The only woolen mill museum west of Missouri, the Mission Mill Museum is bathed in the morning sun as the Amtrak Cascades 504 ventures north after its station stop in the capitol city. The Thomas Kay Woolen Mill opened in 1889 and rebuilt with brick 5 years later after fire destroyed the original building.
The National Park Service designated it an American Treasure. The mill “produced fine wool blankets and fabrics for seventy years and was managed by four generations of the Kay family. In years past, the Mill transformed raw Willamette Valley wool into fabric and blankets which were well known throughout the West. The sound of the old water-powered turbine still echoes on the grounds today, as it continues to generate electricity for the site. Driven by water power from the Salem millrace, the Samson Leffel turbine and a system of pulleys and drive shafts operated all the Mill machinery until the early 1940s.”