1233. For this week's Weekly Winners, here's yet more photos of Silverton (we did take quite a few). But the focus this time is just what gave the charming little burg its name – a picturesque (and famous) stream known as Silver Creek ... or, as you might see it italicize on a map, Silver Creek.
Silver Creek is famous because the canyon in its upper reaches, about 15 miles southeast of Silverton, are home to the most amazing constellation of waterfalls south of Multnomah Falls, and Silver Falls State Park is Oregon's largest. Directions to the Falls are given to tourists from Salem, but every Silvertonian knows that Silverton is the true gateway to the falls.
But I, as is my will and my wont, digress. After flowing through forests and hills, and after being interrupted by the dam that impounds Silverton Reservior, Silver Creek meanders through trees into the south end of town.
I, like many people, do not live in the place I was born. I was born here in Silverton, within a mile of this creek (no great achievement – Silverton hardly sprawls). The creek, like many places in Silverton, is a mix; flashes of beauty embedded in a great amount of what's unremarkable, but still very pleasant. The result is idyll.
Additionally, living in Portland means I still get to be insufferably smug about being native Oregonian even though I don't live in my birth town any more. And I am. Insufferable about being an Oregonian, I mean. But there I go digressing again.
After flowing past Oregon hill foliage and rough, past a pocket neighborhood containing streets emblazoned with the names of Silverton pioneer families such as Barger and Cowing, the creek sidles up along downtown. Just like many early Oregon towns, Silverton built her downtown with its back to the water:
The downtown buildings are there on the left. The covered bridge, and the park on the right, are rather recent, and evidence of another Oregonized evolution; the opening up of the riverfronts of towns that had turned their backs on the river. The park site is personal for me; when I was a sprout, there was a grocery on that site owned by a family friend, a Mrs. Lillian Hoyt. Hoyt's Grocery was a neighborhood grocery in a town small enough that there were few neighborhoods; a convenience store before there were convenience stores. Even my mother worked behind the counter once or twice. Penny candy, half-dollars the size of your palm ... good times, good memories.
The view north (above) is pretty much the same as it's always been. This photo might have been taken 30 years ago. And, though Silverton is still a small place – with a population still below 8,000 – My Little Town has contrasts where the eye endeavors to look. For right on the other side of those buildings in the picture is this:
North Water Street which, save for the changing of the tenants of the retail spaces, still looks not very much different from, say, 30 years ago.
Once again, the Tao of Silverton.
Tags: meme, weekly winners, Silverton Oregon, oregon photos, or_photo, Silverton Photos