How to Save a Poor Farm: A Happy Collision of Land-Use Laws, Amateur Historians and Beer
Edgefield – Blackberry Hall
5 p.m. doors, 6:30 p.m event
All ages welcome
Qualifies for “Attend a McMenamins History-Sponsored Event” Experience Stamp.
About How to Save a Poor Farm: A Happy Collision of Land-Use Laws, Amateur Historians and Beer
Presented by Sharon Nesbit
Join Sharon Nesbit, past president of the Troutdale Historical Society, for a first-hand account of the closing of the Multnomah County Poor Farm and an emergent historical society’s fight to save it by employing Oregon’s land-use laws.
About the Speaker:
In 1968, Sharon Nesbit began working part time as a columnist for the Gresham Outlook covering government in small cities in East Multnomah County. About 10 years ago, she turned toward writing features and columns for the Outlook. Though she retired from active news duty in 2011, Sharon continues to write personal and history columns for the paper.
In addition to writing about local history, Sharon is active in its preservation. Organizing the campaign under the auspices of the Troutdale Historical Society, Sharon saved the Multnomah County Farm and authored the original McMenamins Edgefield History, revised in cooperation with McMenamins Head Historian, Tim Hills. She also has a book of 100 selected columns under the title Sharon Nesbit’s Outlook: Sunny with Occasional Tirades.
Sharon has served on assorted historical and preservation committees including the Troutdale planning commission, Troutdale downtown task forces, board of the Historic Preservation League of Oregon, the Blue Lake Park task force, the Multnomah County Historic Sites committee, the state advisory committee on the restoration of Vista House and the city-county committee for the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. In 2005, Sharon served on the City of Gresham centennial committee and on Troutdale’s Riverfront Urban Renewal ad hoc committee and PAC. She was president of the Oregon Geographic Names Board for two terms, a founding member of both the Zimmerman Farm Heritage Park and the Friends of the Historic Columbia River Highway, as well as being a past president of the Troutdale Historical Society.
Sharon was named a March of Dimes Woman of Achievement in 1998, twice won the National Federation of Press Women Sweepstakes writing award, and was named Troutdale Citizen of the Year in 2000. In 2007, she received the Troutdale Historical Society’s preservationist award. Most recently, Sharon was the recipient of a 2018 Oregon Heritage Excellence Award for her work chronicling the history and events of greater East Multnomah County for over half a century, including advocating for the preservation of the Multnomah County Poor Farm, now McMenamins Edgefield.
About Edgefield History Pub
These monthly, free events are open to everyone interested in Oregon and Pacific Northwest history. Co-sponsored by like-minded historical and civic organizations, we bring you experts, scholars, first-person experiencers and historians who expound on topics from Lewis and Clark to shipwrecks, hop growing to women pioneers and far, far beyond. It’s like being back in the classroom – except this time you get to settle into comfortable seats and enjoy a drink or two with dinner while you listen and learn.
This event is eligible for a History Pub Stamp