The waterfalls and green forests of the Gorge were very pretty, but Grandpa Nelson’s back started bothering him, so we said good-bye to the drive and headed for home.
“I should at least feed you both lunch,” he mumbled as we drove along, feeling badly about cutting the day short. “There’s Edgefield! Let’s go there!”
So Auntie Bridgett pulled off the freeway and we headed to McMenamin’s wonderful country retreat. This is such a unique place!
In 1980, Mike and Brian, the McMenamin brothers, bought the land and buildings of the abandoned Multnomah County Poor Farm. The Poor Farm had operated from 1911 to 1982 as a place of refuge for folks who had nowhere else to go. It provided room and board, work, training, medical care, and companionship for hundreds of people over the years.
The grounds have been delightfully landscaped and the buildings repurposed into a hotel, a spa, and a dozen bars and restaurants. There is also a golf course, a brewery, herb garden, wine tasting room, and a large outdoor music venue. And, like all of their properties, there is art everywhere you look.
We ate a delicious lunch in the courtyard of the Loading Dock Grill and watched other people’s dogs play. Then we walked around, marveling at the good work the landscapers have done, creating intimate spaces enclosed by trees and rhododendrons connected by neatly paved paths opening onto amazing views. It was easy to imagine, sitting at a table and looking out through the trees, that we were the only people on the property.
We visited the gift shop, getting some Black Rabbit wine and Herbal Liqueur Number 7, a special favorite of Auntie Bridgett. And then at last we headed home, where Grandpa could stretch out and recover from his birthday.
Now that we are almost all vaccinated and the world is opening up, we will certainly return to Edgefield and enjoy another day.