August 21, 2019
The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde acquired a 23-acre site near Willamette Falls that was once its ancestral homelands more than 160 years ago. The former Blue Heron Paper Co. mill site in Oregon City was sold for an undisclosed amount by Tacoma developer George Heidgerken, who bought the property in 2014 for $2.2 million.
Cheryle A. Kennedy, chairwoman of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, says “This is a historic day for the Grand Ronde Tribe and our people. Since 1855, the government has worked to disconnect our people from our homelands. Today, we’re reclaiming a piece of those lands and resurrecting our role as caretakers to Willamette Falls.”
Though the Tribe has not determined what it plans to do with the site, it indicated that a mix of commercial and cultural development is likely. A proposed riverwalk on the site may also come to fruition in collaboration with Metro, the Willamette Falls Trust and other partners, which would create new public access to the falls.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser