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River Mill Dam Viewpoint

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

River Mill Dam from the viewpoint (bobcat)


This overlook, really outside of Milo McIver State Park on PGE land, overlooks the River Mill Dam, a 1911 structure that is the last dam on the Clackamas River before its confluence with the Willamette. It was the second dam on the river after PGE's Faraday Dam, which was constructed in 1907. Both dams provided power to Portland in the early days of electrification, and the dams were instrumental in the development of the community of Estacada. The two other PGE plants on the Clackamas are the North Fork Dam (1958) and the Oak Grove Powerhouse (1924).

The River Mill Dam adopted a new design pattern, called "slab and buttress," that took less time to construct than the Faraday Dam. The dam's three generators were later supplemented by two more in order to supply enough electricity to power 10,000 homes. A fish ladder was added in 1912. The dam backs up Estacada Lake.

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