Sunday, July 9, 2017 dawned clear and bright, continuing a string of perfect “Oregon Summer” days. Soon Alvin Smith’s House was buzzing with workers setting the stage for the annual Friends of Historic Forest Grove Picnic. Inside and out, preparations went on with great energy and excitement.
Inside, the house was cleaned and “staged” to represent its historical context, each room decorated with period furniture and other materials, such as the vintage drapes hung in the upstairs front bedroom. Additionally, there were informative signs and photographs posted throughout the house. From basement to attic, the Smith House was soon ready for visitors.
Meanwhile, out in the July sunshine, Friends were cleaning, trimming, raking and straightening the grounds inside the recently-moved security fence, opening a whole new venue for picnic visitors. Soon the food-shading canopies were up, awaiting delivery of delicious food and drink.
In the distance, the still snow-covered flanks of Mt. Hood provided inspiration to visitors arriving for the mid-afternoon picnic, arms filled with covered dishes and other picnic offerings. Frosty beverages in hand, guests took the opportunity to explore the house and grounds, pausing for some extra minutes in the delightfully cool rock-walled basement.
Finally the time came for “dinner on the grounds” in the shady front yard of the Smith House. Marcus “Alvin T. God Almighty Smith” Hazelett presented a heart-felt invocation to set the stage. Plates filled with homemade goodies firmly in hand, visitors found seats at circular tables kindly left behind by the previous day’s wedding party, enjoying the fellowship, with the Smith House as impressive background.
Rounding out the day’s festivities, President Melody Haveluck provided an update on the group’s plans (including that we now have a water line to the house!) for Smith House restoration and renovation before introducing many of the participants and Board members. Door prizes, kindly donated by members, found willing recipients throughout the crowd.
All too soon the sun began to set on the Smith House and its distant neighbor Mt. Hood. As they headed for home at the end of a very memorable afternoon, guests were heard to say: “Sure looking forward to next year’s picnic!”
This event could not have been made possible without the hard work of the organizing committee of Melody Haveluck, Terri Erskine, Barbara Johnston, and Jim Hilsenkopf. Thank you!