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Local History in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

Historical Sketch

An aerial photograph of Glenbrook. Glenbrook is a census-designated place near the junction of Alpine Road and Williams Road southwest of Alpine, and the confluence of Hammer and Weaver Creeks. Glenbrook is perhaps best known for, historically speaking, the site of a mill complex built and operated by the Alsea River Lumber Company, and as the terminus of the Corvallis and Alsea River Railway line.

Built by Stephen Carver in 1908, the Corvallis & Alsea River Railway line originated in Corvallis, and extended as far south as Glenbrook, a distance of nearly 30 miles. Though originally intended to travel through Alsea, over the Cascades, and all the way west to the Pacific, construction on the line was cut short in 1909 as Carver was unable to secure additional funding. As of 2021, the line still exists, and is owned and operated by Southern Pacific, which uses it to move freight to Monroe and Dawson.

In 1919, the Oregon Daily Journal reported that the Alsea River Lumber Company planned to build a "modern" sawmill at Glenbrook which would reportedly have the capacity to process 50,000,000 board feet of lumber annually. The company purchased 6,600 acres of land containing nearly 600 million feet of lumber; 85 acres were reserved for the mill, log pond, a “logging railroad” of nearly seven miles, and "industrial and town site uses." The Alsea River was dammed at Glenbrook to form the mill pond and supply electricity to the mills. Boschke-Miller-Grier Company, a construction and engineering firm headquartered in Portland, Oregon, was hired to construct several miles of highway and a number of bridges, in addition to the mill itself and the logging railroad, which would transport timber for processing and sale. Other construction included business offices and dwellings for officers and employees of the Alsea River Lumber Company, the erection of a modern school house, installation of water and electric lighting systems, and other “public improvements."

The mill’s grand opening was held on site on Wednesday, August 25, 1920Employees of the mill, and Glenbrook residents, supplied a "barbecue lunch" for over 2,000 attendees from Corvallis, Eugene, and the surrounding areas. Unfortunately, less than a year later, the Alsea River Lumber Company, which was worth nearly $1.5 million but owed nearly a third of that value to creditors, was put into receivership. By 1982, the mill at Glenbrook had long been abandoned.


Oversized Photographic Collection, 1889-1970
The Oversized Photographic Collection consists of images not affiliated with other collections that are too large to fit into standard sized archival boxes. Certain of the subjects incorporated into this collection include athletics, forestry department scenes, the agriculture department, sciences departments, pharmacy, campus buildings and views, class photos, scenes of students, organizations, events, and festivals, scenic photos, and aerial views of Corvallis and the campus. Two images of the Alsea River Lumber Company's mill at Glenbrook are included in the collection (images #334 and #335, Box 05). Images from this collection have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital.

Digitial Resources

Looking for online content? Oregon Digital, ScholarsArchive, and Media Space contain a wealth of digitized materials that document the rich history of Oregon's residential communities. Often, digitized materials are gathered together as sets, either by publication or collection. Please note that links listed below are "canned searches" for specific content relating to the city, town, or community in question.