Gregg Smith was raised in Bates. His grandfather came to Bates in 1922 and was boss of the machine shop until retirement. Smith graduated from Bates Grade School and Prairie City High School. He worked in the mill before going to college. Smith played the critical role in guiding the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to acquire the Bates site and develop a state park there and served as an advisor to the Friends of Bates State Park, a citizen group that supports the development and operation of Bates State Park. He passed away in 2016.
Bates State Park
Bates State Park, located in Grant County, one mile north of Austin Junction on U.S. Highway 26, is on the site of the former Oregon Lumber Company mill and company town of Bates. Bates was named for Paul Chapman Bates, a Portland businessman who assembled large tracts of timberland …
Community of Bates
Bates was an unincorporated Oregon Lumber Company mill town in Grant County, one mile north of Austin Junction on U.S. Highway 26. In 1906, the company established a small lumber mill in Austin at the new terminus of the Sumpter Valley Railway. The company closed the mill in 1917 and …