Willamette Falls is meaningful to so many people — yet it’s not the same Falls to everyone.


“We are alive. We maintain our ties to the tumwater… Our youth are part of our ceremony. They will know to maintain our connection to the Falls and our tribal ways.”

– Greg Archuleta

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“The Falls continues to welcome people into its mist and roar—from native peoples trading lamprey to pioneers on wagons, to Irish immigrant engineers. And Now, a Bollywood fan from 8,000 miles away.”

– Mini Sharma Ogle

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“Even us who worked at the mill, we could go out on the dam, but we couldn’t go to the Falls. I think the Falls now — people are starting to realize that it’s a very big asset for Oregon City and West Linn.”

– Bob Herr

Peter Schwartz

“The factory had a soul filled with the collective energy of all the people that walked beneath its roof. Will people remember what happened here? Will they sense all the lives of all the people that occupied this spot?”

— Peter Schwartz


“We have learned to respect the river and its power. My brothers continue working on the river today and their children, the fifth generation of my family.”

—Joseph Bernert

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“I felt despair when I first saw the imposing paper mills at Oregon City and West Linn. My sadness turned to hope and joy when I learned that loss can lead to beauty. While people lost jobs… the displaced workers had valuable stories to share.”

—Bob Bresky


“We had seen the magic of the falls. There was no walking away... Some day, I will stand on that beaming platform with my grandchildren, feeling the spray of the waterfall and I will say, ‘I was here when this dream began.’”

—Annette Mattson

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“I’d like to believe this project is really for the Falls herself. I’d like to believe it’s our way of giving back to her for all she’s done and will continue to do for us in time immemorial.”

—Shelly Parini-Runge


“Paint peels, steel rests, wood rots and ivy climbs in broken windows. And yet I see beauty. I hope for a new chapter that honors, respects and repurposes these structures, which were built to last.”

—Sandy Carter


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