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OPBers Remember Lost Summer Hangouts In Oregon

OPB | Aug. 15, 2014 11:16 a.m. | Portland

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With another summer coming to an end, many of us at OPB reflected on how we used to spend the warmer months before we had our full-time jobs.

Think Out Loud’s segment of Oregon’s lost summer hangouts also had a hand in stirring up nostalgia for the good old days. I personally spent my summers in Idaho where I grew up, hopping from camp to family hikes to afternoons on Payette Lake.

Here are the top five things the OPB staff missed from summers past:

OPBers and followers alike brought up Pixieland outside of Lincoln City. Built in the late 1960s, the Oregon Coast attraction was inspired after the success of Pixie Kitchen — a restaurant in the area. But the “fairy-tale history of Oregon” didn’t have the same charm, and closed only four years after opening. OPB’s own Michael Clapp says that he actually invested in the amusement park’s stock. 

Remember when kids would load up in the bus to head to the berry fields in Gresham? A few OPB followers shared fond memories of picking raspberries and black raspberries, and later returning home smelling sweet and feeling sticky. That summer pastime came to an end when Oregon changed its child labor laws. 

OPB’s Kelsey Wallace misses Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour near the Lloyd Center in Portland, where she could get a sundae the size of her head complete with plastic zoo animals. And on your birthday, you could swing by for a free birthday treat. If you need to satisfy your craving, other Farrell’s are located throughout California and Hawaii. Or you can join the group on Facebook trying to bring the popular parlour back.

Reporter Amelia Templeton chimed in with her memories of Carousel Restaurant on Terwillger Boulevard, which specialized in carnival fare. You could sit beside a waterfall that ran down the cliffs above, thanks to a large outdoor seating area. A 1965 Portland visitor’s guide says about the place: “I couldn’t imagine a nicer place to take your best girl on a Sunday.”

And though you can find horse racing in Portland, it was a special occasion when it was hosted by the Oregon State Fair. Starting in 1861, the fair was more of a harvest festival with a side of betting, according the Salem Public Library. Local ministers campaigned to boycott the event, and won over organizers to scratch racing on Sundays starting in 1927. In 2002 , the old State Fair grandstand was demolished, ultimately ending the races.

Other places OPB followers mentioned during Thursday’s show included Montavilla Pool, Skate Palace, Mary’s and her space burgers, LaLuna concert venue and Lincoln City Go-Carts just to name a few.

Now that you know what we miss most from our summers growing up, tell us about your favorite lost summer hangouts in Oregon below. 

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