Alpenrose is a high mountain shrub with small, rose-like flowers that bloom late spring and early summer. It’s an ornamental plant with a sensitivity to cold. Its leaves are ruffled and it grows on acidic soils. It is a rhododendron, which means that it is a member of the rhododendron family.
In the nineteenth century, the hills southwest of Portland were home to several dairies run by Swiss and German immigrants. Florian Cadonau’s farm, near Forty-fifth and Southwest Vermont streets, provided milk to a restaurant in downtown Portland. By the turn of the century, the dairy had moved to its current location at Southwest Vermont and Forty-fifth streets. He was joined by his son Henry, who had married the daughter of a Swiss consul. The couple named the dairy Alpenrose, after the national flower of Switzerland.
The Dairy and Ballfields: Alpenrose Dairy was once home to the Alpenrose Dairy, a popular destination that included a baseball diamond and model railroad clubs. The farm also had a bike and midget racing track. Today, Alpenrose Dairy is a family destination, with farm tours, petting zoo, bike rides, and freshly baked cookies served right in the farm kitchen.
The menu: At Alpenrose, the menu is an excellent mix of familiar Alpine dishes and new creations. Among the highlights is the Walliser tomaten-kasefondue, a tomato cheese fondue originally discovered in Zermatt, Switzerland. There are also several options for vegetarians and vegans, and a vegetarian menu is available for those who are not a fan of cheese.
The Alpenrose Dairy: The dairy is a 52-acre site north of Hillsdale, west of Shattuck Road, and north of Multnomah Village. The dairy’s ice cream parlor is a re-creation of a western frontier town. It also contains a music store and an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. The dairy also features a 4,000-square-foot Skinner pipe organ and an impressive collection of antique music boxes, nickelodeons, and calliopes.
Today, the Alpenrose Dairy is the only remaining dairy in the hills above southwest Portland. It has a rich history in the community and offers a wide variety of cultured dairy products. The dairy has been run by five generations of the Cadonau family. The dairy also hosts seasonal events including an Easter egg hunt, bicycle races, and baseball.
In 1918, the Cadonau family bought a four-year-old Ford touring car and converted it into a delivery vehicle for its growing list of customers. In 1922, the family took over the company’s full ownership. By 1930, deliveries had expanded and they needed to hire help from outside the family. By 1961, the company had more than doubled its retail and wholesale routes.