Filming on the River “Rachel and The Stranger” is the title of a major motion picture
that was filmed in 1948, in large part, at a Hollywood built army fort about 500 yards downstream from Hendrick’s Bridge on the north bank. The film starred Robert Mitchum, William Holden and Loretta Young. I happen to have first hand information about the making of
the film since my brother and I watered our family cows on the McKenzie just another few hundred yards south of the set. We farmed an 80-acre parcel that butted the river on the south and Camp Creek on the north, about 2 miles west of Walterville Grade School. (Which in those days housed 8 grades). We learned a lesson in physics by observing the workmen pounding the pylons into place. There was always a second or two lapse between the time their sledgehammers hit and the time we heard the sound.
the bean yard, as the boys made embarrassing comments about their shriveled packages. But, as I said, that’s another story. The fort eventually was taken over by The Boy Scouts. But,
it continued to be claimed by the river. Slowly, the huge logs and beams disappeared. Scavengers, perhaps. Those in search of firewood? Who knows? But, one day the huge fort was gone. Now it is only a memory, a piece of McKenzie River history, but not everyone remembers it.
- Tom Lincoln Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940) - Covers the period
from Lincoln’s early years as a Kentucky woodsman until his election to the Presidency in 1860. Dir: John Cromwell With: Raymond Massey, Gene Lockhart, Ruth Gordon.
The General (1926) - When Union spies steal an engineer’s beloved locomotive, he pursues it single handedly and straight through enemy lines. Dir: Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton With: Buster Ke- aton, Marion Mack, Glen Cavender.
Sasquatch, the Legend of Bigfoot (1977) - Sci-
entists mount an expedition to find a Bigfoot-type creature. Dir: Ed Ragozzino With: George Lauris, Steve Boergadine, Jim Bradford.
Seraphim Falls (2006) - At the end of the Civil
War, a colonel hunts down a man with whom he has a grudge. Dir: David Von Ancken With: Pierce Bros- nan, Liam Neeson, Anjelica Huston.
After the film had been completed, the Hollywood crew took
off, leaving the fort in place. For years my brother and our friends played in it. We were delighted to find that the builders had observed authentic building methods of the 19th
wood dowels and pegs in lieu of nails for many of the connections. Eventually the river edged closer and closer to the bank, and it got to a point where we could climb one of the towers and actually dive into the river from it. The water, as I recall, was sufficiently deep and ... cold. (I have another story about little boys sneaking off from a near by bean yard to swim buck necked in this cold river, only to be observed by little girls who had also snuck away from
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/Lane County Eugene, Or 97401 Daily McKenzie (Half & Full Day) • Umpqua • Deschutes & More WILD & SCENIC RIVER RAFTING
800-820-RAFT • Eugene 541-746-5422 www.oregonwhitewater.com
2012 Bicentennial McKenzie River Recreation Guide
Commissioner At Your Service
Faye Stewart County
Page 19 1600 Oak St
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