New plaque at Vista House recognizes eight land donors

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Julianna Guy, 87, of Bellingham, Wash., tells the story of her father, Osmon Royal II, who donated land at Crown Point in 1914. Twenty-six descendants of Osmon Royal II arrived at Vista House on Sunday, July 27, to celebrate a new plaque recognizing their ancestor’s 1914 land donation at Crown Point.

Dorothy Brown-Kwaiser, interpretive park ranger for the Columbia River Gorge, said she had received a phone call from Royal’s daughter, Julianna Guy.

The 87-year-old Bellingham, Wash., woman said she had a special request. She wanted to see a plaque at Vista House recognizing her father in Corbett.

“It took a bit to track down the official deeds and get approval from the director of Oregon State Parks,” Brown-Kwaiser said.

But the plaque was approved, she said. “We actually found the names of eight donors, who are all recognized on the plaque.”

On Sunday morning, four generations of Royals were joined by three descendants of Lorens Lund, who also donated land at Crown Point in 1914.

Brown-Kaiser shared some of the Royal family’s history on a blog, updated by Columbia River Gorge state park rangers, at

Julianna Guy’s grandparents were Dr. and Mrs. Osmon Royal, Brown-Kwaiser wrote. The couple owned acreage at Crown Point, now the site of Vista House, when they died in 1910 and 1912, respectively. Their only child, Osmon Royal II, inherited the land.

Soon after, the city of Portland approached Mr. Royal about donating the land. On Nov. 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 ...” Brown-Kwaiser wrote.

Osmon Royal II was just 22 when he made the commitment.

Although Guy’s father died when she was 10 years old, her mother, Carolyn Merritt Royal, told the children of their father’s donation. She also told them of the love they both had for Mount Hood and Crown Point, and their courtship on the hiking trails in the area.

The plaque, which now hangs in the recognition hall in the lower level of Vista House, recognizes a total of eight land donors. Those who donated land on Nov. 2, 1914, include Lorens Lund, Mari Lund, Osmon Royal II and George B. Van Waters. On Jan. 16, 1915, Sarah M. Cornell, Ivan R. Cornell, Edward C. Cornell and Maud Cornell gave their shares.

The Royals, including 10-month-old great-great-granddaughter Emily, traveled from as far as Bellingham, Wash., and Sacramento, Calif., to the celebration at Vista, located at 40700 E. Historic Columbia River Highway in CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Fours generations of Royals and three members from the Lund family celebrate their ancestors with a plaque at Vista House on Sunday, July 27.

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