This Amazing Water Flume Once Existed Along the Washington State Border

An amazing water flume once existed right along the border of Washington and Oregon along the Columbia River. It was featured in several movies including an episode of Lassie.


So where is this amazing water flume today? Sadly, not much remains but let me tell you about The Broughton Lumber Flume that once was a sight to see in Washington State.

The Broughton Lumber Flume ran from Willard, Washington, to Hood, Washington, spanning about 11 miles.

The Flume was essentially a wooden trough elevated on trestles, utilizing the force of gravity and flowing water to move the logs. The flume's V-shaped design helped keep the logs centered and moving smoothly.

98.3 KEYW logo
Get our free mobile app

The first segment of the Broughton lumber flume was constructed in 1913. This initial stretch spanned from Willard to Drano Lake, covering several miles of treacherous terrain.

Workers built the wooden trough painstakingly, ensuring it could withstand the weight and force of rushing water and timber.

Despite the challenges, the flume quickly proved its worth, efficiently transporting rough-sawn timber from the mountains to the lake.

Seeing the success of the initial flume, the decision was made to extend it further. Between 1921 and 1923, a second flume was constructed, stretching the total length to an impressive nine miles.

This extension allowed timber to be transported to the finishing mill in Hood, near Underwood.

The flume ceased operations in 1986. By that time, more modern and efficient transportation methods had become available, making the flume economically unviable but what a sight it was for decades in the PNW.

The cool thing is several Disney movies featured the flume like an episode of Lassie and a movie called Charlie the Lonesome Cougar back in the 60's and 70's. I've included those videos to take you back in time when the flume was operational.

Parts of the flume still exist but time hasn't been kind to the wooden materials so if you want to see this once amazing engineering marvel, plan a trip and enjoy it before its gone.

A great blog site - Broughton lumber flume.blogspot takes you even more in-depth on this amazing piece of Washington State history.

7 Famous Delicious Soda and Beers Created in Washington State

These seven sodas and beers originated in Washington State

Gallery Credit: Rik Mikals

10 interesting facts about Washington State's Hanford Nuclear Site

Here are 10 interesting facts about the Hanford site in Washington State.

Gallery Credit: Rik Mikals

More From 98.3 KEYW