Yesterday Dayle and I attended a retirement party for Kevin Price held at Vista House. He worked for Oregon Parks & Recreation Dept. overseeing the state parks in the Columbia River Gorge, of which Vista House at Crown Point State Park was a jewel in the crown of the parks in the gorge.
This is the approach to Vista House from the West, with Washington State across the Columbia River Gorge.
I was one of the founders of the Friends of Vista House and served as Executive Director for 15 years. This was my commute. :-) My office was in the lower level for those years.
Vista House was built as a viewpoint and comfort station in 1917-18 after the completion of the Historic Columbia River Highway.
The interior of the building is wonderful, the floor is Alaskan Tokeen marble and the walls are made of Kasota limestone. It has wonderful original heavy glass and bronze light fixtures.
Many friends that worked with Kevin Price over the years came to honor him. That is Kevin on the right, telling a story.
He was presented with a wonderful framed document to honor his work with the Historic Columbia River Highway Advisory Committee. Kevin is known for his booming voice and was given a gag gift of a gold painted bull-horn.
Kevin and I - Old friends.
Here is the certificate of appreciation - if you click on the image you can see a bigger version. It has historic photos of different sections of the historic highway.
I am chatting with Jeanette Kloos here, she was hired by Oregon Department of Transportation to lead the charge on restoring the Historic Columbia River Highway. After years of work for ODOT, upon her retirement, she founded the Friends of the Historic Columbia River Highway and has led that group as it's president since its inception.
I am always in awe of the ceiling of Vista House. See the carved sections? Each of the eight panels has a different pioneer family name on the crest in the center of them. Each one also has carved leaves and flowers of Oregon fauna and other things such as shovels, wheelbarrows and tools.
There are 4 different Native American Indian heads on the walls, they look across an image of themselves. During the restoration the stained glass was restored and broken pieces replaced and all the years of paint on the limestone walls was removed the the stone reinforced.
The marble clock with bronze numerals and hands is original to the building. Interesting story - when the restoration was finished on the interior of Vista House the clock was missing. Kevin called the restoration company and asked where it was, they informed him it was THEIRS! Well.. Kevin told them in no uncertain terms that they were to return it immediately or he would be contacting the police. It was quickly returned and re-installed in it's place of honor. :-)
Kevin's replacement at Rooster Rock State Park on the left is Clay Courtright. Can you believe that I knew him as a cute little tow-headed boy who was our Horse 4-H leader's son? He went to school with our kids at Corbett.
Dayle got some shots of the view from Vista House for me, this is looking West towards Portland, Oregon. Washington on the right.
Looking East where you can see Beacon Rock and Bonneville Dam. Washington State on the left, Oregon on the right.
There is snow in the Silver Star Mountains on the Washington side.
A last look at my beloved building and good memories of honoring Kevin Price, my good friend. May he enjoy his retirement as much as I am!
We are having a 100th Anniversary Celebration of Vista House in April. I will be leading the DAR Centennial Chorus to sing the National Anthem - The Star Spangled Banner at the ceremony. :-) ((hugs)), Teresa :-)