Springfield was founded in 1848 by Elias and Mary Briggs. Elias built that fence around the spring; the enclosed space became known as the "springfield." The Briggs family operated a ferry on the Willamette River and Mr. Briggs, partnering with Mr. Driggs of Linn County, built a flour mill and a saw mill. Springfield's history can be experienced first hand at the Dorris Ranch Living History Filbert Farm and at the Springfield Museum. The Dorris Ranch Living History Filbert Farm is the oldest operating commercial filbert (also called hazelnut) processing plant. Tours, trails, picnic areas, natural areas and viewpoints are among the highlights of this fascinating place. The Springfield Museum, located in downtown, is housed in an Oregon Power Company substation built in 1911. Exhibits include art and antiques in the Kathleen Jensen Gallery. Interpretive exhibits, photos, artifacts, furniture and household items, tools and books explore local history, the logging industry and agriculture.
Springfield is in Lane County, in the center of Western Oregon. The diverse topography ranges from a coastal environment to the Willamette Valley to the McKenzie River Valley and the Cascade Mountains. Favorite outdoor activities include skiing, whitewater rafting, hiking, mountain biking, swimming, fishing, and boating. Cultural pursuits include visiting the county's many art galleries and museums and attending live theatre, the ballet, opera, and symphony. There are also music festivals, arts and crafts fairs, and farmer's markets throughout Lane County. Springfield hosts several annual events including Fiesta Latina and the Springfield Holiday Parade. Live theatre, dance programs, recitals and concerts can be enjoyed at the Richard E. Wildish Community Theatre.
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