Long Tom River

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Long Tom River
The Long Tom River as it appears while passing through the Oregon Country Fair's land near Veneta
Name origin: Developed gradually in the 19th century in imitation of a native tribal name[1]
Country United States
State Oregon
County Lane and Benton
Source Central Oregon Coast Range
 - location Long Tom Station, Lane County, Oregon
 - elevation 1,131 ft (345 m) [2]
 - coordinates 44°13′12″N 123°26′39″W / 44.22000°N 123.44417°W / 44.22000; -123.44417 [3]
Mouth Willamette River
 - location Norwood Island, Benton County, Oregon
 - elevation 256 ft (78 m)
 - coordinates 44°22′48″N 123°14′54″W / 44.38000°N 123.24833°W / 44.38000; -123.24833Coordinates: 44°22′48″N 123°14′54″W / 44.38000°N 123.24833°W / 44.38000; -123.24833 [3]
Length 25 mi (40 km) [4]
Basin 410 sq mi (1,062 km2) [5]
Location of the mouth of the Long Tom River in Oregon

The Long Tom River is a 25-mile (40 km) tributary of the Willamette River in western Oregon in the United States. It drains an area at the south end of the Willamette Valley between Eugene and Corvallis.

It rises in the Central Oregon Coast Range in western Lane County, approximately 10 mi (16 km) west of Veneta. It flows east through the mountains to Veneta, through the Fern Ridge Reservoir, and then north into the Willamette Valley, roughly parallel to and west of the Willamette River. It joins the Willamette from the southwest approximately 4 mi (6.5 km) west of Halsey. The Fern Ridge Reservoir was created in 1942 when the United States Army Corps of Engineers dammed the river to control flooding.[6]

Fern Ridge Dam, impounding Fern Ridge Reservoir. The dam is located approximately 12 miles (19 km) west of Eugene.

The watershed includes approximately 410 sq mi (1,100 km2) of land (262,000 acres, 1060 km2) zoned as 45 percent forest, 30 percent agricultural, 8 public, and 17 percent urban or rural residential.[5] The Long Tom waters support more than 140,000 people in the area, including residents in the city of Veneta and the rural farming communities of Alvadore, Cheshire, Crow, Franklin, and Noti, as well as industrial and commercial land on the western edge of Eugene.[7] These lands were inhabited by the Chelamela group of the Kalapuya Indians prior to European settlement.

The Oregon Country Fair is one of many groups and agencies that work with the Long Tom Watershed Council to protect and restore the river.[8]

The river's name developed gradually during the 19th century in imitation of a native tribal group called Lung-tum-ler.[1] The Native American name of this Kalapuyan group is [lámpʰtumpif], literally meaning "spank-his-ass".[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b McArthur, Lewis A.; McArthur, Lewis L. (2003). Oregon Geographic Names (Seventh ed.). Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society Press. p. 590. ISBN 0-87595-277-1. .
  2. ^ Google Earth elevation for GNIS coordinates
  3. ^ a b "Long Tom River". Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). United States Geological Survey. November 28, 1980. Retrieved July 26, 2009. 
  4. ^ "The River". Willamette Riverkeeper. Retrieved August 6, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "About the watershed". Long Tom Watershed Council. 2003. Retrieved July 26, 2009. 
  6. ^ "The Fern Ridge Community Resource Unit". naturalborders.com. Retrieved May 6, 2008. 
  7. ^ Lane County Profile
  8. ^ "Funding and partners: 1998–2003". Long Tom Watershed Council. 2003. Retrieved July 27, 2009. 
  9. ^ Bright, William (2004). Native American placenames of the United States. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 255. ISBN 978-0-8061-3598-4. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 

External links[edit]