1928 Multnomah Falls Menu

Oregon’s Multnomah Falls is featured on this 1928 Union Pacific menu. The dinner menu was used on the “Third Annual Hawkeye Tour under the direction of the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce.” As such, it has no meal prices but offers tour members a choice of halibut, lamb chops, or chicken. It does have beverage prices, including root beer, sarsaparilla, apple cider, and others ranging from 20 to 40 cents (about $2.75 to $5.50 today).

Click image to download a 3.6-MB PDF of this menu.

The back of the menu describes the dramatic Columbia River Gorge, which is the home of (as the menu notes) “Latourell, Mist, Bridal Veil, Wahkeena, and Horsetail” falls as well as the tallest, Multnomah. The menu reports that Multnomah is more than 600 feet high, but this is the sum of the two falls in the photo: the upper falls is actually 542 feet while the lower is 69 feet.

Click image to for a larger view.

Union Pacific passengers had an excellent view of the falls as the trains went by, and the railroad often featured the Columbia Gorge, and sometimes the falls themselves, in its advertising. The above ad, for example, is from a 1929 National Geographic, while the postcard below is from the same era.

Click image to download a 434-KB PDF of this postcard.

At the time this menu was issued, Multnomah Falls, along with nearby Waukeena Falls, was a Portland city park, as the land had been donated to the city by local lumberman Simon Benson and the railroad. Since the park was located more than 30 miles from the city boundary, in 1939 the city gave the land to the Forest Service, which manages it today.

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