A beautiful place to sit and enjoy what nature has to offer, with access to the river and green grass make this park the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day or put on an event at the gazebo. There are endless possibilities at Garden Spot Park.
Rusty the Logger
“Rusty the Logger” was commissioned by the Willamina Business Group for the town’s 2003 centennial. Made entirely of old timber industry equipment and tools donated by local residents and the Willamina Lumber Co., Rusty represents a bygone era of massive trees and rowdy logging camps.
Perched atop a giant Douglas-fir stump made of gears, chains, tongs, and sawblades, Rusty shoulders the tools of his trade, an axe and a “misery whip” crosscut saw (been removed by a fellow citizen). Like all loggers, he has a hearty appetite, symbolized by his trying pan face and empty skilled belly.
The Willamina Civic club is known for its efforts to help the community. They could be organizing a fundraiser, passing food boxes out, or setting up a sup-group or “branch” for cleaning up the city. The tasks were endless.
One of the branches was the Garden Club; made up of a group of women who sought out places throughout the city to clean up and plant beautiful green scenery. It was a wish for the garden club for many years, to have a space they could plant whatever they want. A space to call their own. They came across this patch of property that was owned by the Portland Electric Company (PGE) at the time. The group had already sent letters back in 1951 to the company about cleaning up the local transfer towner in the middle of town.
The group consist of 11 women so saw the need to clean up the parks and neighboring properties throughout the city limits, which also included buildings and other projects.
After the property was purchased from the PGE Company in 1959, the women of the Civic Garden Club planted laurel bushes on the west part of the property. In addition, later planted a “living Christmas tree”, a Colorado Spruce tree in 1969. It’s said to be on the property to this day, can you find it?
In September 1963, the bridge by the property was going to be finished but this altered the plans of the Garden Club, they were bummed since they won two foundation grants for their work from previous projects.
Later the site was taken over by the Civic Club itself and there were no more Garden Club members. Today the City of Willamina Public Works Parks Division maintains the park. Throughout the years, many rhododendron, birch trees and a beautiful lawn have been planted. Many features that have been removed over the years included an old brick fireplace in the back field, and an old working water fountain where the brick and concrete circle sit now. The last couple years a gazebo, a cedar flower box, and a metal “Iron Man” have been added and remain today (2022).
The goal of the Willamina Civic Garden Club was to create a town that was clean and people would be proud to call it their home. Today the “Garden Spot” park sits in the middle of town, next to the river where the town used to get its power for the mills.