Welter Falls

Welter Cemetery Falls waterfall Neer Creek prescott goble rainier columbia county northwest oregon trojan park
Welter Falls in November

Height and type: Approximately 30 feet of cascade falls.

Water body: Neer Creek

Access: Park on the gravel road directly across from the Trojan Park entrance (don’t block the gate or drive inside). Walk up the road and past the cemetery until you reach the waterfall.

Property status: Portland General Electric

Notable Wildlife: rough-skinned newts, stream and marsh salamanders

Interesting History: The Welter Family Cemetery is a century-old cemetery perched on the Old Columbia River Highway, across from Trojan Park. The Welter family moved here from Luxemburg in the 19th century and lived on 400 acres of land rented from the railroad, which was later transferred to Trojan Powder Company (a gunpowder and dynamite manufacturer) in 1916, though the family continued living there.

In 1967 PG&E chose the site to build a new nuclear power plant and the Welters left. The plant was completed in 1976 but faced design problems and public opposition from the start. In 1992, a crack in the steam generator led to a radioactive water leak and the plant was shut down for the last time. After an expensive transfer and storage of the nuclear waste and demolition of the cooling tower, we were left with the park we have today.

We’ve met three members of the Welter family, all of whom welcomed our presence at the waterfall (and encouraged our salamander searches), but please be very respectful of the cemetery and do not enter its grounds.

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