14 Oct Spring Way, Spring Hill Drive, Drew Lane, Old Mill Way, Saratoga Lane
Five streets off Tolman Creek Road
just north of Bellview School.
Hamilton Creek flows by the neighborhood.
47 photos: houses, flowers, creek, & more.
Published in October 2023.
There is a group of six short streets between Tolman Creek Road and Mistletoe Road, just north of Bellview Elementary School. I published a photo essay about Eagle Creek Lane on October 2, 2023, which you can find here. In this photo essay, I’ll take you on a tour of the other five streets: Spring Way, Spring Hill Drive, Drew Lane, Old Mill Way and Saratoga Lane.
Hamilton Creek is a defining natural feature in this neighborhood
Many years ago, the community of Ashland made a commitment to maintaining creeks in town as riparian areas, wildlife corridors and sites for trails. The Oregon State University Extension Service website says that “Healthy riparian areas can maintain or improve water quality and have both recreational and economic benefits. As flooding or runoff occurs, riparian vegetation reduces water velocity, captures sediment and filters the nutrients and pollutants (pesticides, heavy metal, etc.) that would otherwise run into a water body.”
Hamilton Creek described
I found this description in the Ashland Trails Master Plan of 2006: “Hamilton Creek was probably named for early Ashland-area settler R. J. Hamilton, a Tennessean who farmed along the lower stretches of this stream. The upper portions of Hamilton Creek flow through steep granite terrain. The falls on upper Hamilton Creek are formed by a hard granite ledge. Below the falls, and for some distance above the end of Clay Street, the streambed exposes shale and sandstone of the Hornbrook Formation. The sandstone contains small marine fossil shells from the time when most of southwestern Oregon lay beneath a shallow sea. Some of the Hornbrook deposits have weathered into a reddish (and, when wet, very sticky) clay. In the early twentieth century, a small brick factory located near Hillview Drive mined this clay for making bricks.”
Spring Way runs parallel to Hamilton Creek
Some of the homes on Spring Way overlook Hamilton Creek, as does the small neighborhood pocket park. Houses on this street were built between 1999 and 2005, except for the oldest house at 990 Spring Way from 1975.
Spring Way September sights
Spring Hill Drive
Spring Hill Drive connects Spring Way with Tolman Creek Road. The houses were built in 1998 and 1999.
Painted rocks and colorful flowers on Spring Hill Drive
Drew Lane is tucked away in the middle of the neighborhood, but has a pedestrian path to Tolman Creek Road. Drew Lane houses were built between 2000 and 2003.
Garden details on Drew Lane
Old Mill Way
Another short street that connects Spring Way with Tolman Creek Road, Old Mill Way was built up between 2005 and 2008. Looking into the history of this neighborhood, I found that the Cotton lumber mill on Mistletoe Road (1940s – 1957) and the Mistletoe lumber mill on Mistletoe Road (1934 – 1963) were both located near Old Mill Way on the other side of Hamilton Creek.
There is currently only one house with a Saratoga Lane address, built in 2005. The yard includes a lovely Persian silk tree, also known as a Mimosa tree.
Beyond this one house is mostly vacant land, which may eventually be developed and connect with Old Mill Way and the rest of the small neighborhood.
The 1950 house in the midst of this 3-acre lot, set back past the end of Saratoga Lane, actually has a Tolman Creek Road address.
Quiet but close
This is one of many Ashland neighborhoods that is very quiet, yet also near plenty of hustle and bustle. Children can walk to Bellview School in five minutes. It’s also a short walk to the Tolman Creek shopping center or the YMCA. Cyclists can access the Central Bike Path along the railroad tracks just a couple blocks from their homes.
Anon. Ashland Trails Master Plan, Adopted 2/7/2006.
Anon. “An overview of riparian systems and potential problems,” Oregon State University Extension Service website.