Lucy's cabin at Philip Foster Farm in Oregon's Mount Hood Territory

Modern Pioneers: Elaine Butler and Philip Foster Farm

Jarrod Lyman | 09/10/2018 | Estacada, Heritage, Oregon Trail

Kids play checkers at Philip Foster Farm in Mount Hood Territory

Imagine you've been walking for months to get to your new home in Oregon. You've traversed hot, dusty plains, crossed rushing rivers and made your way over steep mountains, all while sleeping on the hard ground each night. Finally you see the first glimpse of the comforts of home you left behind so long ago: Philip Foster Farm

That farm still stands to this day, a piece of loving history on the Barlow Road. That history remains alive thanks to the efforts of many people like Elaine Butler. 

Elaine first started coming to the farm as a mom. She home schooled her kids and would bring them to Philip Foster Farm to take part in the many activities they offer. They asked her to become more involved and the more she took on, the more they wanted her to do. "I gradually just got more and more involved in how the operation works and with all the people who are involved in it," said Elaine.

Blacksmithing at Philip Foster Farm in Oregons Mt. Hood TerritoryWhile she does so much at the farm, her favorite part is igniting the passion for our heritage in future generations. 

"My favorite part of working here is the kids. I get to work with these kids who start participating very young. They'll come back every year in camps and volunteering. We have one girl who started when she was eight and she's 18 now and part of the staff and what we do here. Watching those kids grow up and love the farm and love the history is very exciting to me." 

There are a wide array of things for kids who are interested in history to try. There is an active garden that grows many of the same staple crops that the Foster family would have back in the 1800s. Kids can also try various chores and recreation activities that kids in the 1800s would do. 

The part that still appeals most to me is the blacksmith shop. Kids who are interested can take lessons on how to shape iron and steel into the useful items of the day from an expert smith. There's something mesmerizing about watching the master and his apprentices taking a raw piece of iron and turning it into something both useful and beautiful.

Coming up the 15th of September is the annual Cider Squeeze. One of the well-known fixtures of Philip Foster Farm were the many apple trees. There are still several trees on the farm producing bushels of apples. You can purchase some from the farm or bring your own and run them through one of 8 presses they have on site. The end result is a fun day with the family learning some history and making some delicious apple cider.

Philip Foster Farm is located just off of Highway 211 in the town of Eagle Creek, which is a few miles north of Estacada. It's one of several historic sites in Mt. Hood Territory. We are the end of the Oregon Trail, after all, and this year marks the 175th Anniversary of that famed migration. 

Here at Philip Foster Farm what we do is turn children into pioneers.

Jarrod Lyman has more than 13 years tourism experience. He is currently loving his job overseeing content for the #omht Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest

Activity Guide Inspires Adventure Along The Oregon Trail Teaching young kids the significance of our nation's history, like the Oregon Trail journey from Independence, Missouri to Oregon City, Oregon, is part of most…
Exploring History in Mt Hood Territory From the official end of the Oregon Trail in Oregon City to Timberline Lodge on the slopes of Mt. Hood, you can find history throughout…
Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival The mighty Clackamas River runs deep this time of year fueled by spring rains and early snow melt, tantalizing thrill-seekers with its whitewater rapids. A…
History Comes To Life As the official end of the Oregon Trail, Mt. Hood Territory has a storied history which comes to life at our museums and interpretive centers. Last…
Pickathon returns to Pendarvis Farm in Happy Valley this August for its 21st year bringing with it 65 music acts from a wide range of…
Just a short, 30-minute drive from Portland, travelers find a bounty on the Oregon Farm Loops in Mt. Hood Territory. Enjoy an autumn day exploring…
Mt. Hood Adventure Park at Skibowl initial west side opening (Scenic Sky Chair & Alpine Slide) Saturday, May 25th 2019.Full Summer Opening (East & West sides) Opening June…
Request a Travel Planner
Explore all that The Territory has to offer delivered right to your door, or if you want, you can view it ONLINE today.
Want to know what is happening year round? Sign up for our monthly electronic newsletter.
Developed by Drozian Webworks | ©2019 Oregon's Mt. Hood Territory 1-800-424-3002
Terms | Privacy | Contact CCTCA