Locally known as “the train park”, the Red Barn is rooted in history and well loved by the community. We think you’ll love it too. The Park is a collection of beautiful, historic, red buildings, the largest of which is the “Red Barn” and is the cornerstone of the park. Other buildings include the Hutson Museum, the original Parkdale homestead called the Reis-Thompson House and several rustic and charming red outbuildings. Why is it called the train park? The Mt Hood Railroad operates a seasonal run to the park. It currently only runs private trains, but rumor has it, the train is coming back to Parkdale soon!
Parkdale is a small, rural farming community located at the base of Mt. Hood. Rich soils produce world famous pears, apples, cherries and blueberries. It is a quiet town. With just one street rolling through. You are just as likely to share the road with a tractor as a bicycle. Summer days see the town swell to double the population with tourists coming for Apple Valley BBQ or Solera’s beer on their way to or from a bike ride, ski or hike. Local services include a full grocery store, gas station, post office, a bed and breakfast, a pub, BBQ restaurant, an ice cream store, an elementary school and a church (to name a few). Check out the Vendor page to connect with these local services.
The story goes like this… Anna Reis and her husband came west and landed in Parkdale. They set out to build a house, but sadly, the husband soon died. Anna, a strong and determined woman, was not the type to shy from challenge, so she finished building the house on her own. She stayed on, raising her children and running the farm. The house she built still stands and today is rented by a local family. Many of the barns and outbuildings are original to Anna’s farm. The Ries-Thompson house, as it is called, is the oldest remaining residence in Parkdale (circa 1900).
The Park is owned by the Mills Family. Originally purchased by Jack Mills in the 1970’s along with the budding Mt Hood Railroad company. He and his wife, Kate have lovingly maintained the buildings, fostered the construction of the Hutson Museum and generously shared the park with the community. Jack passed away in 2011 and Kate continues his legacy of generosity and community support.
In 1805, the Lewis and Clark expedition discovered the mouth of the Hood River. Subsequent explorers and pioneers discovered the dense forests and rich, fertile soil of the Hood River Valley—now internationally famous for its fruit industry. The Mt Hood Railroad was built in 1906 and served as an economic lifeline for the Hood River Valley, carrying fruit and forest products to market. In the 1920’s and 30’s the railroad was used as a commuter train by area residents. While still an active freight line, the train now offers visitors some of Oregon’s most breathtaking scenery—from the town of Hood River toward the base of Mt. Hood. Visit Mt Hood Railroad for more information including schedules and special excursion trips.
The Hutson Museum, a barn-red, old-style building with a panoramic view of Mt. Hood, is a prominent landmark in Parkdale and the upper Hood River Valley. The museum, located on the two-acre National Historic Site at the southern terminus of the historic Mt. Hood Railroad, began as a display of family rock collections in the basement of Jesse and Winifred Hutson’s orchard home. Avid rock collectors and colorful story tellers, the Hutsons created a popular attraction for local schoolchildren in the decades after World War II.
Following the deaths of Jesse and Winifred, the Hutson heirs looked for a way to continue the family tradition. Local residents responded by establishing a community corporation in 1993 and constructing a building in the style of the nearby Ries-Thompson House. Packed with exhibit cases, the museum displays an eclectic mix of rocks and minerals, Native American artifacts, military items from the two world wars, and local memorabilia. “In all the world,” reads its brochure, “you won’t find another museum like this one.”
The bustling town of Hood River is located just 20 miles to the north of Parkdale on highway 35. It’s quite the place to be. If you want to sprinkle in a bit of night life, shopping or water sports, you’ll want to include Hood River in your plans. Check out the Hood River County Chamber for loads of local resources.