Monthly Archives: July 2014

Gifts to Vista House

Within a few weeks of beginning my new position in the Gorge, I received a phone call.  It was Ms. Julianna Guy calling from Bellingham, Washington.  Julianna had a special request.  She was 87 years old, and before she died, she wanted to see a plaque at Vista House recognizing her father.

Vista House on Crown Point_Grey Day

What if no one had donated land for all of us at Crown Point?

Julianna’s grandparents were Dr. and Mrs. Osmon Royal, and they had owned acreage at Crown Point (the site of Vista House) when they passed, in 1910 and 1912, respectively.  An only child, Julianna’s father, Osmon Royal II, inherited the land from his parents.

Soon after, the City of Portland approached Mr. Royal about donating the land, and on November 2, 1914, Osmon Royall II along with three others gave land at Crown Point, each for the sum of “One Dollar … in consideration of the public good and benefit … for park purposes …”  Osmon Royal II was just 22 when he made the commitment.

Although Julianna’s father passed when she was 10 years old, she said that her mother, Carolyn Merritt Royal, told her children of their father’s “donation and of the love they both had for Mt. Hood, Crown Point … and of their courtship on the hiking trails of the area.”


Without Vista House at Crown Point, over a million visitors a year would miss out on this view of the Columbia River Gorge.

Today, nearly 100 years later, a plaque hangs in the recognition hall in the lower level of Vista House.  It recognizes a total of eight land donors:  November 2, 1914 — Lorens Lund, Mari Lund, Osmon Royal II, George B. Van Waters; January 16, 1915 — Sarah M. Cornell, Ivan R. Cornell, Edward C. Cornell, Maud Cornell.  On July 27, 2014, Julianna Guy and twenty-six of her and Osmon Royal II’s relatives will travel to Vista House to see the plaque and pay tribute to their ancestor.  And with the date nearing, I thought we all should, too.


Nearly 100 years ago, eight individuals generously donated land for Vista House at Crown Point.

Countless individuals and groups have contributed to the Vista House that we see today.  Some, like Osmon Royal II, donated land.  Some, like Vista House visitors, have donated money.  Others, like the Friends of Vista House volunteers, donate time.  All are invaluable.

So the next time you are at Vista House, I encourage you to visit the recognition hall.  To stop, read names of the 320-plus donors, and consider what Vista House must have meant to each.  And, then, perhaps, what it means to you.


DO YOU KNOW RELATIVES of land donors Lorens Lund, Mari Lund, Osmon Royal II, George B. Van Waters, Sarah M. Cornell, Ivan R. Cornell, Edward C. Cornell, or Maud Cornell?  They are invited to meet the extended family of Osmon Royal II at Vista House on Sunday, July 27, 2014 between 10 and 11 AM (exact time TBD by the Royal family).