To say the Imbrie Farmstead is iconic is an understatement. The beautiful home once known as “The Gables” by its builder Robert Imbrie and his family sits proudly to this day on the corner of Cornelius Pass Road and Imbrie Drive. As they are famous for doing, the McMenamin Brothers have turned the farm and its historic buildings into a destination pub and food venue adding new buildings to blend with the old. The result has been a smashing success for them and the community of Hillsboro, Oregon.
As kids growing up in Orenco, Oregon (1970’s) we spent many an afternoon exploring the marshes and fields behind the home; a place where we found many Indian arrowheads and other relics. The Oregon Nursery Company (ORENCO) fields abutted the Imbrie Farm. The Scottish founders of Orenco, Archibald McGill and Malcom McDonald, certainly knew the Imbries who were Scottish immigrants as well. Many were the day we walked across the Oregon Electric Railway tracks North through uninterrupted fields hunting Chinese Ring Neck Pheasants. We always knew that when we got to the edge of the Imbrie place we had roamed far enough and would turn and make the journey back.
We went to school with some of the Imbrie kids and knew the family during those days. Better people you will not find anywhere. When Gary Imbrie opened the Imbrie Farmstead Restaurant in 1977 I was a 9th grader and took one of my first dates there for dinner. It became the place to eat in Hillsboro, Oregon and they put out a good meal.
Later in High School I would go by to see kids that worked there who were my classmates and we would go the the attic room after hours where rocking chairs rocked themselves and Ghosts were among us. The whole time the farm house and the amazing 13 sided barn called out to us telling us stories from the past under the stars of Summer nights. The massive trees and lawns welcomed us to come and take leave.
It was a place of magic and wonder.
The Imbrie Farm was bought by the McMenamin’s in 1987 and has been a work in progress ever since. By now Hundreds of thousands have enjoyed food and grog there and the really great thing is that they have continued to add to the property. The History they have on the place can be found right here: Imbrie Farm history.CPR
What is really great is that in many ways this location is where new visitors to the Sunset Corridor and the Intel Ronler Acres and D1-X Fab, as well as all the other firms here, start their journey. The Imbrie Farm is a Northern Outpost of the Orenco area History with the Orenco Townsite holding down the Southern edge of the old. Together with a few other historic locations they give the area context and reference. If these place were gone History would be wiped away; they are relevant beyond Measure.
The Next Phase for the Imbrie Farm-
Our friend and Oregonian writer Luke Hammill just wrote a piece on plans to make the farm more of a destination by the home being added onto and a 47 room hotel being located there. This something I favor as the more the place is established the better the chance we have that it will remain with us for generations to come.
Read Luke’s story here-
Here are the proposed Plans being processed by the City of Hillsboro and the Hillsboro Landmarks Committee has reviewed this proposal to make sure the integrity of the property is not only maintained but enhanced.
Read the Planning Documents and Notice Here
Thanks to Luke Hammill, Bonnie Kooken of HLAC, McMenamin’s, and the Imbrie Family for the amazing piece of Oregon History-
As always my work in the community is driven by my youth here, my love of the History and people I grew up with, and my need to serve a purpose.
Support our Community and Give us the chance to go to work for you and your business and family-