The Farm That Almost Wasn’t

On days that are particularly stressful, I look north. Not to Canada, that is just when I am cursing those darn thistles, but closer, just barely north of the farm to the slope that almost caused this farm not be a farm at all.

About half-way through the last century, the Willamette Valley was looking for a significant source of water to handle the influx of crop growing farms that needed large amounts of water. Professionals from all over the Pacific Northwest were on the lookout for a place to make a dam that would supply enough water for the whole valley.

A wooded slope of hill in the Coast Range.This slope located north of our farm was just the angle that geologists and hydrologists were looking for to be a natural bank that could be built upon to dam up the Nehalem River. If the plans would have come to fruition, the little valley that is our farm would have been 200 feet underwater.

The hillside had been logged several decades ago and the new stand of Douglas Fir trees show off with lighter green growth through the taller trees in front and on the hill behind the slope.

Luckily for us, this slope was deemed too far away with water that would have to be pumped uphill before it could begin the journey to the valley. In 1975 the dam was built in the Scoggins Valley on a tributary to the Tualatin River and created Henry Hagg Lake and Reservoir.



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