Billy’s Milk Shed – Welch’s Ranch Tokens

Billy’s Milk Shed and his Welch’s Ranch Tokens.

In the day and age of quick trips to the store for a gallon of milk as well as refrigeration to preserve the milk we sometimes forget that our ancestors didn’t have those conveniences.

Billy and friends posing in front of old Welches Post Office
Billy and friends posing in front of old Welches Post Office

Billy Welch was a resort proprietor. He ran the Welch’s Ranch in a way as to include most supplies that the visitors, hotel guests, cabin dwellers as well as campers might need during their stay. He had a dance hall, restaurant, post office, was a notary public and operated a store, much like convenience stores of today, that had everything from candy for the kids to food for meals as well as other items of necessity.

In its early stages Billy’s store had no refrigeration. In lieu of coolers or or ice chests he had a cold shed down at the Salmon River where he had diverted the cold water from the river through the shed. It kept the shed chilled and things such as jars of milk could be preserved by sitting in the cold water bath.

To purchase your milk you would buy aluminum tokens at the store and then, as you needed milk, you would go to the cold shed and drop your token in the can and take your jar of cold milk. Billy had two denominations. One pint and one quart. On one side it read WELCH’S RANCH. On the other it read GOOD FOR 1 PINT or GOOD FOR 1 QUART.

Today these Welch’s Ranch Tokens are quite scarce.

Welch's Ranch Tokens for Milk
Welch’s Ranch Tokens for Milk

American – Swiss Model Garden at Brightwood, Oregon

At one time there was the American – Swiss Model Garden Brightwood, Oregon.

This is only one of many small businesses and tourist themed stopping spots along the highway to Mount Hood in the 1940-1960’s. This is an old flyer advertising the American – Swiss Model Garden at Brightwood, Oregon.

If anyone reading this can positively identify the location of this place I will revise this article and add that information. Thank you.

“Open from Dawn to Dusk. Open early April until the end of October. Bring you camera along.

Nowhere is there anything like it and this is certainly true for the American – Swiss Model Garden. It is a lovely combination of a lovely rock and flower garden, featuring small water-pools, rustic looking bridges, miniature waterfalls, as well as miniature Alpine houses and castles.  Through the greater part of the garden a miniature railroad is running, fascinating young and old. Three trains (freight, passenger, and express), all Swiss styled, alternate in running through the garden. A picturesque alpine village, miniature size, containing the railroad station, church, castle and a number of Swiss Alpine houses, amazes all visitors.

Flower lovers also will be thrilled by the variety of the many flower beds, just to mention the American and Swiss flags done in flowers. Beautiful hanging baskets add much to the beauty and atmosphere of this garden. Edelweiss and Alpenrosen are among the outstanding rock plants. Of special interest is the rose garden section, containing rose bushes, climbing roses, tree roses, and miniature roses.

The garden is placed in a natural setting and its atmosphere is very informal and relaxing. As you admire and enjoy it, music, mostly Swiss Alpine (accordian (sic) and yodeling), will accompany you.

A truly beautiful garden… a place worthwhile to visit.”

It’s certainly a shame that we no longer have such a simple culture to support such businesses as the American – Swiss Model Garden Brightwood, Oregon.

American - Swiss Model Garden Brightwood, Oregon
American – Swiss Model Garden Brightwood, Oregon
Brightwood Model Swiss Garden
Brightwood Model Swiss Garden