Butte Creek Mill
About 12 miles (15 minutes’ drive) from Medford on Route 62 is Oregon’s last original water-powered grist mill still in operation, the Butte Creek Mill (402 N. Royal Ave., Eagle Point, 541/826-3531, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun.). The two 1,400-pound millstones were quarried in France and assembled in Illinois. From there, they were shipped around Cape Horn and then transported over the mountains by wagon. Stone-ground flour and other grain products are available at the mill shop, a re-creation of a typical late-1800s general store.
Just down the street from the mill is the Little Butte Creek Covered Bridge. The 58-foot-long bridge was built in 1922 and originally provided a crossing over Antelope Creek, some 10 miles south of here. The bridge was dismantled and moved to its present location in 1987. The bridge exhibits a queen-post truss design with a shingle roof and flying buttress braces. The rough wooden floor is composed of diagonal planks. The bridge is closed to vehicular traffic, but can be crossed on foot.
Getting to Butte Creek Mill
To get here, take Route 62 north to Eagle Point and follow the signs to the mill. Built in 1872, the foundation pillars were hand-hewn with an ax, and wooden pegs and square nails hold up the rest of the structure.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel