Friday, March 16, 2018

Retirement Party at Vista House

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 :-) 


  1. I loved reading this story about Kevin and the Vista house. I think we’ve been to the Vista house close to a dozen times in the last 10 years, and I never get tired of looking at the beautiful interior and the views outside. How fun that you also know Kevin‘s replacement! I hope you have a beautiful day today like we do Teresa. The sun is shining and spring seems to be on its way.
    Blessings, Betsy

  2. What a spectacular building and view! One of the things I really enjoy about blogging is learning about places that I'm not familiar with. Teresa, you really worked at a beautiful place. I'm sure you enjoyed going back and honoring your friend. ♥

  3. You have been busy as usual my friend. How lovely for your friend to be honored in such a lovely way. And I see you looking fantastic with your Sunday Shawl on. I love the photos of all your beautiful flowering trees. Have a great weekend.

  4. How wonderful you must feel to be an integral part this place's history. Being from Washington State, I've never had the pleasure of visiting this site. Now, it's on my list of things to see. My best wishes to you, Pat

  5. Loved this as usual and vista house is wonderful and wonderful you are such a integral part xoxoxo

  6. This is one of my favorite posts! I enjoyed seeing how you all honored Kevin, and your photos and narrative did Vista House proud. Thanks for your beautiful work, Teresa. I got home at a little after five tonight and had a wonderful drive with a bit of snow north of Brookings and rain off and on the rest of the way. I saw three half rainbows! Happy Weekend :-) xx

  7. Such wonderful work making sure the history of the area is preserved. Congrats to Kevin on his retirement. I LOVE the framed certificate he received. It is so gorgeous with all those photos surrounding it. Great idea! Wonderful pictures of such a beautiful area.

  8. We've camped in the Columbia River Gorge a few times and visited Vista House last summer just a week before the terrible fire. We visited mostly because of me reading your blog and learning about it. It was a lovely experience and I was so touched by the vases of fresh wild flowers sitting around various little spots inside. It's a beautiful building with incredible views. Thanks for bringing it alive to all of us here in blog land.

  9. The Vista House is so pretty and I've been there quite a few times, including when it was windy but realllllll====yyyy windy! Quite the clock story.Thanks for the tour and the stories and congrats to Kevin on his retirement. That name sounds familiar. My dad was born in Oregon, 1916. I have some old cards from there that my mom had. I've still got them. aw, wish I could go April 1 to celebration but that's Easter and we'll be busy! Sigh! Have a great week!

  10. To leave a beautiful legacy and still contribute as YOU do is so amazing. Teresa, It is clear the friendships built there are as strong and the structures themself. I hope you are as proud of what you have saved and restored for generations, as we are of you . Kevin sounds like a great man . Thanks for sharing this event with those of us who are far away and don't know much about the wonder that is this place.

  11. Such fantastic views you had both on commute and workplace, an impressive building too. Glad the clock story had a good ending. Looks like you had a real good time celebrating with your friends. Cathy x

  12. Wonderful history, photos, Teresa. Thank you & Kevin and everyone else for preserving this wonderful legacy. I look forward to the May centennial celebration!

  13. Wonderful history & photos, Teresa. Thank you & Kevin & everyone else for preserving this wonderful history for us all to enjoy. I'm looking forward to the May centennial celebration.


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