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Volunteer openings at Thompson's Mills State Heritage Site - Shedd, Oregon


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I'm posting this at the request of the park ranger.


My wife and I are currently volunteer hosts at Thompson's Mills State Heritage Site in Shedd, Oregon (between Albany and Eugene, in the Willamette Valley). The park is looking for a host couple willing to work the May/June time frame (and others, beyond that).


Host duties include -


1) Interpretive tours of the Mill. The mill is the oldest water powered mill, still standing, in Oregon and had a profitable history of operation for 147 years, starting in 1858. The tours include operating the water turbines and electrical drive motor that drives the mill equipment. Oregon State Parks bought the property in 2004 and opened it to visitors in 2007.

2) NO bathroom cleaning.

3) Light cleanup of the tour area of the mill each day, if you work the morning shift.

4) Special projects. These range from archiving equipment in the mill, helping with research concerning the historical operation and customers of the mill or, if you're inclined, mechanical/electrical/carpentry projects to improve the tour experience. If you think of a project that you'd like to do - that would benefit the mill - you can propose it.

5) Leaf blowing the driveway a couple times a week.

6) Care and feeding of the resident birds the days you're on duty (ducks, chickens and turkeys), collecting eggs laid.

7) Opening and/or closing the facility gates.

8) The hosts also have the task of controlling the water level of the millrace during high water events (two evenings a week and during your shift on weekends), if there has been significant rain events within the last day or two.

9) Shared responsibility for monthly fire extinguisher checks (about a dozen extinguishers).


There are two host couples in the park. Each works 3 half days and two full days, for a total of 28 hours each person. During slack visitation times, the "work" can be done from the comfort of your rig, if you like. Work weeks are either Saturday through Wednesday or Wednesday through Sunday. You work noon to 4 p.m. the first day after your weekend and 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the day before your weekend, giving you an extra half day off, each side of your weekend.


There is a walking trail around the 20+ acre site, hiking trails, mountains, rivers, bike trails that run for many miles, museums, shopping, etc., nearby.


The park provides water, 50 amp electric and sewer, with room to park any size rig, an annual state park pass and all tools (if any) needed to do your jobs. They would prefer a couple that could commit to the full two months because it will take up to a month to become proficient as a tour guide, given all the history that has to be learned.


You can see a few photos of the mill and find phone numbers on the park website in the link below.




You may send in a volunteer application, if you wish, using the link below.




We've been here since November and have had a lot of fun, even with the rain.


On edit: I should have mentioned that there is good cell and wifi service.



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Have they put in a septic tank, or are you still using a plastic holding tank which needs to be pumped out? When we worked there in the winter of 2010 that was the sitiation and you needed to be carefull with your water usage. We enjoyed our time there when the sheer dam was still in place.

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They have yet to install a septic system for the hosts, but we are developing workarounds at this moment. There's enough drop in elevation between the RV spots by the shop and the back of the mill keeper's house, that we have strung a hose that allows us to dump grey water into the house's septic tank, via the cleanout port. That cuts us down to one dump of black and grey into the above ground tank, once a week. Little need to worry now.


We've shown OPRD how they can save money by buying a macerator sump pump to do the same thing with black water, for less than a couple of months cost to pump the tanks.


It will be nice when they actually develop host specific sites around back.



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