforgettable parade entries are the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps all the way from Denver! 

Vendor booths will line Main Street and will be open until 3:00 p.m., with the band “Rewind” providing great hits to listen and dance to!

A day of fun will conclude with the festivities at Eagle Point High School field, concluding with the fireworks show at dusk.

Hope to see you there!!

 

June 17, 2019

Butte Creek Mill T-Shirts Are Ready For Purchase! 

I have the beautiful Butte Creek Mill t-shirts here in the office! This first batch comes in your choice of Heather Military Green or Indigo Blue. I have a variety of sizes in both colors - Medium, Large, X-Large, and 2-X. They are $20 each and all the proceeds benefit the rebuilding of the Mill. You may contact me to make arrangements to purchase: therese@buttecreekmill.com.

T-shirts will also be available at our booth at the 4th of July festivities in Eagle Point, but if you just can't wait, contact me today! Every donation large and small helps us get one step closer to opening!

Many thanks to my lovely model Jamie, the Administrative Assistant at the Eagle Point Windermere office! And a huge thanks to Windermere Real Estate for loaning us the office space! 

 

May 17, 2019

Mill Merch update! 

Woo hoo! The first batch of t-shirts has been ordered at Buffaloe Graphics! Thanks so much for your interest in this. Peggy Dover, a local columnist for the Mail Tribune, and author of "Trips and Tangents: 101 Favorite Southern Oregon Journal Columns", donated the amount needed to cover our first order of 24 shirts. Thanks Peggy! 

Buffaloe Graphics on Highway 62 in Central Point, will be screen printing the original Butte Creek Mill logo in white on the front and the back. The 2 color choices to start with will be Indigo Blue or Heather Military Green in a variety of sizes, and selling for $20. 

These beauties will be ready and available to purchase starting at the "Music on Main Street - Community Night Out" event in Eagle Point on June 15th, at Bob Moore Park on Main St., from 6:30 - 9:30 pm. Hope to see you there!!

 

May 8, 2019

Come on out to the Eagle Point Grange Bazaar! 

On Saturday, from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, the Eagle Point Grange, 5 South Shasta Ave., is hosting a bazaar with crafts, pottery, jewelry, plants, toys, quilts, and much more! There will be vendors both inside and outside. 

I’ll be at a booth for the Butte Creek Mill so be sure to come by and say hello!  The raffle for the beautiful quilt donated by Bonnie Scriba, to raise money for the Mill rebuild, will begin on Saturday. Tickets are $2.00 each or 3 for $5.00. Every dollar helps! 

We will have the drawing for the quilt on September 21st, so there will be more opportunities to buy tickets - at the “Music on Main Street “ 🎶 event on June 15th in Eagle Point, on July 4th in Eagle Point, and at the Mill’s event we are planning for the summer! Stay tuned for details on that! 

See you Saturday!

 

April 26, 2019

National Treasure of the Rogue Valley! 

Many thanks to George Kramer, our historic preservation consultant, for helping with the documentation needed to keep the Butte Creek Mill on the National Register of Historic Places!  His work and recommendations are key pieces in the grant writing process as well.

Thankfully, according to Mr. Kramer, the actual works, the “mill” and equipment for milling, survived the fire, and having that is a significant part of staying on the National Register. Yes, the beautiful timber framed structure didn’t much survive, but that was essentially a “box” or shell to protect what was most important in the building-those amazing millstones and mechanical equipment. 

We persevere in our project to rebuild the Mill to continue with our historic function of grinding grains with water power! Go whole grains!

 

April 16, 2019

The Gateway to the Past, Present, and Future

Look what went in this week at the Mill!

The doors will be open soon for customers to see the past, through watching the grain grinding process and learning about local history.

In our present day, you’ll be able to see the new building and buy fresh products! 

And in the future, keep coming back with your family and friends to experience this living history! 

Thank you to #RogueValleyDoor !

We are still in need of donations large and small to see this through to completion. If you would like to contribute with a tax deductible donation, go to buttecreekmill.com.

 

April 5, 2019

Butte Creek Mill Seeing Stars!

Excitement was high as the Butte Creek Mill Foundation welcomed some pretty well known faces in the antiques world to the Mill and Bob Russell’s antique store!

Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz and the crew from the History Channel’s “American Pickers “ were in Eagle Point yesterday filming a segment for their show. We are so thankful they came by to hear the history and background of the Mill, and take a tour of the rebuild. And rumor has it they bought a few items from Bob during the filming of his store and collections! 

The air date of the completed show highlighting the Butte Creek Mill is set for September, so we will definitely let everyone know the exact date so you can tune in!

 

January 11, 2019

Oregon is magic! Thank you to Travel Oregon for their partnership with the Butte Creek Mill Foundation to help rebuild and restore the Butte Creek Mill. Travel Oregon is an agency created by the Oregon Legislature to enhance Oregonians' lives by promoting and strengthening economic impacts of the state's $11.8 billion tourism industry. Southern Oregon alone enjoys $1,000,000,000 of those tourism dollars –Yes, that is billions with a ‘B’. 

The grants they provided to the Butte Creek Mill will ensure the Mill is self-sustaining, maintains its historic integrity and includes ADA accessibility. The Mill will be an interpretive center highlighting local history and Native American culture and most importantly it will drive tourism back to Southern Oregon. Make sure to check out their website before your next Oregon adventure.
Thank you Travel Oregon!

#buttecreekmill #buttecreekmillfoundation # traveloregon #wewillrebuild #grateful #oregontourism #oregonismagic

 

January 7, 2019

Today is the day! Rogue Credit Union will match donations made to the Butte Creek Mill. Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to double the love and be a part of rebuilding history. Together we will meet our goal and open the doors this Spring.

#grateful #buttecreekmill #buttecreekmillfoundation #roguecreditunion #doublethelove #community

 

December 20, 2018

Here is your chance to double your financial support to the Butte Creek Mill! The St. Laurent Family Foundation will match your donation to The Butte Creek Mill up to $150,000!! Thank you to the St. Laurent family for their generous support and helping us rebuild history.

#wewillrebuild #buttecreekmill #buttecreekmillfoundation #grateful #doubleyourgift #St.LaurentFamilyFoundation

 

December 16, 2018

Thank you Mike Braaten, Superintendent from Adroit Construction Company that is overseeing such a huge job at The Butte Creek Mill. Adroit provides Southern Oregon with high value construction services and with their 39 years in the industry, they have built a reputation as one of the best. The Butte Creek Mill's roof is going on and soon we will have walls too.

#adroit #adroitconstruction #buttecreekmill #buttecreekmillfoundation #wewillrebuild #grateful

 

December 13, 2018

Don’t miss the 10th annual Caroling at the Mill on December 15th from 6:00-7:00pm (we’ll actually be meeting at the antique store next door). The evening will be fun for family and friends of all ages, but dress warm and bring a flashlight. Hot chocolate, cider and cookies will be served.

#carolingatthemill #traditions #buttecreekmill #buttecreekmillfoundation #tistheseason #falalala

 

December 5, 2018

The Butte Creek Mill Foundation received a generous grant from the Oregon based Reser Family Foundation. The Reser Family Foundation was formed in 2010 to honor the legacy of family values cherished by Al and Pat Reser. Their mission is to make charitable contributions in the areas of arts, education, environment and health. You can read more about their giving hearts at the link below. Thank you to the Reser Family Foundation for being part of rebuilding Oregon's history!

#buttecreekmill #buttecreekmillfoundation #rebuildbuttecreekmill #reser #reserfamilyfoundation #grateful

http://www.thereserfamilyfoundation.org/

 

November 20, 2018

We want to take the time to thank Robert and Frances Chaney along with the Chaney Family Foundation. The Chaney Family Foundation works to benefit the welfare of children and families and to support public safety here in Jackson and Josephine county. They are giving back to the community and helping rebuild history with their generous donation to Butte Creek Mill. We cannot do this without you and your support. Thank you!

#buttecreekmill #buttecreekfoundation #rebuildbuttecreekmill #chaneyfamilyfoundation

 

August 23, 2018

Tomorrow is an EXCITING day! The 2nd & 3rd stories of the Butte Creek Mill are being raised by Treeborn Timber Craft LLC.! We anticipate the beams rising in the morning hours but please feel free to come by anytime and get a glimpse of history in the making!

 

August 7, 2018

Join us on September 22, 2018 for the Butte Creek Mill Foundation’s 3rd Annual “Rebuild the Mill” golf tournament at Eagle Point Golf Course. Have you registered yet? It's so simple, just click the link, add to cart, and check out! Have some fun, win some prizes, and support the Mill! #wewillrebuild #support #golf

 

August 6, 2018

For those of you that have been waiting for us to go vertical - Wednesday is your day! The crane will be there to get things going and you will be able to see the start of the Mill come to life!

 

July 26, 2018

We’ve got some beams to go up for the framing of the Mill! This is a memorable step in the progress of rebuilding, so Medford Chamber of Commerce is hosting a ribbon cutting for us today from 11am-11:30. Come down and show your support! #community #wearerebuilding #support

 

July 12, 2018

Butte Creek Mill Foundation is excited to announce that the City of Eagle Point has invested $100,000 towards our restoration efforts. We would like to thank the City, and give a special thanks to City Councilor Jonathan Bilden for being a champion for the cause. As always, we are thankful to all of our supporters for not only investing in the Mill, but in the community as well. With continued support, we will be able to reestablish an important historical landmark to Southern Oregon. #wewillrebuild #community #EaglePointOregon

 

June 27, 2018

The hewing of the beams is happening now. If you haven’t been out to visit the progress at the Mill yet, this would be a great time to do it!

 

June 8, 2018

The timber framers have ARRIVED! Ian Dilworth, founder of Treeborn Timbercraft LLC. moved to the Rogue Valley in 2011. He is passionate about his craft and that is evident in his work. With over 16 years of experience in the frame and construction industry, along with time spent converting historic frame barns into houses, we knew he was perfect for this very important job! We are excited to have Ian and his family join forces with us to restore the beloved Butte Creek Mill!

 

June 6, 2018 

Thank you to The Oregon Community Foundation for their $50,000 grant!

#wecandothistogether #communitysupport

 

June 2, 2018

The TIMBERS for the rebuilding of the Mill have ARRIVED! We are so excited the timbers are here- on the same day as the Jim Belushi Benefit Concert too! The timber framing will be starting soon. A special thanks to Ian at www.treeborntimbercraft.com for his work on rebuilding this historical masterpiece. #itsreallyhappening #timberframing #wewillrebuild

 

May 17, 2018 

Experience a night full of fun, food and fantastic entertainment!  The sensational blues musician, Jim Belushi, is performing live on June 2nd in Eagle Point, OR! This once in a life time event will be held in an intimate outdoor venue to give all concert attendees a unique blues concert experience! VIP ticket holders will have early entry to the benefit concert, reserved seats AND a meet and greet prior to the show with Jim Belushi!! You will not want to miss amazing evening!

 

January 17, 2018

Bob Moore of Bob’s Red Mill Donates $100,000 to Rebuild the Butte Creek Mill!!!

 

January 16, 2018

We had deconstruction taking place today....The removal of the stairs and as well as some elements downstairs.

Thursday we will be deconstructing it all the way down...And after deconstruction comes reconstruction!!

 

December 27, 2017

Great news! The Butte Creek Mill Foundation is now on The Oregon Cultural Trust list!

 

December 9, 2017

Don’t forget...Tonight (Saturday) from 6pm to 9pm the tradition of bonfire Christmas carol singing at the Mill.

Bring your family, your singing voice.....and join the singers from Trail Christian Fellowship for a holiday night you won't forget.

 

September 20, 2017

It’s a great day for a golf tournament. We're going to raise lots of $$$ to help with the rebuild of the Mill. For those volunteers that have signed up, we look forward to seeing you there today, for those that have some time today, and would like to come volunteer on the course, we can always use some more help.

For sign in volunteers 10:30am and for on course volunteers 1pm. Come on out, help the Mill, meet some great people and have some fun today!!!

 

September 5, 2017

Butte Creek Mill Foundation, Oregon Historical Society, and Wells Fargo is proud to present: Teddy Roosevelt Historical Tribute, Wednesday, October 12th at the Smullin Health Education Center, 2825 E. Barnett Road, in Medford, Or 97504 on the campus of Asante Regional Medical Center.

Tickets are JUST $25 each with all the proceeds going to the Butte Creek Mill Foundation to 'Rebuild the Mill'.

This show plays to rave reviews everywhere! Joe Wiegand has been bringing Teddy Roosevelt to life for years with his unparalleled grasp of history and uncanny resemblance to the famed Rough Rider.

His depth of knowledge about the personal anecdotes in Roosevelt’s life makes his audiences feel they are truly in the presence of the former U.S. president and adventurer.

Not only do you get to see an amazing show for just $25 but you get to help 'Rebuild the Mill' at the same time.

 

September 2, 2017

A great week for the Mill. On Wednesday the Mill property was officially signed over to the Foundation. Just another step in the fundraising and rebuilding process. 

 

August 17, 2017

We’re just a few weeks away from the 2nd Annual, Rebuild The Mill Golf Tournament.

We'd like to thank the great businesses who are sponsors of this year's tournament. There are still a couple teams left, and some sponsorship possibilities, so click the link and be a part of the rebuild!

Presenting Title Sponsor: Pacific Power
Hole In One Sponsor #3 - Southern Oregon Subaru
Golf Awards Dinner Sponsor – Naumes Inc.

Sponsors: 

Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians

Western Wood Structures

Avista

Airport Chevrolet

Van Row

Country Financial

 

August 2, 2017

WhooHoo!!! SOREDI Members Raise $2000 for Butte Creek Mill Foundation.

Each year, SOREDI gathers their members, guests and interested parties to give them a report about the activities they undertook during the previous year and to recognize noteworthy businesses.

This year, the theme of the evening was Caddyshack and three golf-themed games and two raffles were added to the program. Guests were invited to buy tickets that could be used to play games or enter the raffle contests.

One hundred percent of the proceeds from these tickets were dedicated to the Historic Butte Creek Mill Foundation, to be used in the rebuilding of the Historic Butte Creek Mill in Eagle Point.

SOREDI is proud to announce that their members and guests donated $2000 to the Historic Butte Creek Mill.

 

 

 

December 18, 2016

It's been almost a year since that Christmas morning at 4:10 am when the Mill caught fire. We're working hard to and will Rebuild the Mill. Over $230,000 has been raised through grassroots, a 501C3 Rebuild The Mill Foundation has been formed, and grant writing will begin to secure larger donations and get this done!!!

A lot of the Foundations that donate to projects like ours always look to see how many people are involved and contributing to the project.

Every dollar matters, and you'll be one more person of the Rebuild The Mill Army!!

 

 

July 19, 2016

WooHoo!!! Tomorrow we will post the sign-up for the 1st ever Butte Creek Mill Foundation golf tournament sponsored by Pacific Power!!

We can't thank the folks at Pacific Power enough for stepping up as title sponsor!

We will have other sponsorships opportunities available and will post them this week.

The tournament will be held on Wednesday, September 21st. It will be a 4-person scramble, with 2-handicapped flights.

Thank you to all who have signed up to volunteer in some aspect for the tournament. We'll be in contact with you by the end of the week.

 

 May 19, 2016

While we're still counting and some money is till coming in we can safely say the benefit concert will NET more than $75,000!

We couldn't have had such a great dollar in - to net ratio without these local businesses who donated, time, material, money and sweat.

Eagle Creek Estates - Karen and Dave Hammond
Paradux Media Group
DB BBQ
Hidden Jungle Mobile Bar
HamCon Builders
Sensational Sweets
Minute Man Press
Heaven Scent Flowers
Table Rock Distillery
Duke Street
Jim Belushi
And the many people who volunteered their time…..

 

April 15, 2016

We are proud to announce that Mr. Jim Belushi and The Duke Street Band will perform together Sunday, May 15th at Eagle Creek Estates to support the efforts to Rebuild the Mill. Doors Open at 5:30. Music begins at 7 pm.

Only 500 tickets will be sold! The venue, which runs along Little Butte Creek, is the perfect location for this night of nights, and it promises to be something talked about for a very long time to come. You're not going to want to miss this.

This is a benefit concert. All the services are being donated, including the very generous Mr, Belushi and the Duke Street Band, so 100% of the proceeds will be going to "Rebuild the Mill."

We'd like to thank the following businesses and individuals for making this a possibility:

Eagle Creek Estates

Paradux Media Group

MinuteMan Press

Hammonds Construction

Sensational Sweets

Hidden Jungle Mobile Bar

DB BBQ

Duke Street Band

Jim Belushi

 

 

January 31, 2016

Deputy Chief Fire Marshall John Paterson is writing a blog on the scientific investigation of the fire.

Part 3: 

Things have moved slowly and frustration about the seeming lack of progress could be easily kindled. Looking at the building it’s clear that many physical hazards exist. The fire left the structural components fragile and significantly deteriorated. Holes are burned in the floor. The loft fell onto the second floor. The second floor collapsed on to the first floor. The massive posts and beams stand like a brittle skeleton. What metal roofing is left acts like a ships sail and is pushed to and fro with the breeze. These hazards must be addressed before we can put investigators inside the building to examine the remains. All this and throw in that the Mill itself was as much a museum as it was a working grind mill. Artifacts and valuables were scattered all over the site. The mercantile store was fairly well protected from the flames. But heat and smoke had permeated most everything inside. Then we doused it all with water. Rust and rot were beginning. Grains originally destined for food products was spilled out of overhead bins and began to sprout.

The decision was made to allow salvage and recovery efforts to take first priority. The fire was done burning. The evidence that would eventually lead us to the cause of the fire would be protected and entry into our suspected areas was denied. Step one- determine the probable area the fire originated and deny all access to those areas. This was accomplished by scouring tons of debris for clues and utilizing early pictures, eye witness accounts and information provided by an in building alarm system. Step two- make the rest of the site as safe as reasonably possible for recovery. This involved overhead equipment and lots of planning. The metal roof had to be removed. The front porch had to come off. All loose hanging debris needed to removed or secured. City of Eagle Point Building Official Dale Bohannan provided council and approval of the plan. Gene Abell from Abell Architectural Group Inc. provided engineering knowledge. Claudio Alvarez Construction provided man power and equipment.  Step three- recovery. Bob Russell along with family and friends sorted through tons and tons of debris on the north side of the property. Once it was determined that a mostly safe operation could commence in the mercantile and in the basement, both areas were cleared of antiques and valuables. Step four- everyone out. A fence surrounded the site since the first day. Fire District 3 held close security and an extensive check in-check out process. Now that the salvage operation was handled the gates were closed to everyone but essential personnel.

The first step in a scientific method of investigation is to identify the need. In our case the need is to determine why and how this fire ignited. Step one was handed to us at a little after 4am Christmas morning. The second step is to define how the problem might be solved. In the case of unwanted/hostile fires, the solution is typically found through a proper and systematic origin and cause investigation following a scientific method of inquiry and testing. This starts by collecting data. Data includes examining the fire scene, collecting information such as pictures, diagrams and interviews. We are going to spend many hours inside the building and the hazards that remained have to be removed. A huge thank you to Mike Frey and the flock at Paradux Media Group for your help through this Blog process. And for allowing us to link to your work!

 

January 23, 2016

Deputy Chief Fire Marshall John Paterson is writing a blog on the scientific investigation of the fire.

Part 2: 

While Butte Creek Mill’s award winning pancake mix was turning into fluffy flapjacks and muffin mix was warming houses with spicy aromas, the mill that ground the grains was smoldering and steam was rising into the new dawn sky. Owner Bob Russell put together a couple great videos about the Butte Creek Mill explaining the history and its inner workings. As you watch the videos pay particular attention to the construction details and furnishings inside the mill at the time of the fire. We will be referring to different aspects of these videos throughout our investigation.

The devastation revealed with the rising of the sun comes as a second, sometimes more severe blow to those affected by the fire. What was hidden by darkness comes into full view. Depending on the severity of the fire morning can kindle hope for recovery or their worst fears may be realized. I think a little of both occurred this morning. A KOBI 5 News report that morning outlines the first thoughts and feelings. 

Through these blog posts I am by no means trying to write a thorough scholastic text on how to investigate fires nor laying out a career path on how to become a fire investigator. The intent here is to showcase the intricate nature behind the forensic science of this practice and how we put the scientific method to use. To all the professional investigators that may be reading, I appreciate your allowing me to normalize some of our more technical verbiage and granting me the liberty to not overwhelm my intended audience with unnecessary scientific specificity.

Oregon Revised Statute 476.210 requires, and here I paraphrase, that every fire that causes damage to property be immediately investigated to determine the cause, origin and circumstances leading to its ignition.

Fire investigation is the formal process of determining the origin, cause and development of a fire. In other words, we have to find out and logically explain where the fire started, why the fire started and how it progressed through its cycle until it was extinguished.

Due to the nature of hostile/unwanted fires they often destroy, deform or distort the evidence needed to investigate them.  Determining the origin and cause is among the most difficult forensic sciences to practice. Not knowing whether a fire was ignited intentionally we must start every case with the premise that an arson might have occurred. We have to take all necessary steps to prove or disprove any allegations or suspicions about arson and to piece together the pre- and post- fire events. Every possibility is on the table from the very beginning.

Fire District 3 investigation personnel bring over 75 years of combined fire service experience to this task. The investigation responsibilities were assigned as: DFM Murdock- Lead Investigator, Planning and Safety Officer; DFM Northrop– Assisting Investigator, Planning, photos, scene diagramming and sketches; FLSS Lara– Public Information Officer; FM Patterson– Assisting Investigator, IC, Logistics and Planning; SA Darnell– Investigator Assisting, Accountability, Planning and Logistics.

Due to the psychological impact of this fire on the community, we felt it was necessary to narrow down an area of fire origin, secure that area then allow Bob and his team of volunteers begin recovery efforts outside the focus of our investigation. After a loss such as this it is important to allow the owner and others to do something. This helps relieve the sense of helplessness and satisfies needs that we all have. The need to help others. The need to overcome. And the need to begin to recover.

 

January 15, 2016

Deputy Chief Fire Marshall John Paterson is writing a blog on the scientific investigation of the fire.

It will be a fascinating journey and part of what will be the NEW history of the Mill. We invite you to read his blog and follow along as he guides us through the investigation.

We can't thank Fire District 3 and all the first responders enough for all their efforts and all they've done these past few weeks.

 

Part 1: 

Early Christmas morning red, blue and white lights shine along the streets in Eagle Point Oregon. While most people are still snug in their beds, visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, Jackson County Fire District 3 Engine 7706 is motoring toward the report of a fire alarm at the Butte Creek Mill. As they turn the corner onto N Royal Ave. an ominous yellow/orange glow reaches into the sky. Christmas lights don’t look like this. There are flames and billowing smoke coming from every window and door of the last water powered grist mill west of the Mississippi River. An icon, a major pillar and foundation of this quintessential small western town is being rapidly consumed by fire. Children and families of the responding engine crews will have to wait to open their presents. Firefighting dad’s and mom’s won’t be home anytime soon. Additional personnel will be called in early to work, drastically interrupting their own family holiday traditions. And Fire Investigator Murdock is roused from his cozy slumber by the on-call pager next to his pillow.

The Fire Captain quickly realizes this is no false alarm. He knows instinctively he is outmatched and calls for all the help he can get.

Extent of fire upon Engine Crew’s arrival

Twenty plus years of training immediately kick his brain into overdrive. His thoughts tackle many issues all at once; is there anyone inside that, what is the building construction, floor plan, ventilation, where is the closest fire hydrant, proper positioning of the fire engine, where to deploy the hose, when will the next engine arrive and what is their task, and damn I hope the Battalion Chief gets here quickly.

 It took multiple fire engines, two ladder trucks, 20+ personnel, seven hours and multiplied thousands of gallons of water to bring the inferno under control. As the sun comes up over the burned out hulk of the 143 year old monolith the totality of the devastation comes into focus. This building was more than wood and nails. More than wheat and corn. More than a grind stone and mercantile store. This is living history. Thousands of people are connected to it by memories and fond emotions. It is the Russell families heart, soul, guts, blood, sweat and tears.

The antiquity of Butte Creek Mill is well documented. More on that in later posts.

This Blog will outline suppression events and the investigation process specific to the fire at Butte Creek Mill. Our intent is to walk you through the science and methodology behind determining how and why this fire started. There are many possible reasons and scenarios that must be examined. We hope our dedication and passion to this service becomes evident throughout the posts to come.

It is 4:12:02 in the morning and this fire investigation starts as the first call comes into 911.The information presented to dispatchers provides valuable pieces to an evolving puzzle. Even though the evidence is being burned, possible clues are being doused with water, contents trampled on, floors collapsing and artifacts destroyed,

THE INVESTIGATION HAS BEGUN!

 

December 25, 2015

The unthinkable happened Christmas morning about 4am. Our beloved Mill caught fire and burned. No one was injured, for which we are thankful. We are also thankful to Jackson County Fire District 3 for their quick response and their efforts to contain the fire. We are simply too stunned and shocked this morning to have formulated a plan. But as soon as we have one, we will let you know. In the meantime, thank you all for your support and try to have a Merry Christmas.