Monday, July 21, 2008

A Picnic at Pittock Mansion

Portland Oregon cannot lay claim to very many super-old, Regency appropriate sites. It is a sad conundrum for the ORS, living in the 'New World' ~ Especially the late-settled west-coast. However in our state there are a few jewels that seem to invite people to arrive in period costume.

The Pittock Mansion was built by Henry Pittock, a Portland Newspaper Magnate, whose family occupied this magnficent French style chateau until 1958. The Mansion sits high on the west hills of Portland, overlooking the valley, and the cascade range, Mount Hood a gleaming jewel on the horizon. Now property of the Portland Bureau of Parks & Recreation, the mansion gets many visitors all year 'round.

Its grounds are immaculately landscaped, and the perfectly manicured lawns, soft, drooping willows, and colourful tufts of roses and other perennials, makes it the perfect location for a Regency picnic. We spent Sunday afternoon occupying the shade beneath the trees at 'the point', where the garden ends in a sudden sharp hill, opening up the view to the city of Portland.

Roughly 20 ORS members, coupled with about ten ladies from the Portland Ladies Tea Guild; who dovetailed their event with ours, created a sizable spectacle for Mansion visitors to see. Many a strolling soul slowed to observe the genteel group in regency costume, taking full advantage of the spectacular day.

Pittock Mansion volunteer Sherry Uchytil came especially on this day, costumed for the occasion to give a Master Gardener's tour of the Pittock Mansion's fine grounds to members of the ORS and tourist alike.

Members also took advantage of the tours of the Mansion itself. A beautiful museum, it features so many appropriate architectural and decorate touches as to make it the perfect opporunity for photographs.

It was a lovely occasion, one we hope to repeat next summer.

Here are links to some of our members' photos of the day. Enjoy. :)