November 22, 2007

McMenamins Edgefield

My wife and I traveled down to Troutdale to spend the Thanksgiving holiday at McMenamins Edgefield. I struggled briefly with how to characterize this place, what to call it, and left it at "Edgefield." It's not exactly a resort, nor is it any one other thing that I can think of. It occupies the site and buildings of the Multnomah County Poor Farm, initially built in 1911. It now houses a hotel, brewery, winery, distillery, glass studio, pottery studio, spa, pitch-and-putt golf course, restaurant, theater, and a number of pubs, all on 38 (right now windswept) acres overlooking the Columbia River east of Portland.

All of the buildings are nicely refurbished and maintained in a sound, but relaxed, even fanciful, way. Nothing too polished or slick, but quite nice. Adding to the charm of the place is the amazing effort put into its decoration. Surfaces everywhere, even on the sprinkler pipes, are decorated with murals, paintings, and historical photographs. The paintings and decoration are in many styles, reflecting the work of many artists, but it all shares a lightness and fanciful appreciation of life's delights and the history of this place, which finished its social service life as a nursing home in the middle 80's.

This picture is an example of one of the prominent artists, on a coaster advertising our home town McMenamins location, The Spar.

We spent the morning walking all over the grounds and poking into the buildings (there's a pub in every shed, it seems). The strong down-gorge winds made it a cold walk (and are still buffeting the trees and our room's window), but the sun and the interesting sites kept us going. The golf course looks fun, but only a committed and unserious golfer (Are there any of those? We did see a few later along the walk.) would think today's wind an enjoyable golfing partner.


Gene said...

I was doing the word game which gives free donations of rice and came across the word, peregrinate. I did a search and it lead me to your blog. Cool.



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karan said...

We've been to the Edgefield and enjoyed our stay. It's quite comfortable there.

Anonymous said...

You have probably the best description of Edgefield that I have ever encountered. I never know how to describe it, it encompasses so much. I think it is Heaven on Earth!