|Birdhouses that are miniature marvels posted on 07/01/2021|
Locals stopping in Welches Mountain Building Supply in
Welches recently may have noticed the presence of birdsong or the “not for
sale” sign hanging from an occupied birdhouse outside the store during the
spring and summer months.
The presence of birds contentedly nesting in an intricately
crafted miniature log cabin act as the best advertising imaginable for the
wares of Mount Hood area woodworker Rollo “Dutch” Dutcher.
For the past fourteen years since his retirement, Dutcher
has been crafting artisan quality bird houses that have earned him a strong
local following in the Mount Hood communities for their combination of form,
function and regional style.
“Every spring the swallows pick one or two homes to raise
their families in. We put up a sign saying those houses aren’t available to
sell until fall,” said the owner of Welches Mountain Building Supply, Rochelle
Simonds. Simonds has sold the birdhouses to a steady supply of new and repeat
customers at her store over the past five years.
“With his eye for detail his bird houses are as functional
as they are beautiful,” Simonds added.
Dutcher’s birdhouses are miniature mountain cabins, complete
with cedar-shingled roofs, river-rock masonry, and details such as ornamental
chimneys and fir pillars to complement the aesthetic.
“When I retired I started looking around for something to
do. There’s a lot of birds around here so I picked birdhouses,” said the
Dutcher works from his shop at his family Christmas tree
farm, Dutcher’s Farm, located in Boring where he has lived for the past 54
Dutcher was born in Flint, Michigan and moved to Oregon in
1964. He worked as a carpenter from the age of 18, and later as a general
contractor and cabinet maker for 33 years until he retired at the age of 70.
His birdhouses are made from 60 percent organic, recyclable
material. Dutcher refurbishes used cedar fencing and planes it down at his shop
to make the roof shingles for the houses.
He uses fir branches from the Christmas trees for the rest
of the structure and colored river rock for the masonry.
Dutcher designs the bird houses himself, and they are priced
individually. Dutcher also offers his wares from his family tree farm where his
son sells vegetable starts. He stated that they make for popular gifts and are
frequently purchased in addition to the Christmas trees.
“We love working with Dutch. We finally got him to start
signing his creations because they really are works of art,” said Simonds.
Rollo “Dutch” Dutcher’s birdhouses are available at Welches
Mountain Building Supply, 67250 Hwy. 26 in Welches and at Dutcher’s Farm, 33755
SE Compton Road in Boring.
By Ben Simpson/MT