From Boston Mills to Thompson's Mills
In 1858 enterprising settlers in Oregon’s Willamette Valley built a grist mill on a patch of ground along the Calapooia River and named it Boston Mills. In 1861 the town of Boston was platted, and grew out of activities associated with the mill. By 1869 the small town had two general stores, a post office, a blacksmith—and the mill.
In 1871 the Oregon and California Railroad bypassed Boston two miles to the west, and a new town named Shedd’s Station (the present-day Shedd) emerged alongside the rail line. Boston literally died overnight. Everyone and everything (including the post office) relocated to Shedd’s Station. The only trace left behind, of course, was the mill, which would flourish and operate continuously for nearly 140 years, eventually becoming Thompson’s Flouring Mills. Because of foresight and continuing hard work, visitors can tour the mill today as part of Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site, owned by the State of Oregon since 2004.
The Boston Mill Society invites you to learn about the history that occurred at the mill, through information in these Web pages and through links to others who share our passion for the mill, and we welcome your interest and participation in what we’re doing to preserve this unique piece of Oregon’s past.