Mayor will attend event, which is part of the city's ongoing celebration

by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - The McLean Park and House, orginally built in 1927, now serves primarily as a wedding ceremony and reception venue. As part of West Linn’s Centennial Celebration, a Century Garden Day is set to take place April 27 at McLean Park and House.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the public will be allowed in free of charge to explore both the house and the surrounding gardens, while also participating in an array of activities ranging from historical lectures to native plant shopping and food preservation tutorials.

The Royal Rosarian Court of Honor will also be present to hold a traditional rose planting ceremony in honor of West Linn’s Centennial Celebration. West Linn Mayor John Kovash will accept the rose from Rosarian Prime Minister Gayle Whitehurse, of West Linn, and it will be planted shortly thereafter at around 1 p.m.

For Mike Watters, president of the Friends of McLean Park organization, Saturday’s activities present a golden opportunity to expose community members to the garden’s oft-overlooked beauty.

“Most people don’t know it all,” Watters said. “People have been here 15 or 20 years and go, ‘I’ve never noticed this.’”

by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - A view from the front of the McLean Park and House shows off the home's charm.

Built in 1927 by Dr. Edward McLean, the McLean House is a three-story, 17-room home surrounded by carefully groomed gardens and overlooking the Willamette River. Though the house was originally built for the McLean family to live in, it now serves as a wedding ceremony and reception venue.

The Friends of McLean Park organization has been in charge of maintaining the property for nearly 30 years, and has recently worked to restore the house and its surrounding grounds.

This particular event is eight months in the making, and McLean Park and House received a $500 grant from the city to help with expenses. Watters said that because McLean Park and House is not far from its own centennial anniversary it seemed fitting to be a part of the city’s wider celebration.

“McLean has its own majestic side to it because of the century issue,” Watters said. “It’s not the 100th year, but close enough.”

The first official activity of the day will be a lecture titled “What Was Gardening Like 100 Years Ago?” by local historian Jerry Herrmann, followed immediately by a presentation on composting. Later in the day, the city of West Linn’s Neighborhood associations will plant a donated dogwood tree in the garden area, and six local artists will also be on hand to sell garden-oriented pieces. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to McLean Park and House, which is owned by the city of West Linn and operates as a nonprofit.

Though attendance is free to the public on Saturday, Watters said donations are welcome.

McLean Park and House is located at 5350 River St. For more information, visit

by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE -  A gazebo sits on the grounds at the McLean Park and House.

by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - A pathway winds through the grounds at McLean Park and House.

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