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Willamette Meteorite subject of next Heritage Series

Sixth largest mereorite dates back to Ice Age


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - The story of the Willamette Meteorite is the subject of the next West Linn Centennial Heritage Series.West Linn’s oldest and most famous former inhabitant now resides in New York City and traveled billions of miles through space, then on an iceberg and finally on a ship to reach the Big Apple.

West Linn residents would like to have their onetime guest returned to its former home, but New York isn’t ready to let it go. The story of the Willamette Meteorite and the catastrophic Ice Age floods that brought the largest meteorite to be found in North America to the West Linn area are the subjects of the next West Linn Centennial Heritage Series, which takes place Sunday at 3 p.m. at the West Linn Adult Community Center.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Thompson

The free presentation will be led by Rick Thompson, president of the Lower Columbia Chapter of the Ice Age Floods Institute. Thompson will present his research uncovering the effects of the Lake Missoula Flood in Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington.

This catastrophic flood propelled water, ice, rock and mud through the Columbia River Gorge and covered the Willamette Valley with up to 400 feet of water and gravel bars miles wide and hundreds of feet high.

The Missoula floods also brought the Willamette Meteorite to the West Linn area. The sixth largest meteorite found in the world landed in what is now Canada or Montana and was transported as a glacial erratic to the Willamette Valley at the end of the last Ice Age around 13,000 years ago. The meteorite is currently on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and has been seen by an estimated 40 million people over the years.

The Willamette Meteorite was called Tomanowos, the Heavenly Visitor, by Native Americans and held a spiritual significance to them.

The story of the discovery of the Willamette Meteorite by Ellis Hughes on Oregon Iron and Steel Company property, his secretly transporting it to his own property, the lawsuit against Hughes to regain ownership of the meteorite, to its display at the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in 1905 and finally the donation of the meteorite to the American Museum of Natural History, will also be part of the presentation.

The Centennial Heritage Series is open to all. The WLACC is located at 1180 Rosemont Road, West Linn.

For more information, contact Roger Shepherd at 503-557-8905, 503-697-7423 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



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