The Fulton House - A Portland, Oregon Bed & Breakfast

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MICROBREW HEAVEN

Posted on March 25th, 2007 in Uncategorized.

Portland, Oregon is generally considered the birthplace of the microbrewery. At one time, our city had the second greatest number of breweries per capita than anywhere else in the world, trailing only Munich, Germany. Our state has dozens of others scattered in all directions — the coast, southern, central and eastern Oregon, together with those in southwest Washington State.

Fortunately for our guests and their hosts, one microbrewery is located about six short blocks from The Fulton House, an easy walk when the weather is pleasant. This means that you can always have that second pint without worrying about driving or designating someone as official driver and limiting him or her to soft drinks or lemonade.

It’s called the Fulton Pub and serves about ten great ales, lagers, stouts and porters, as well as offering an extensive pub food menu. Although most of the patrons are there for their beer, the few who prefer hard liquor cocktails can also order them. At lunch and after work, the Pub is a gathering place for the neighborhood. It is also possible to bring your own container or buy one there and have it filled, so you can enjoy a terrific beer on our patio.

Note the name of the Pub: Fulton, the same as our bed and breakfast. We were originally a bordello located one block away in what is today Willamette Park; they were the Fulton Dairy, which served much of westside Portland with milk, butter and other dairy items. From milk to I.P.A., from house of ill repute to bed and breakfast….which is the greatest change?

Spring warmth is here and the weather will dry up very soon. Plan on staying with us at The Fulton House for a relaxing mid-week break or over a weekend. See you soon!


FULTON HOUSE GARDEN SPARKS COMMUNITY GARDEN

Posted on March 23rd, 2007 in Uncategorized.

Gardening provides so much fun, relaxation and satisfaction to my wife Wendy and me that she decided to introduce gardening to students, teachers and administrators at the middle school where she teaches, as well as to the citizens of Canby, Oregon who have never indulged in this activity.

Wendy has created a community garden on her school’s campus, which is large enough to provide several thousand square feet for would-be gardeners. Since, at the beginning of this endeavor, expenses can run high, Wendy has written several grant proposals, two of which have already been received. She has involved many of the departments at school in the project; for example, wood shop will build a tool shed and the math class will lay out the individual plots.

Students are excited. Everyone wants to begin growing their favorite vegetables or flowers. And the community is also very excited. Several months ago Canby residents formed a Committee and petitioned the City Council to provide enough public land to support a community garden. They were turned down because of an inadequate site.

Now citizens do have a centrally located site and dozens of people have expressed interest in starting their own garden. Local businesses have contributed expertise, tools and materials, adding to the enthusiasm. Many people are involved, and that is one of the things that makes a smaller suburb of Portland a very special place to live.

It is with a great deal of pride that Wendy can boast that something begun in the large backyard of The Fulton House has provided the impetus and blossomed into the fertile soil of a very large community garden about 15 miles away. Now, all everyone has to wait for is consistent Spring weather.

Then, let the planting begin at both sites.


Helpful Portland Links

Posted on March 21st, 2007 in Uncategorized.


ENJOYING PORTLAND LIVING

Posted on March 20th, 2007 in Uncategorized.

Here at The Fulton House we grow all our own herbs, including three types of basil (regular, licorice and lemon), oregano, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, parsley, mint, sorrel and dill. We also grow at least a half-dozen types of tomatoes and peppers (including some unusual heirloom types); Spanish, red and and white onions; both regular and elephant garlic; leeks; several types of beans (some served fresh and some shucked and dried); peas; red, white and Yukon Gold potatoes; and eggplants. We have two cherry trees (Bing and Queen Anne), a green gage plum tree, two fig trees, eating grapes and three currant bushes.

So much of the food we eat is as fresh as it gets.

Our backyard gardens are a joy to us, particularly when we sit in our large hot tub and enjoy a glass of good wine from our own 200-bottle cellar. We also enjoy watching our waterfall and 30-foot stream, which empties into our koi pond. On a pleasant Spring day or Summer evening, it’s good to get away from the ubiquitous television set or stop pounding on our computer long enough to just kick back and relax.

Since we also built our own brick barbecue a number of years ago, we’ve been known to throw some chicken or salmon and kebabed vegetables on the grill over some charcoal and hickory chips for the ultimate in tasty and healthful dinners. Our guests often use the grill instead of relying strictly on restaurant dinners. There’s a grocery store within very easy walking distance where you can buy good beef, pork, fish or poultry and vegetables and fresh bread to your liking.

If this sounds like the way you might want to spend an evening or two, consider staying at The Fulton House for several days. And, since we’re very close to downtown Portland with excellent public transportation (buses a block away, and in the warmer months a trolley two blocks from us), you won’t be limited to enjoying the outdoors in our fenced yard.

You’ll be near a city with many exciting features, shops galore and absolutely no sales tax, as well as a romantic evening.


PEACEFUL PEACE MARCHES, PLEASE

Posted on March 20th, 2007 in Uncategorized.

I’ve never understood the reasoning behind marching for peace and then becoming violent. On Sunday, March 18, millions of Americans peacefully demonstrated against the war in Iraq. And, when the speeches were over and the marching was done, millions of Americans folded up their protest signs and headed home, having made their point well-heard.

Not everyone went home in Portland, Oregon, however. It took pepper spray and several arrests to clear the streets of some very few of the marchers. Why? The march drew heavy media coverage before, during and after, and I’m certain every Oregonian knew that several thousand people opposed the Iraq war so much that they left their homes to demonstrate.

A very small minority – very small! – opted to resort to civil disobedience and not clear the streets, defying the very police who vigilantly stood guard during their protest to protect that most American of rights: the right to object openly and freely against government leaders and their policies. This displaced passion did not at all help their cause. In fact, I believe it hurt; many Oregonians who perhaps were undecided in their opinions about the Iraq war, now linked the thousands of peaceful marchers with the unruly few. Who knows how many of them made up their minds based on the civil disobedience of these few.

It’s been 50 years since the authorities in Selma, Alabama used dogs and water cannons to disperse crowds of peaceful marchers. These actions instantly mobilized millions upon millions of Americans to support the civil rights movement. The actions of a few made up their minds based on the shameful events of this infamous day.

Why can’t all Americans recognize that you gain nothing through unlawful civil disobedience and violence? To act violently is to further the cause of those against whom you most disagree.


Cooking Lesson: English Muffins

Posted on March 14th, 2007 in Uncategorized.

Is there a better light breakfast than an English muffin with strawberry preserves and a cup of good coffee? I don’t think so.

Try this recipe for the best English muffins you’ve ever tasted. These are the ones we serve at The Fulton House.

Ingredients (Makes about 2 dozen)

1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105-115 deg.)
1-2/3 cups milk, scalded
3 T Take Control (Butter Substitute)
1T sugar
1-1/2 t salt
2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/3 cups whole wheat flour
Flour
Take Control (Butter Substitute)
Cornmeal

1. In large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and let stand 5-minutes. In separate bowl, combine milk, Take Control, sugar and salt; cool to lukewarm. Stir milk mixture into dissolved yeast.

2. Gradually stir in flours to make moderately stiff dough (not stiff enough to knead). Beat 2-minutes. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1-hour.

3. Turn dough on to well-floured work area; lightly roll about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into 3-inch rounds with floured cutter or glass. Cover and let rise on floured surface for
30-minutes.

4. Heat griddle or non-stick fry pan, grease with Take Control and sprinkle lightly with cornmeal. Transfer muffins to griddle without crowding. Bake over medium heat 10-12 minutes; turn and bake 15-20 minutes on second side. Repeat with remainder of muffins.

That’s all there is to it. Remember to always split muffins with a fork. Toast and serve with preserves. Extra muffins may be frozen.

Good eatin’!


WHY "THE FULTON HOUSE"?

Posted on March 6th, 2007 in Uncategorized.


During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there used to be a town on the Willamette River, upstream from downtown Portland by less than a mile, named Fulton. The main road between Portland proper and Fulton was Macadam Avenue, which, as anyone from the East Coast knows, is the name for blacktop. Macadam Ave. was so named because it was the first all-weather road in the greater Portland area. Why? It’s simple enough: all the gambling houses and bordellos were located right on the river in Fulton, and the road was built to give easy access to Portland businessmen and politicians regardless of weather conditions.

Several of the old Fulton landmarks remain. Beautiful Willamette Park replaced the former men-only attractions in the area. The Fulton Post Office building still exists, although it no longer handles any mail. There’s a Fulton Park. The local pub stands on the site of the old Fulton Dairy. And our Bed & Breakfast, the Fulton House, welcomes guests.

The Fulton House is particularly interesting. It originally floated on the Willamette and was a bordello. Around the turn of the century, it was lifted and loaded onto logs and dragged up the hill one block west to its present location, to serve as a rooming house on a site owned by the local tanner.

We started researching the house’s history shortly after we bought the Fulton House because of one peculiarity — every bedroom on the second floor had a wash basin. Now, knowing its original function, the proximity of sink to customer is understandable.

Fulton House is an East Coast House. It is vertical in design not horizontal, a Cape Cod-style structure. It has a number of features rarely seen in the Northwest. For example, there’s a “sun room” on the main floor, a place where sunshine pours in on nice days. We grow herbs there now. There’s also a “widow’s walk” on a fenced, flat part of the roof, where by invitation guests can sit and enjoy the views of Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, the Willamette River and downtown Portland. It got its name because two centuries ago many of the men folk on the East Coast, primarily in coastal towns in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, made their living as crewmen on whaling ships. When these ships were due back in port, wives would look out to sea from the highest point of their homes, the walks on the roofs, waiting and praying for their husbands’ safe return. Since whaling was an extremely dangerous profession, many men never returned and their wives became widows. Hence the name.

Several other old homes are in the immediate neighborhood of the Fulton House. Unfortunately, many have already been torn down and townhouses have been built in their place. We have no intention of subjecting the Fulton House to this indignity.


A SPECTACULAR WINERY

Posted on March 2nd, 2007 in Uncategorized.

I’ m completely hooked on the incredible wines and the superlative setting of the Maryhill Winery, situated on a cliff high over the mighty Columbia River, which separates Oregon and Washington. The winery, which is on the Washington side, is only about 120 miles east of Portland, an easy drive on I-84 and a non-toll bridge crossing over the river.

The winery has a huge deck where you can enjoy the view and, on weekends, there’s usually some live music to entertain. Nothing loud or fancy, maybe a guitarist who sings old favorites and very soft rock. There’s also an outdoor bowl, where big name acts are booked in the warmer months.

And the wines… A Zinfandel and Cabernet to kill for. A Muscat, White Riesling and Viognier to satisfy an urge for sweetness. And many others. All reasonably priced for the extra high quality of these wines; and if you show an Oregon Driver’s License, you don’t have to pay Washington’s sales tax. There’s also a small area where you can purchase deli-style munchies — pickles, crackers, and dips and spreads.

There’s a couple more terrific attractions in the immediate area. Just down the road to the east is the Maryhill Museum, which exhibits the prolific and eclectic collection of art, artifacts and oddities assembled by Sam Hill. Mr. Hill, who made his fortune from building the Northern Pacific Railroad, was a noted Portlander who helped create and finance the famous, scenic Columbia River Highway, which runs for many miles up and down the cliffs on the Oregon side and features breathtaking waterfalls, seemingly after every twist and turn the road takes.

Beyond the Museum, still heading east, is an exact replica of Stonehenge that Mr. Hill commissioned. Its detail and alignment with the heavens is identical to that of the original, located on the Salisbury Plain in southern England.

If you live in the Pacific Northwest or are spending a few days here on business or pleasure, the Maryhill Winery is a must. I guarantee you’ll return time and again, just as my wife and I do.


How Stupid are Oregon's Legislators?

Posted on March 2nd, 2007 in Uncategorized.

HOW STUPID ARE OREGON’S LEGISLATORS?

Here in Oregon all too often our State Legislature does things that belie common sense. For example, hearings are being held in Salem, our State Capital, on the effects of Measure 37, which was passed by a vote of the people last election. Basically, the measure mandates that when land or structures are condemned or rezoned after the present owner purchased them, the jurisdiction – usually a City or County, but occasionally the State – must reimburse the owner for the dollars lost by the owner. In other words, if you purchased land zoned industrial a number of years ago and it has been rezoned as farmland, you would be reimbursed for the value you lost because of the rezoning. These hearings have been packed, so much so, that the overflow crowds are forced to sit in other rooms to watch the proceedings on television. Sounds fair, doesn’t it? Well, those persons holding “gold passes” can be admitted to the hearing room at any time… and the unbelievable part is that gold passes have been issued to all the Oregon singers who auditioned for “American Idol” in Portland and were advanced to the next round in Los Angeles. Can anybody explain to me why a 20-something rocker should get precedence over the owner of a tract of down-zoned land worth hundreds of thousands of dollars? It’s no wonder that Oregonians, like much of the rest of the country, are rapidly losing confidence in their elected officials. Whatever happened to good old horse sense among the anointed few?

Please feel free to comment on this blog. We’ll be talking about a wide variety of subjects in upcoming blogs, hopefully at least twice a week. Certainly not all of them will be political. We’ll cover a broad range of topics — about education, our city (Portland), our B&B, recipes we’ve developed and just about anything we believe our readers might be interested in. Please log on any time… and tell your friends about us. Talk to you again very soon.