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McKenzie Mist Rebuilds Blue River Water Facility A Year After Holiday Farm Fire

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Tiffany Eckert
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KLCC

One year ago, the Morris family experienced a total loss. Their three homes and artesian water bottling facility in Blue River burned to the ground. Today, just after the first anniversary of the Holiday Farm fire—they have something to celebrate. 

“McKenzie Mist water has returned.” So reads a sign at the door of the company’s distribution site. Over the last 12 months, CEO Molly Morris and her family have cleared their burnt-out property, rebuilt the massive water storage facility and thoroughly tested the aquifer from which their award-winning water flows.

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Credit Molly Morris
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The Morris family lost three homes and their McKenzie Mist Artesian Water bottling and distribution facility in Blue River after the Holiday Farm fire blazed through on Labor Day, 2020.

"That was probably the easiest part-- getting the wells to sing again and come on up and start flowing," Morris said. "The harder part was the infrastructure, plumbing, electric and equipment.”

Morris said the pandemic caused shortages in skilled labor and parts. She’s proud that patrons stuck with them. “Our customers asked for it--they were our biggest cheer leaders." Adding with pride, "they promised to wait for it and they kept their promise."  

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Credit Tiffany Eckert
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The rebuild of McKenzie Mist required replacement of massive water storage tanks and bottling equipment, along with infrastructure and delivery trucks.

Now, with the new systems, Morris said they can bottle up to 3,000 gallons of McKenzie Mist water each day. 

"We can't let a fire stop us," has been Morris' mantra over the last twelve months.

Reporters note: Check out this report filed one year ago after Molly Morris and her family learned they had lost everything in the Holiday Farm fire. Everything that is except the pure artesian water deep underground--and hope. 

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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