Magic at the Mill

Well, now that Christmas Eve is here, and I have a minute to write, I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!  Or as they say in the UK, Happy Christmas!

The other night we were able to enjoy one of our annual traditions of going to the
Thomas Kay Woolen Mills
Magic at the Mill!
(It's the same place that I had the start of some of my holiday goodies for sale at the Holiday Heritage Faire)

This wonderful event is at one of my city's historical landmarks.  It sits next to the train depot, Willamette University, the state capital, and Tokyo International University!

It begins after dark, and all of the buildings are lit up with Christmas lights.
Since I couldn't take you all with me on the tour, I'll give you my own here.
This is a view of the mill, turned museum.  Mill Creek runs through the grounds.  The mill was water powered, and they run all of the Christmas lights on the power generated by the creek.

This building is the first one that you see as you drive into the mill.  It now houses an awesome gift shop, Danner & Soli, a bistro, and local offices.

The home of Oregon pioneer, Jason Lee.  A missionary and prominent figure in Oregon history and settlement.

Another view of the grounds next to the Jason Lee home.  The Methodist parsonage is at the top right of the photo.  I wasn't able to get a good picture, but to the left of the home, and up a small hill, is a really cute little chapel. I've been to a wedding there several years ago.  It is adorable, and looks exactly like the church/schoolhouse on Little House on the Prairie.  Including wood burning stove!

One of the buildings always has model trains set up in a Christmas scene.  Some of the local hobbyists set it up, and are more than happy to talk to you about it!

On the backside of the mill grounds is a live blacksmith demonstration.  We always love to go see it.  You can watch them making something and look around the wooden structure that houses some of the old machinery used at the mill.

Next, we headed back inside to the mill building where they have crafts and activities for the kids.  They had a rockin blues band playing- The Ty Curtis Band- they were incredible!

One of the stations was wool carding and hand spinning. This volunteer was so sweet, and Hannah got to go through the process with her.
First combing....

And then taking the wool and spinning it into a long thread.  It was very relaxing to watch!

I thought this pay stub was fascinating- from 1944.  I loved the Federal Old Age tax!  :)
They took quite a bit out for the war bonds!!

Some of the machinery still works and is demonstrated on the tours.

A large canvas crate full of old spindles.

On the top floor of the mill building, are classrooms that are still used for local craftspeople.  I loved this grouping of samples from the weaving. 

I couldn't resist snapping a picture of these cute volunteers.  They were laughing and enjoying the cold evening on the swing.

And finally, a couple more shots of the lights on the grounds. 
This narrow walking bridge takes you over Mill Creek.

The "ducks" on the pond spun around in a circle on the water.

Such a fun evening!  We ran into several friends during the evening, enjoyed some hot cider, and got a kick out of the special sparkle glasses they were selling- when you had them on and looked at the Christmas lights, there was a halo of either reindeer or angels (depending on which glasses you wore!)
So fun and magical!

Wishing you and your family a wonderful, magical, peace filled Christmas!


  1. we haven't made it there yet this year but we love Mission Mill! It is SO pretty!

  2. The lights are amazing! Love the barn! Looks like an interesting and fun place!

    Merry Christmas, Denise!


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