homes that still stand. In fact,Albany boasts some of the state’s best-preserved late 19th-century res- idences; more than 700 historic homes and build- ings are in four designated historic districts that ex- tend from downtown to residential neighborhoods. In the 1850s, the California Gold Rush brought economic prosperity to the area. In 1852, the first steamboat arrived at Albany, and trains passed through, starting in 1871. In 1872, the Santiam Ditch and Canal Company built a 12-mile canal as a means of transporting goods between the cities of Lebanon and Albany. Unfortunately, currents proved to be too swift for commerce and the canal be- came a primary source of water for manufacturing, drinking, and hydropower. The canal still provides a source of water for one of Albany’s water treatment plants and a refurbished hydroelectric power facil- ALBANY, OREGON AT A GLANCE ALBANY, OREGON WHAT: A city of 52,000 WHERE: In the Willamette Valley at the confluence of the Calapooia and Willamette Rivers WEBSITE: ity. Begun in the 1940s, the World Championship Timber Carnival drew competitors from all over the world to participate in logging skills contests. The event took place over the four days of the Fourth of July weekend. Men and women would compete in climbing, chopping, bucking, and burling contests. Unfortunately, in 2001, the Carnival was canceled because of smaller crowds and the state’s declining timber economy. In 1942, the U.S. Bureau of Mines established the Albany Research Center, now part of the National EnergyTechnology Laboratory, on the former Albany College campus, focusing on the development of newmetallurgical processes and the production of titanium and zirconium. Today,Albany is known as the “rare metals capital of the world” and “grass seed capital of the world.” The area also produces corn, beans,mint, strawberries, hazelnuts, cider, beer, and Willamette Valley wines. OFD Foods is a leading employer in the freeze-dried food industry and the manufacturing sector of the city’s economy, employ- ing over 300 people. Recently, Business ViewMagazine spoke with a group of Albany’s officials and learned of four projects currently underway in the city of 52,710: a new police station, a new fire station, an $8 million urban renewal streetscape project downtown, and a unique addition to the city’s character—the Historic Carousel &Museum. “In 2002, the community became interested in building a hand-carved carousel that was similar to the ones then-recently completed in Missoula,Mon- tana, and Salem,Oregon,” says Nathan Reid,Albany’s Urban Renewal Officer.The Albany carousel,which Willamette River Fire Station Police Station Carousel Downtown Streetscape · Ì £ ¤ 20 99 £ ¤ 20 ° Map Not to Scale