Powerhouse

Please note that this property is not open to the public

Directions

On Powerhouse Hill Road (3.9 acres), adjacent to Baker Creek Road.

Features

  • Stream
  • Historical

This undeveloped park on Baker Creek contains the relics of McMinnville's first electric generating plant. Future development of the park will celebrate our past.

History

City of McMinnville donated the park to Yamhill County in 1975.

In the early 1900's as industry in McMinnville grew, attention shifted to the electrical generating capability of Baker Creek, west of the city. A 25-foot dam was constructed on Baker Creek in 1906 at the current Juliette Park site. A 26" wooden pipe connected the dam to a generating plant 1 1/2 miles downstream, at the present Power House Park site. Water stored behind the dam provided for hydroelectric power generation most of the year, but wood-and-steam and later diesel were used to generate power during summer's low water flows. The system was capable of producing approximately 200 kW of power.

In the 1920's steel replaced the system's original wooden pipe connecting the dam and power house. In 1950, the power generation facilities were completely automated. 13 years later, regional rate changes made it no longer profitable for McMinnville to operate the system. It was decommissioned soon thereafter. The power house retains a historic turbine and intake.

Native Plant List

  • Douglas-fir
  • Big leaf maple
  • Vine maple
  • Douglas spirea
  • Sword fern

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