The Boston/Thompson Mill
An Unique Part of Oregon’s History

Boston/Thompson's Mills is Oregon's oldest continuously operating water powered mill. One of the four remaining grist mills in the state, it is one of only two mills still in operation.

Built in 1858 by Richard C. Finley, Philemon V. Crawford, and Alexander Brandon, Boston Mills is an agricultural and architectural landmark of the Willamette Valley.

The mill was built on land purchased from Americus Savage, the original Donation Land Claim [DLC] holder. The diversion dam was built on Robert Elder’s DLC to the south.


Boston Mills circa 1892 [Click on image for larger view]


Thompson's Flouring Mills circa 1940


A Part of the Willamette Valley’s Farming History

On October 25, 1862, Boston Mills and nearby wool carding mill were destroyed by fire. The mill was rebuilt the next year and included a storage building connected by a covered passage for wagons.

In 1897, when Martin Thompson became full owner, he converted to the new roller milling system and changed the name to Boston Roller Mills. Throughout the years, the mill produced flour for farmers along with its own brands: Valley Rose, Thompson’s Best and Cream of the Valley; and in later years: livestock feed.

During World War I the mill operated 24 hours a day. Ott Thompson added concrete grain storage silos in 1917. These were the first "continuous pour" concrete silos between Portland and San Francisco. A shipping warehouse was built in Shedd in 1918. The mill and buildings remain an integral part of the history of Linn County and the Willamette Valley.


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