Four Days in Silverton, Oregon- Part Two

Sunday, August 25, 2019

The Oregon Garden is an 80-acre botanical and tourist attraction in Silverton. Opened in 1999, it is home to over 20 gardens including the Rose Garden, Children’s Garden and Silverton Market Garden.

It is open 365 days a year and hosts both public and private events. The Garden is also home to the Gordon House, Oregon’s only Frank Lloyd Wright home, and The Oregon Garden Resort.

The Children’s Garden

It’s dog friendly so all four of us take a walking tour. It’s a must see place if one appreciates a diverse garden as we do.

Silver Falls State Park has quite a history. In 1888 the lumber community of Silver Falls City sat near South Falls. As the land was cleared admission was sold to view the falls. That included attractions such as pushing a car over the falls and even a daredevil riding over it in a canoe. June D. Drake was local photographer who began campaigning for park status, using his photos to gain support.

The National Park Service rejected the area because of the proliferation of unattractive stumps after years of logging. Drake was successful in that Silver Falls became an Oregon State Park in 1933. In 1935 F.D.R. announced that it would become a Recreational Demonstration Area, and sent in the C.C.C. to develop the park’s facilities.

Thanks to the efforts Mr Drake and of the Civilian Conservation Corps the park has a beautiful campground, rustic lodge and assorted out buildings. Silver Creek is dammed above South Falls to form a swimming pond. A convention center is on premises. Evidence of bygone logging has disappeared. Ten beautiful water falls are accessed by trail- some of which can be viewed from the canyon rim. This area is just drop dead gorgeous!

Warning Sign at South Falls (duh)- Precipice of 170 Foot Drop on Right

Like many small towns major roadways converge in the downtown business district and Silverton is no exception. Two major country roads from the north, one country road leading from Salem to the west and the road to Stayton to the south. Boy, traffic can really get heavy!

We chose to walk around the handsome downtown of Silverton one morning before the crowds arrived and before all stores except the restaurants opened. We found quite a few murals painted on the side of its buildings. Murals are thing here in Silverton.

New Sign in Progress

One multi part mural told the story of Bobbie the Wonderdog. He became lost (attacked by 3 dogs and fled) while his owners, the Braziers visited family in Indiana. The family could not find him so it returned to Silverton. Six months later Bobbie returned to Silverton mangy, dirty, scrawny, with evidence he walked all the way home, a distance of over 2500 miles in the dead of winter. After his story was published folks who had fed and sheltered Bobbie wrote to the family about their time with him. The Humane Society of Portland was able use the stories to assemble a fairly precise route that Bobbie traveled.

Bobbie the Wonder Dog

Jil and I have made a command decision. Originally we were going to head into southern Washington and visit Mt. St. Helens. We would have to travel through Portland to do that. We’ve already had a good snootful of heavy traffic. If we don’t go north through Portland, where shall we go? Let’s go to Bend!

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