If tax preparation has left you feeling it's time for a visit to the poor farm, there’s one close to Portland uniquely suited for those taxpayer blues. It even boasts of a brewery, distillery, and winery all within walking distance.
During World War II, the population increased with the arrival of sick and wounded soldiers. But, the boom times after the war, along with changes in the social welfare system signaled the decline of the poor farm. Caring for its growing elderly and sickly population created a shift in focus and the farm was renamed Edgefield Manor in the late 1950s. Over time, the land was leased to a local farmer, the dairy herd sold, and the main lodge became a nursing home.
The local historical society challenged this decision, thus setting off years of bureaucratic battles. Finally, the farm was listed in the National Register of Historic Places, saving it from destruction, but not from continuing deterioration.
In 1988, the McMenamin brothers, owners of several pubs and breweries in Oregon, toured the facility, saw its potential, and bought it from the County for $500,000. It took years of renovation and reconstruction to upgrade the property to its current grandeur.
Today, Edgefield is the crown jewel of the McMenamins’ microbrewery empire. In the Main Lodge, the old dorm rooms have been converted to over 100 bed and breakfast rooms ranging in price from $30-$175. The men’s dining room is now the Black Rabbit Restaurant, while the women’s dining room is the ballroom, a popular venue for weddings.
The old Power Station has been converted to a cozy pub serving hamburgers, and other pub fare. A sampling of six beer varieties, some produced at the brewery next door, is available. Beverages and food may also be ordered in the adjacent 125-seat movie theater for a “brew and view” experience.
The property is ideally located at the mouth of the Columbia River Gorge with its spectacular vistas, waterfalls, and hiking trails. If a tax refund is on the way, there’s plenty of temptation in the antique shops, outlet mall, and galleries in nearby Troutdale.