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Rhododendron celebrates its centennial +1 posted on 08/01/2021

On Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, the Rhododendron Community Planning Organization (CPO) held what was to be the first of two celebrations that year to mark the community’s 100th anniversary of the U.S. Postal Service commissioning the Rhododendron Post Office. More than 18 months later, the second celebration (delayed by the pandemic) will go on.


“We’re excited about it,” said Steve Graeper, CPO President.

The celebration, held simultaneously with the Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum’s (MHCC) Steiner Cabin Tour on Saturday, Aug. 14, will offer looks into the community’s past, present and future, featuring kiosks from various organizations, a rhododendron plant sale, a special postmark cancellation created by Mountain artist Sue Allen and more.

Organizations taking part are expected to include Clackamas County, U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Mt. Hood Area Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Forest Service (Zigzag Ranger Station), a display by the MHCC at the Log Lodge and a master gardener.

Graeper added a food cart may also be included and crossing guards will be on hand to make sure visitors can safely cross Hwy. 26.

Graeper also noted a report on the possibility of developing the core of Rhododendron will be available for people to look at.

“Hopefully we can start getting the downtown core developed,” he said, adding that a “road diet” could be considered to help slow traffic (see Graeper’s commentary on Page 6 of this issue for more).

The unincorporated community of Rhododendron was originally formed in 1909 as Rowe, with a post office named after Portland mayor Henry S. Rowe. In 1917, the Rowe post office was renamed Zig Zag with the spelling later changed to Zigzag.

Rowe built the Rhododendron Inn in 1905, a destination that attracted visitors from Portland, who took the Mt. Hood Loop Highway for a daylong journey to arrive there.

By Garth Guibord/MT





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