Jun 14 2016

Outdoor concert season has begun -- to quote Max, king of all wild things, "And now, let the wild rumpus start!" We are heading into our 11th season of Edgefield Concerts on the Lawn, with this summer's shows kicking off this weekend. But did you know that the original series started way back in 1994?

Recently, a Facebook fan of McMenamins History commented on a photo of a '94 Edgefield Concerts poster: "I went to Indigo Girls! I've been looking to purchase this poster!!!!" So we sent her a vintage poster, in exchange for her memories of that show for the history archives.

Written by Lisa Westlund-Johnson:

It was the summer of 1994. I had finished my third year at college and was needing a good break away from working when I saw the Indigo Girls tickets go on sale. I had seen them previously at the Portland Rose Garden and Oaks Park, knowing that their show would be excellent, I bought tickets immediately. I was even more excited that the concert would be at Edgefield.

When I was young, my grandmother would take me for drives up the Columbia Gorge, visiting interesting sights and teaching me about the area history. One of those drives included her pointing out the old Troutdale Poor Farm. While in college my grandmother had once called to say she read that McMenamins had purchased the property and was working to revitalize it. I immediately took an interest. The concert was my perfect opportunity to splurge and book a room. Everyone I knew was "weirded out" by the idea of European shared bathrooms. I was nervous about them but excited about the experience.

Upon arrival I felt like Alice in Wonderland. I was in awe with all the artwork. I remember checking into my room and finding the mason jar! It was so delightful of an experience. I spent hours before the concert wandering around studying the paintings and drinking from that mason jar! The atmosphere for the concert was laid back. I can't recall there being lines...I'm sure there were but the whole experience was so delightful that whatever wait there was didn't turn into a memory.

The concert was spectacular. Swamp Ophelia was the Indigo Girls' latest album and a concert outside was perfect. In my mind, the weather was delightful and not a thing could have jaded the concert. It was such a delight to mill about Edgefield after the concert and listen to people talk about their concert going experience. There was wonderment in the air that every time I visit Edgefield I remember and am flooded with feelings of joy and bewilderment. Every visit includes exploring more and more of the Wonderland finding new delights, all the while recalling my first adventure there.

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