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“Thundering torrents of water, ice, and earth roared across the Northwest, carving new canyons, sculpting monstrous waterfalls, instantly transforming the face of the land. Then, almost as suddenly as they had come, the floods were gone”….leaving behind the deep, rich soils in which we peacefully plant our gardens. (Ice Age Floods Institute, www.iafi.org)
Come explore the rain-blessed river communities of the West Columbia Gorge as you hop from artistic gardens past inspiring natural views to the next gardener’s pride. Leave the hectic pace of the surrounding world and stroll through the lush landscape along the Historic Columbia River Highway, once known as “The King of the Roads.” Follow the Historic Highway as it winds gently past the tree-lined banks of the SandyRiver, farms, pastures and upland forests. At Portland Woman’s ForumState Park, Mt.Hood towers behind as you scan the vast expanse of the Columbia River below. Walk the perimeter of the “King’s” crown at Crown Point. Then gradually descend to the floor of the Gorge, meandering past falling curtains of crystalline water. And another glorious garden is always just around the next bend!
Tickets for this self-guided tour are $20 per adult and children are free. Purchase tickets online at this website or purchased in advance at the following locations- - Nancy’s Floral (620 NE Burnside Rd, Gresham), Burns Feed Store (29215 SE Orient Drive, Gresham), Deep Creek Garden Center (2330 NE Hogan Drive, Gresham) and Lorang Fine Art and Gorge-ous Gifts (96 Na Pa Pa, Cascade Locks).
Pick up tour maps and purchase tickets the day of the tour at the Harlow House (726 East Historic Columbia River Highway, Troutdale).
Garden Tour Packages Available!
Comfort Inn- Columbia Gorge Gateway
Promo code "Sun Drops"
We welcome you to our community and invite you to experience our exceptional quality of life! Proceeds will benefit the programs of the West Columbia Gorge Consortium. The Consortium’s mission is the advancement of the quality of life of the communities in and adjacent to the West Columbia Gorge. Art, Culture and Heritage are major components in the pursuit of this goal.
Harlow House Museum- “The Art of Preservation”
726 East Historic Columbia River Highway, Troutdale 97060
This Home was built in 1900 on what was known as the ”Harlow Farm” by Fred E. Harlow, son of Capt. John Harlow, Troutdale’s founder.
Originally a sea captain from Maine, Capt. Harlow was a Portland businessman who came to the Sandy River to establish a country farm. He named his place Troutdale because of the fish ponds he built near the cliff. When the railroad was built from Portland through the Columbia River Gorge in 1882 he convinced them to establish a depot, which took the name of the farm.
Fred Harlow and his family lived in the home until about 1915. The second occupants of the home were Lou Harlow, another of the captain’s sons, and his wife Laura Bullock Harlow. Both Lou and Laura were mayors of Troutdale.
The knoll on which the house stands kept it above the 1948 flood waters. The contents of the house include household goods from both the Harlow families as well as many items donated by residents of the area.
The Harlow House is on the National Register of Historical Places. The grounds of the Harlow House are part of the city park system.
Hutson Garden - “The Art of Texture, Color and Design”
33512, SE Hurlburt Rd, Corbett 97019
No photos, please
Beautifully designed by Elaine Hutson, this 37 year-old-garden was once a grassy field. Years in the making, her garden is now a living showcase of her business, Landscapes in Living Color. Both the English style garden that surrounds her home and the woodland garden beyond are designed for year round interest. Her artistic use of plant form, color and texture weaves their way throughout the gardens.
A 36-foot by 10-foot conservatory provides a home for tropical plants, allowing the zone 6 climate to grow zone 9 plants. Bird of Paradise, oleander, tree fern, and lemon datura are just a few of the specimens that thrive and survive in this unheated space.
Check out her website at www.elainesgarden.com
Shelman Garden - “The Art of the Landscape ”
36141, SE Hurlburt Rd, Corbett 97019
This one-acre garden originated in the mid-1950’s on the grounds of the 1923 Hurlburt School. Based on an English motif, today it boasts an 80-foot-long perennial border, a large woodland garden with a meandering path, mature rhododendrons and dozens of ornamental trees and shrubs. This beautiful four-season garden also contains fruit trees, five varieties of berries, as well as grapes, vegetables and herbs. You will see a garden house, an Artist Studio and an arbor that supports a hardy kiwi vine.
Ice Garden- “The Art of Natural Beauty”
1442 Jackson Park Rd, Troutdale
Jackson Park Road used to be a remote lane of summer homes in the 1930's. Today it is a unique, private area nestled in huge fir trees adjacent to the Sandy River. It is rich with history of bygone summer days, crazy parties, and fun stories. Old home movies show women in the 1940's smelt dipping here wearing long dresses and hats! A naturally beautiful spot, with flowing grassy areas and woodland gardens, it is a relatively low-maintenance yard. It has been kept as organic as possible, using compost, alfalfa meal, lime, fishmeal, etc. There is a 200-foot sandy beach and a 30-foot walking bridge. You will not find a manicured or perfect yard, but a lush, peaceful spot artistically designed by Mother Nature, with Jean as the temporary (and grateful) steward. Come to relax and enjoy!
From downtown Troutdale, head east. Jackson Park is the only road on the right before the Sandy River.
Alm’s Garden- “The Art of Growing Organically”
28980 SE WK Anderson Rd
Rita moved into her husband Richard’s home 16 years ago. At that time she would spend one and one half hours mowing the grassy lawn on their riding lawnmower. Today, over three-fourths of the lawn has been replaced by a meandering 100-foot self-made stream, a thriving vegetable garden, dashes of glorious flowers and large expanses of colorful garden beds. A mulch mower has replaced the riding mower, making the remaining grass naturally healthier. The creek is a paradise for birds. Bees and butterflies are attracted to the flowers. “I love the idea of not using chemicals,” Rita says, “If you stop to think about chemicals, they kill things. Why would I want that in my yard and around me?”
The garden provides immense enjoyment for Rita and Richard who often entertain friends and family outdoors. As a bonus, Rita only spends an average of six hours a week in maintenance thanks to her natural gardening techniques!
Lee’s Rail Road Garden- “The Art of Miniatures”
34140 SE Hurlburt Rd
Gary and Jonette
The Baker & Grande Ronde Railroad is fictitious 1:24 narrow gauge railroad that connect with the Sumpter Valley Railroad at its terminus in Baker City, Oregon. Circa 1890, at the glory days of mining and lumber in the Oregon Blue Mountain, this small railroad ambitiously crossed the Elkhorn Range with its western destination as Ukiah and beyond. The 1:24 scale trains traverse six trestles and bridges that cross three rivers with running water. A twenty foot long, five foot tall curved trestle near the summit transverses Freezeout Creek. There is 480 ft of mainline on this 120’ x 35’ point to point railroad that is in its 8th year of existence. The forest of dwarf Alberta Spruce is pruned to represent large mature conifers, herbs, succulents, and miniature plants create a lush forest floor, and locally gathered rock complete the landscape. All track is hand-laid on redwood ties, all structures and bridges are scratch-built. All engines are battery or live steam controlled by Locolink and Air Wire.
Fortune’s Garden- “ The Art of County Classic”
28405 SE Powell Valley Rd
Kathleen and Ron Fortune
An example of a classic country garden, the lovely shade garden wrapping around the front of the house, centers on an inviting gazebo. The one acre backyard directly behind the home is perhaps the sunniest part of the property with an expanse of lawn surrounded by a mixed border of perennials and shrubs. Continuing beyond, is Kathleen’s favorite part of her garden, another shade garden with a meandering path that leads the wanderer though a grove of mature Douglas-fir trees. At the end of the path is yet another garden filled with trees and shrubs. This is where Kathleen can always find room for just one more, irresistible plant.
Brickhaven Bed and Breakfast- “The Art of Hospitality”
38717 East Historic Columbia River Highway, Corbett 97019
Phyllis and Ed Thiemann
Brickhaven Bed and Breakfast is a serene hide-away on the Oregon hills overlooking the Columbia River Gorge. Breathtaking views of the river and its gorge welcome you at this quiet retreat.
This unusual building is architecturally significant, having been built by a local legend from largely recycled materials. Designed and built in the 1950’s by Portland’s commercial Cartoonist Ernie Hager, Brickhaven is constructed in the Frank Lloyd Wright Architectural style using recycled brick. It is decorated in an eclectic English country décor.
Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist- “The Art of Tranquility”
48100 East Historic Columbia River Highway Bridal Veil 97010
The Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist are graciously opening their gardens to the guests of Eastside Garden Tour. Meander through bowling green, enclosed gardens as you find your way up a gravel path to the incredible Coopy Falls. Of all the major falls along the Historic Highway, this is the only you won’t find unless you look, as it is located behind the Sister’s convent. The convent, a two story, Mediterranean style Villa, was constructed in 1916. The Villa was designed by architect Morris H. Whitehouse, architect of the Columbia Gorge Hotel.
Dancing Roots Farm- “The Art of Healthy Eating”
29820 E. Woodard Rd, Troutdale 97060
Bryan and Shari
Nestled on 10 beautiful acres above the Sandy River, Dancing Roots Farm is a combination of fields, woods and blackberries with plenty of refuge for songbirds and wildlife.
Shari and Bryan bought the farm in the fall of 2002 and spent most of 2003 fixing up the old farmhouse. The fields had sat fallow for over 30 years, and now their plans called for creating an ecologically sound and productive working farm. Their vision includes orchards and grapes, year round produce, educational programs, on-farm composting, and farm animals such as sheep, ducks, and bees!
“Small Farmers are a dying breed. We now comprise only about 1% of the general population and several years ago the Census Bureau removed this category off their list of occupations. We believe we need more small scale, locally owned farms”. So in addition to growing a wide variety of healthy, delicious produce they like to think that their farm is also growing New Farmers. “We would never claim to know everything, but there are a few things we’ve learned over the years and are happy to share our experiences, operations, strategies and insights. We want very much to nurture and support those who are thinking of running their own small farm someday.”
They use only ecologically sound practices, such as crop rotations, natural amendments, cover crops, drip irrigation, and provide ample habitat for beneficial insects, bugs and birds; they use no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.
Dancing Roots Farm has occasional work parties and an annual Harvest Festival in September. There are projects for people of all ages and abilities. They especially love having kids come out to explore and experience the farm. Wear your boots and plan to get dirty!
Coquine Supper Club is honored to serve four dinners at Dancing Roots Farm. Live music, dinner, and drinks all included. $75 per person. For additional information check out http://coquinepdx.com/supper-club/
Historic Springdale School - “The HeArt of a Community”
32405, E Historic Columbia River Highway, Corbett 97019
Constructed in 1931, the single-story Art-Deco style building was designed by Portland architect, Claud Freeman. Located on the Historic Highway, the school’s presence is a visual and social landmark in the center of the Springdale community.
It served as an 8-grade elementary school from 1931 until 1960. In 1960 the school became incorporated into the Corbett School District and was used for primary grades until 1996. In 1996 the Springdale School was closed to consolidate all district students to the currant campus. Empty, the school fell to disrepair. Community members stepped in to care for and use the beloved building for adult and youth organizations. The Springdale School Community Association (SSCA) formed to raise money for repairs and to manage the building. For fifteen years it was home to Boy Scouts, Artists, the Corbett Country Historic Society and Corbett Children’s Theater. The building and grounds became a very popular gathering place for community events.
Multnomah County closed the building in January 2011. The community quickly organized to place the building on the National Register of Historic Places. The school is now only one of three buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places (Vista House & Multnomah Falls Lodge being the others) located on the Scenic Highway to remain today. Recognizing the tremendous community asset of the cherished Springdale School and property, the Corbett School District remodeled the building. CSD along with its SSCA community partner worked together to reopen this iconic building. Once again the building is available to serve the local community and greater public as a historic resource, cultural center and a five-classroom elementary school.
Our shared vision materialized as we opened the school in the fall 2012 with an arts-based magnet program. Along with the arts-based focus, nature studies, outdoor gatherings and a community garden area provide activities enjoyed by all. As a bonus, the paths in the wooded area along the frigid, spring feed waters of Springdale Creek will be open this summer to provide a relaxing place for cool walks through unspoiled nature.
The program, Corbett Arts Program w/Spanish (CAPS) is a K-8 program with multi-age classrooms where the arts are integrated across the curriculum. All students receive classroom instruction in the regular disciplines such as math, science, social studies and language arts infused with arts education as well as specific music instruction and Spanish instruction. ‘The arts’ is a broad domain that includes visual arts, drama, dance, and music. We use these as a lens through which to view and understand the world and age appropriate curriculum as defined by the state. The staff at CAPS are committed to creating a unique environment to bring this vision to reality.
The renovation of Springdale School has provided a solid foundation to expand the CAPS program. In the near future, CAPS will feature a high school component that will provide a theatre arts department – something that has long been gone from Corbett Schools.
”It has taken the better part of 17 years and dedicated efforts by both the SSCA (Springdale School Community Association) and the Corbett School District to renovate this historic school site. The school is now on the historic registry, fully renovated and home to CAPS (Corbett Arts Program with Spanish) with 136 Corbett students in grades K-8. The building is beautiful, the playshed is repaired and ready for recess, and the staff, students, and families at CAPS are grateful for our space. Thank you.” Lori Luna, principal.
McMenamins Edgefield- “The Art of the Edible Garden”
2126 SW Halsey St, Troutdale, Or 97060
Located near the entrance to the Columbia River Gorge, McMenamins Edgefield is an escape into the extraordinary. Built in 1911 as the county poor farm, today it features a hotel, restaurants, brewery, winery, spa and more, encompassing 74 acres of carefully tended grounds. Enjoy a year-round display of colors, shapes, scents and tastes, pint of handcrafted ale or wine in hand. The lush vegetable and herb gardens, grown using organic methods, provide seasonal ingredients for the Black Rabbit Restaurant &Bar, along with the berries and fruit trees. The orchard offers up fresh pears for Edgefield Distillery’s Pear Brandy. The vineyards supply the Edgefield Winery’s many vintages. You could spend an entire day enjoying the flora found throughout Edgefield.
Be sure to visit Edgefield’s resident artists at Gorge Glashaus and EarthArt Clayworks.
Black Rabbit Restaurant http://www.mcmenamins.com/131-black-rabbit-restaurant
Edgefield Distillery http://www.mcmenamins.com/EdgefieldDistillery