Thursday, August 28, 2008

More Treasure

Here is my latest acquisition….

These were a bit of an impulse buy. These are sash lifts that are meant to be mounted to the bottom of the lower window sash to help to lift it open. I just love these designs they did back then. In is an interesting combination of both geometric designs and the more traditional filigree, fancy-shmancy stuff.

I got them at a place up in Oregon called Aurora Mills. By West Coast standards, their selection is amazing. In fact, one of the guys that works there told me they regularly make trips Back East for new inventory. The place was really a treat to visit.

Aurora Mills is about 30 miles outside of Portland, OR. It is really a very beautiful part of the country. Very picturesque. I had never been to Portland before, and I must admit, I really liked the city. Portland is a city of about a half million people and the Willamette river cuts right through the middle of it. There is something about a large metro area bordered by a great river that I find very appealing. I can’t say what it is exactly.

Portland has a very nice older section of downtown that is lively and cosmopolitan. Portland State University boarders this older section of downtown so there is a youth and energy that comes with a large student population. If I was drawn to larger cities I could see myself living there. The trip wasn’t well planned, so I didn’t spend much time in the area, but I’m definitely going back.

I also drove through Oregon City. Oregon City is half way between Aurora Mills and Portland. At first glance, Oregon City is not much to look at. The Willamette river passes through the center of it and it has the feel of a gritty industrial town. There are some nice, older neighborhoods in the high bluffs above the river.

The main industry, as far as I could tell, was the Blue Heron Paper Mill. It is a large industrial complex that straddles the river right in the heart of the city. Its not something that you would think would be very attractive, but for some reason I was fascinated by it. There really was a certain beauty to it. I expected to go there and photograph old houses and charming old downtown’s, but I found that I was drawn to this huge industrial complex that almost seemed to be a part of the river. Or maybe the river was a part of it.

As with just about any river, the Willamette river is a half mile wide in some places and then it is forced in to a narrow gorge in other places. This mill and the city are situated at one of these narrow gorges. The mill and the river are one in the same at this spot and then the city spreads up the steep hills on either side. In one spot they have created a sink in the middle of the river to I guess supply water for the mill. I’m not really sure what its purpose was. It really was very interesting.


Jennifer said...

OOo... those are a treasure! I love the small details... it's really what makes something special!

Sandy said...

Awesome treasure! Makes me miss the days of old.

Jayne said...

The sash lifts on the windows in my house look very similar to these, at least from what I can tell. Mine are covered in layers and layers of paint. That'll be one of my projects this winter.

Greg said...

The only ones I have left - I think there are 3 - are not only covered in many layers of paint, but they're also broken. It looks like someone tried to force open a painted shut window and broken off the little handle.

Doug K said...

The Willamette Falls at Oregon City were there. The mills created the small artificial rim you see along the top edge of the falls, allowing barge access to more buildings. Opposite of where you're standing, hidden behind the mill buildings are the Willamette Falls Locks, carved out of the basalt cliffs in 1873, that bring boats past these falls. Here's the Army Corps of Engineers site on them:

Greg said...

Neat! Doug, thanks for the explanation. I really liked the whole area.