As temperatures rise and thoughts turn to growing things, the Friends of the Historic McLean House & Park are gearing up for their annual Art & Garden Gala April 27.
According to FHMHP President Mike Watters, the gala is the largest annual fundraiser for the organization, which is dedicated to preserving and promoting the 1927-era home and grounds in West Linn's Bolton neighborhood.
The McLean property is a very worthy site to support for those who appreciate local history, Watters said. Not only is there a connection to hometown physician Dr. Edward McLean — who practiced locally but was also known to have started the nation''s first "prepaid" health plan — but for its ties to Oregon Trail pioneer Hugh Burns, who originally owned the riverfront property and platted the neighborhood surrounding it.
Before Burns, the site was known as a popular gathering place for Native American tribes in the area.
"Burns started one of the first ferries on this part of the Willamette," said Watters. For all these reasons and more, the McLean site is protected by the State Historic Preservation Office from unauthorized archaeological disturbance.
If you go
What: McLean House & Park Art & Garden Gala
When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, April 27
Where: 15350 River St., West Linn
High on the most recent wish list for fundraising, Watters said, is a new exterior paint job for the home, a landscaping overhaul, ADA bathroom and a new outdoor event shelter. According to Ken Warner of the West Linn Parks and Recreation Department, a permanent event shelter (as opposed to the temporary event tent the facility was using) was included on the list of park projects approved for bond funds in local parks.
One of the gala's largest draws is its wealth of raffle items donated by local businesses, Watters said, including the star of the show: a 2,500-pound landscaping boulder. Also at the gala there will be vendors with both house and garden art, presentations by local plant experts and a silent auction. The group is still working on securing entertainment and food options but knows there will be activities for children.
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