Reservoirs:  Most of Skinner’s Butte was sold to Dr. T.W. Shelton in 1880.  Dr. Shelton’s Eugene Water Company built a 300,000 gallon concrete and masonry reservoir in 1886.  The 300,000 gallon reservoir was replaced in 1926 by the current reservoir, 3 million gallons in size, which still supplies water to the citizens of Eugene to this day*.

In 1905 the Willamette Valley Company, which subsequently became Eugene Water & Electric Board – EWEB, purchased the reservoir from the Eugene Water Company. In 1906, the Willamette Valley Company constructed an additional 1 million gallon reservoir, which is now gone, on the west side of the summit,.  In 1908, what is now EWEB bought and kept both reservoirs.  The excess land not needed for the reservoirs was turned into Skinner’s Butte Park.

The current reservoir isn’t much to look at from the summit:  an ugly black roof surrounded by chain link fencing is about all you can see.  In days gone by, the reservoir roof served as a dance floor, skating rink and even a place for hot-rodders to squirrel around in their cars *.  The roof is the original reinforced concrete cap, and safety dictated the fence.  (To the west of the reservoir stands a radio shack with antennae used by the police.  It’s at the same location as a one-time U of O observatory, intentionally dynamited for removal in 1905.)  *.

The 28′ deep reservoir was blasted into the side of the hill and the large basalt debris were incorporated into its construction, which was an unusual practice.  The tile mosaic built in 1926 remains to this day adorning the valve house.  At one time a glass window was present to see the pipes and valves, but vandalism caused it to be replaced by a steel door before 1955.  The reservoir has historical significance *, and here are photos of the reservoir’s construction. Source: