Old Millrace Leaves Traces in Lithia Park
Abel Helman and Eber Emery established the mill in 1854, when Ashland Creek was known as “Rock Creek.” They dug the millrace so that it led to the second floor of the flour mill, which once stood on the plaza at the entrance to today’s Lithia Park. In the 1850s and 1860s, the flour mill flourished with business from the Rogue Valley’s growing population. But by the turn of the century, the business was abandoned. Community volunteers cleaned up and landscaped the site of the flour mill after it was torn down and burned in 1909. The Lower Duck Pond and waterfall were built in 1910. Visitors can still see the Helman and Emery millrace ditch by climbing the backstairs from the Lower Duck Pond to the Shakespeare Festival.
Sources: "Historic Discovery Drives: Your Guide to Jackson County's Past." Web. 17 Jan. 2014. "Lithia Park." National Park Service: U.S. Department of the Interior. Web. 17 Jan. 2014. Marschner, Janice. Oregon 1859: A Snapshot in Time. N.p.: Timber Press, 2008. 129. Print.