Dorena Historical Society

Valley on Fire

burning valley copy

This photo from 1948 shows the Row River Valley being burned out to make way for Dorena Dam. The new railroad tracks are in the foreground.

Before the dam, the railroad ran straight up the valley alongside the river.

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An Early Resident

kirk with horse (1)

Katie Kirk sent these wonderful photos of her Great Great Grandfather, James Alan Kirk, on his land in Dorena.

kirk with bridge

 

This land is now part of Dorena Lake.  Katie remembers her grandfather, Ralph Kirk, holding her on his hip when she was a little girl, pointing out over the lake and saying “There was the land they took from us, Katie.”

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A Day at the Lake 50 Years Ago

picnic jpeg

Picnickers enjoy a day at Dorena Lake in 1964.  The lake was just 15 years old then. It was built to control flooding in the Willamette Valley, but ended up being a great place to get out and enjoy the sun and water. Ah, summer!

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Dorena Dam Construction

The Dorena Dam project was initiated in the 1930′s but World War II put off construction until the mid 1940′s.  The Dam was built primarily for flood control. Over 500 men worked on the construction and 100 homes were moved or dismantled to make way for the reservoir.  The Dam was completed in 1949.

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