A wealth of entertainment at an old farmstead.
A century ago, economically challenged folk in the Portland area were sent to work at the Multnomah County Poor Farm. For nearly 50 years, the residents of this farm grew crops, raised livestock and operated a dairy, cannery and meat-packing plant. In 1962, the huge building was converted to a nursing home. And then in 1990, the local, fun-loving, entrepreneurial McMenamin brothers converted the 25-acre complex into a unique entertainment community with a restaurant, pub, movie theater, winery, brewery, golf course and hotel. Today, the bucolic grounds and art-laden buildings reveal none of the property's dismal past. Still, this isn't the Ritz. The proprietors describe the accommodations as European-style, which translates into shared baths and no TV. There are a few suites with private facilities, but most guests use centrally located, individual, same-sex (private) bathrooms. The hostel rooms are also same-sex; they're safe and quite a good bargain. Although many stay here for access to the dramatic Columbia River Gorge, there is plenty to do without ever leaving the grounds.