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

Villages of Mt Hood Post Offices

The Villages of Mt Hood Post Offices

What gives a town, or in this case a village, its identity? In most cases it’s the establishment of a post office. Many feel that the establishment of a post office is truly that which makes a settlement a town or a village. The case is no different here on The Mountain, as each of our villages have been identified in that very same way. That identity still exists in places that no longer have a post office, such as Zigzag, Wemme and Faubion.

One might think that Welches, being the center of attention in our area, would have been the first post office to be established here, but it was actually the roots of the present day Brightwood post office that makes that claim. Samuel Welch, a local pioneer and Welches namesake’s first venture in the area was a hotel and general store in what was then called Salmon, Oregon, with a post office being established in 1891. His hotel was located near the present west end of Brightwood Loop near the Salmon River, and it wasn’t until 1910 that the name Brightwood was adopted. At that point in time it was located inside of McIntyre’s General Store near its present location. The Brightwood Post Office was discontinued in 1914 but reestablished in 1925.

The next in line as one travels east was Wemme. Named for E. Henry Wemme, the benefactor of the old Barlow Road, its post office was established in 1916. Wemme was discontinued upon the establishment of the new Welches post office in 1977.

First Welches Post OfficeThe Welches post office was established at the Welch’s Ranch in June of 1905 with Linny Kern as the postmaster. Billy Welch succeeded Kern as postmaster in 1910 and served until 1940 when his wife Jennie took over. Jennie, for years the local matriarch, served until 1960 when the Welches post office was closed. The Welches post office was re-established in 1977. The original plan, at that time, was to move the Wemme post office into a new building on Welches Road, thus threatening to re-name Welches to Wemme. Because of the local outcry the postal service changed their plans and named the new post office Welches, thus insuring the perpetuation of its true identity.

In 1909, a post office was established in the little town of Rowe. Named for Henry S. Rowe, an ex-mayor of Portland who built the old Rhododendron Inn, the post office was located in Dad Miller’s store. The Rowe post office name was changed to Zigzag in 1917.

Dad Millers Store

The Zigzag post office existed as its own entity until 1964 when it became a rural delivery station for the Rhododendron post office. Although the mail was sorted at Rhododendron, the mail was postmarked “Zigzag Rur St”. The Zigzag post office closed for good in 1974.

The Rhododendron post office was established in 1920 and is still operating today.

The Faubion post office, which was located in the old Cedarwood Store on what is now Faubion Loop operated from 1924 to 1932 and was operated by William Faubion, Jennie Welch’s father.

Please take some time to send a postcard to friends or relatives. Our postmasters on The Mountain are all friendly down to earth folks that would love to have you drop in. They will also remind you that they need your business to continue their existence.