Dec 7 2013

Robert ImbrieHappy holiday season to you and yours. This is traditionally a time for families to come together, and who would have known that better than a guy with a family of 12 kids? Robert Imbrie, that's who. He is the pioneer who settled the Cornelius Pass property in the 1850s, building barns, tilling grain fields and constructing a beautiful home (today referred to as "the Roadhouse") for his gigantic brood.

Heck, in the Imbrie house, they even had what was called a "Birthing and Dying Room," which remained closed except when needed for delivering babies or for laying out the recently departed! Now that is commitment to family.

Here's a recent artistic memorial dedicated to Robert Imbrie's memory.

Imbrie HouseMcMenamins artist Olivia Behm painted this orb for the CPR property - "I decided I couldn't resist Robert Imbrie's eyebrows!," she says. The Suessical "stalk" helps soften the glowering visage of the man himself. The back of the orb is adorned with Celtic symbols and knots, a nod to the Imbrie family's heritage from the Kingdom of Fife in Scotland

The inspiration for Olivia's piece came from this great family photo (above), taken in 1895, just a couple years before Robert's death. Robert ImbrieIn the image, the house is a beautiful wedding cake of a structure, with family members from young to old gathered in front for the momentous occasion of having a photograph taken. Imbrie stands to the far right.

And here's a close-up of the man himself, with shaggy eyebrows in all their glory. He looks a bit grumpy – although wouldn't you be, with 12 kids, a wife, a mother and multiple grandchildren constantly underfoot? And who has time for facial hair grooming with all that ruckus and brouhaha?

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