Knitting by Judy @ 7:40 AM
knitting at the rest home

The McMenamin brothers are famous for taking run-down but historic properties and turning them into some of the funkiest, funnest pubs and B&B’s in Oregon, serving as showcases for their microbrews, wine, spirits and very cool art by local artists. Nearly everything is decorated that can be — even the exposed overhead pipes have little faces painted at the elbows.

One of my favorite McMenamin properties is Edgefield. Built in 1911, Edgefield originally served as the Multnomah County Poor Farm. It was a self-sufficient environment, where the residents tended pigs and chickens, grew fruit and vegetables, operated a dairy, meat packing plant and cannery, and worked in the laundry, kitchen and hospital. The poor farm aspect was phased out in the late 1950’s. In 1962, it was renamed Edgefield Manor and turned into a nursing home. It closed in 1982 and most of the buildings were condemned.

The McMenamins purchased the property from Multnomah County in 1990 and spent four years restoring and remodeling and decorating and transforming. The main building now houses a 100-room B&B, the main restaurant and the winery. Out building house numerous small bars and pubs, a theater, a glass blower, the brewery and the distillery. Around the buildings are lovely gardens, the vineyard, and a 17-hole, par 3 pitch & putt.

My favorite thing, though, is the art. As in all McMenamin properties, the art can be surreal, strange, funky, beautiful – often in the same painting. The doors are painted, the walls have murals, paintings are hanging on the walls. It’s a magical place.

Click on the picture to see a bigger version. This painting is one of my favorites. It hangs in the waiting-room area just outside the Black Rabbit restaurant. As much of the art here does, it celebrates the history of Edgefield’s. I love the woman knitting the chessboard. If you click on the link for Edgefield’s artwork and scroll through the pictures, you will see another painting that features knitting.

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