Water Wheels on The Metolius River

in Proof of Brain3 years ago

A visit to the small community of Camp Sherman and a fall walk along the Metolius River revealed to us some of the early technology in the area. Based on the design I imagine these were used for power generation in the times before electricity was available in the area.

Click images for larger view


As we walked along the bank of the river we were presented with cabins on our left side. There were probably 15 to 20 of them along the mile or so walk we took. We also noticed that almost every place had a side channel dug off of the river. I presume each of these side channels probably had a form of water wheel at some time.

This one appears to be in pretty good condition. It may even still be operational. I see a lock on the upper small wheel that may be the device that lowers the wheel into the channel.

Here is an example of a some what different design. I see a piece laying close by so not really sure if this one is operational or not.

Click images for larger view

This one has obviously been abandoned to time. These pictures show the overgrown channel and the deteriorating condition of the wood.

One thing that allows these relics to survive and not be swept away by floods is the geology of the Metolius River itself. The headwaters of the river are a mere 3 miles upstream and they emanate from Metolius Springs that bubble up from beneath the base of Black Butte. This keeps the rate of flow and river levels at this point fairly constant. In the shot below these are the headwaters of the Metolius and the springs are down to the left (Mt Jefferson in the distnce).

One last water wheel shot before we go. This one is constructed on an island in the river. This one looks a little more industrial so maybe it had a more heavy duty use case.

Please feel free to make comments or ask me any questions about this post.

Photos taken by me, @oldmans, with a Nikon D3300 and some Lightroom post processing.
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Very cool. Nice little look back to see how we adapted to the times.
That cabin is wonderful by the way, the stonework is gorgeous. Were all of the cabins built in a similar way?

Most of the cabins were more of the wood variety. That's why this stone one really stood out to me. They all seemed to be of the 1930-1950 time period.

Rightly so, it's a beauty. The colour scheme of the roofline and the windows fits nicely in the setting.

Thanks a lot for sharing the lovely pictures.
We all take a few things for granted these days, electricity is one of them.
It's good to see the old way of generating electricity.
Take care
!GIPHY awesome

You are welcome and thank you for stopping by!

I love places like this, even more if it is for camping

There are 2 or 3 campgrounds on the other side of the river plus an area with numerous semi private walk in camps. :)

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