- The proposed hydraulic power plant, incorporated
under the name of, "Minem Light and Power Company",
is located on the Minam River, about two miles above
the junction of the Minam and Wallowa Rivers. This is
about three miles above the county highway bridge which
is on the Wallow River, this river being the dividing
line between Union and Wallowa counties.
The site for this power station is very satisfactory
because It fulfills the three following conditions admirably--
-first the property at that place has a very
low valuation, a water right could be procured for a
small sum; secondly, the proposed location of the plant
is such that machinery, material and supplies could be :
brought to it by. inducing O. R. & N. Co. to build
a side track, which would be not greater than two miles
long; thirdly, an unlimited amount of head could be
secured in the future by increasing the height of the
dam. The demand for power during the time that the
discharge is the lowest will be considerably under the
maximum; further the present amount of power available
on this design will be sufficient for several years at
the present rate of increase of population in the territory.
The solid ground consists principally of gravel and loose loamy soil with solid bed rock underneath, so that the heaviest construction of a concrete dam and the building of the station can be carried on ordinary footings without the use of much excavation or blasting, except that some blasting would be necessary to partly make room for the plant, race and the sides of the concrete dam.
Before going into the details of the design, a brief description of the territory will be given. This proposed system is to ssupply light and power to four towns, namely Elgin, Imbler, Wallowa and Enterprise. Most of the surrounding country is mountainous but is very productive of wheat, therefore necessitates the use of power for grist mills.
Elgin for the past four years has had its own local light company. This plant, the "Elgin Light and Power Co." is operated by steam, but on account of wood (the fuel used) becoming scarce, new means of power will be necessary. Elgin has also one flour mill in operation for seven months in the year, the motive power being steam. Two planning mills are running most of the year, and will be in operation for a few years, but the increasing demand for power will adjust this. The present lighting system is single phase and is only in operation at night.
Imbler, a rapidly growing town, has no lighting system. It has a steam operated flour mill, running about seven months in the year. It also has one planing mill which will probably be in operation for several years. Wallowa for many years has had its own local light plant operated by water power from the pumping station. The hydraulic ram has only sufficient capacity for a six hour run.
Enterprise, the heart of Wallowa valley, a rapidly growing town, is a good paying proposition for use of light and power. It has one flour mill at present.