The Cedars was a City of Portland facility established in the 1910s on the poor farm property. Its mission was to "rehabilitate" sporting women. In the mid-1920s, The Cedars was reincarnated as the Bealey Military Academy, and then a decade later, dismantled and rebuilt as the building that today houses Ruby's Spa.
Construction of the grandiose main lodge of the Multnomah County Poor Farm took place through much of 1911 and required an army of craftsmen.
This mid-1930s aerial shows the county poor farm complex at its height of operation during the Great depression when over 600 people were happy to call it home.
Chris Boyd may have had the longest residency of any poor farm resident, 1931 to 1963. Because he liked to sit and rock on the front porch, Chris assumed the role of Edgefield's unofficial greeter for much of the three-decade period.
This building was constructed in 1937 as the poor farm cannery. In 1991, it seemed the natural space for McMenamins Edgefield's brewery, which is still the company's largest.
Today, thousands come to Edgefield to see performances on the east lawn by B. B. King, Ringo Starr, Stevie Wonder. In years past, such events like this one in the 1950s, were a more cozy affair.
A rare snowfall proved a good reason to photograph the poor farm during a prosperous period of the 1950s. Note the bus parked in front of the side porch.
The county farm boasted a prize-winning dairy, which remained a cornerstone of the operation until 1969, when the farming was ceased and the herd sold. In the background of this 1950s image are (left to right) the milking barn, hay barn and root cellar/stable. Only the silo of the hay barn (center) and the root cellar/stable remain today.
Here is Edgefield's stellar nursing staff of the 1950s. They helped Edgefield maintain its excellent reputation for nursing care within Oregon.
Doing the laundry for the poor farm was not a one-person job. Here, though, one employee of the 1950s is hard at work in the laundry department, housed in the Power Station.
Del Stoffer, Edgefield's last farm manager, sits astride his horse outside the west porch, mid 1960s.
The Multnomah County Poor Farm was hailed as a model of agricultural efficiency and production. It provided food not only for poor farm residents, but also those of the county jail and hospital. The farm operation finally ceased in 1969.
A deep source of regret for McMenamins was the loss of great barns of the poor farm. Fearing injuries and lawsuits arising from the teenagers roaming the property largely unchecked during the 1980s, the county had the well-preserved barns torn down shortly before Mike and Brian bought the property. Here is the milking barn as it looked in 1980.
The poor farm incinerator was where paper refuse was burned. Shown here in 1980, this little structure was salvaged as part of the 1990s renovation and given new life as the Little Red Shed.
Wild blackberries consumed much of the Edgefield property during its vacant period of the 1980s. Entire outbuildings disappeared. Here the old greenhouse is threatened. The tangled quagmire in the foreground is where the present herb garden is laid out.
After several years of neglect and vandalism, the abandoned poor farm appeared better suited for a wrecking ball than a rehabilitation.
The first step of McMenamins' revival of the old poor farm was good, old-fashioned cleansing, performed of course by a pipe and drum band.
As part of McMenamins' 1990s renovation, a team of artists enlivened the old farm with bits of the property history.
Amidst the construction zone, Mike McMenamin (right) and Edgefield's landscape guru Patrick McNurney laugh off the enormity of the Edgefield rehab.
Gardens were part of McMenamins' initial rejuvenation of Edgefield in the 1990s. Here the herb garden is being laid out on the north side of the greenhouse. Vintage photos show that a flower garden was in this same spot in decades past.
The early stages of McMenamins' renovation included the hauling away of many dumpsters' worth of rubbish and debris.
In the early 1990s, McMenamins removed this transformer to make room for the outdoor dining and event area known as the Loading Dock. The transformer was memorialized in one of the earliest brews made at Edgefield, called Transformer Ale.
Reconstruction of the burned-out Power Station and fashioning a pub, movie theater and lodging rooms within the original 1911 structure came in 1991.
The brewery McMenamins created at Edgefield in 1991 remains the company's largest.
"We took what was there at Edgefield and tucked a golf course into it." That's how Patrick McNurney explains the original layout for the Pub Course. Patrick helped in the course's design and construction. At the debut of the course on August 31, 1998, Mike McMenamin sunk his first hole-in-one ever.