What We Love
To us, this historic home and century-old farm have the perfect combination of paradise: amazing orchards that produce our famous pear wines and hard ciders, fields of flowers that make delicate wedding bouquets, melt-in-your-mouth fresh fruit, double mountain views, a beer and cider tasting room to enjoy with a snack hot off the grill, and local micro-brewed beers on tap. Our family spends our days sharing this place with you, and with each other.
Situated in a beautiful 1908 Dutch Colonial home in the heart of the Hood River Valley, The Gorge White House has been a landmark on Highway 35, the Mount Hood Scenic Byway, for over 100 years.
We look forward to meeting you!
Pauline, Patrick, Beth, Jack, Andy, Barry, Carrie, Parker and Katie
The Kennedy Family
They Kennedy’s purchased The Gorge White House from Camille Hukari and Jerry Tausend in 2012. The Hukari family had been in the orchard industry in Hood River for 4 generations. Camille’s great-grandfather, JR Nunamaker, moved to Hood River in 1905 from Morrow County in Oregon. Her great-grandparents on her father’s side, Alex and Amanda Hukari, born in Finland, also moved to Hood River in 1905. Both sets of great-grandparents became orchardists upon their arrival in Hood River.
Both the Hukaris and the Nunamakers have been active in the fruit industry in Hood River and Oregon. Arvo Hukari (Camille’s grandfather), helped found the Apple Grower’s Association (now Diamond Fruit) and served as AGA’s foreign market sales representative for many years. Don Nunamaker (Camille’s grandfather) served on the Board of Directors of AGA. Her father, Ross, served as the President of the Oregon Horticultural Society in 1958 and was named as the Hood River Young Farmer of the Year in 1959. Camille served as the first female member and Chair of the Board of the Hood River Grower Shipper Association and continued her activity in the industry throughout her farming career. Camille has been actively farming since 1983. Her husband, Jerry, joined the farm in 1998.
Much of the fruit and all of the flowers offered for sale at The Gorge White House are from our fields. The farming operation at The Gorge White House consists of Bartlett, Golden Bosc and Stark Crimson Pears, with a few heirloom apple varieties. Spring flower bulbs of daffodils, tulips, gladiolas and fragrant lilies bloom April through June. Seeded flowers such as zinnias and sunflowers begin in July and our spectacular dahlias finish the season through first frost – usually in October. We grow 5 varieties of blueberries, 3 varieties of strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.
Hill came to Hood River and found a 50 acre piece of land he wanted. He located the owner, Mr. Johnson, a street car conductor in Portland, and rode that streetcar until Mr. Johnson agreed to sell the property to him. He bought the land, set up camp and began building a small house, not telling his wife of what he had done. When she did come north, he told her he had bought the property and if she would stay, he would build her the finest house in the valley. Mrs. Hill was from a very wealthy mid-western family and cried when her husband gave her the news of his land purchase, as to her, the Hood River Valley was an uncivilized, barbaric area, void of expected comforts. Because of his pledge to build her this house, she agreed to stay. In 1910 the M. M. Hill House was completed, making good on his promise to his wife.
The Gorge White House remained in the Hill family until his daughter, Ruth Hill Beacon sold the house and orchard in 1947 to Don and Aileen Nunamaker, Camille Hukari’s grandparents. Camille’s parents, Ross and Daphne (Nunamaker) Hukari purchased the home in 1950. Camille grew up in The Gorge White House.
The Gorge White House is an excellent intact example of a Dutch Colonial Revival House in a rural setting in the Hood River Valley. The Colonial Revival Style was popular from 1890 through 1915 and was an effort to establish a uniquely American style based on Colonial architecture of the 1700s. The Gorge White House has many of the characteristic elements of this style including the gambrel roof, classic entablature, oval windows with keystones, fanlights (lunettes) attic windows, transoms, dentils at the cornice, balconies, screened sun porch, tripartite windows with decorative leaded beveled glass, fluted round porch columns, union jack railings, arched window with keystone in the west facing gable and side lights framing the doors. The Gorge White House also has the classic style elements of wood frame construction with thin horizontal cedar siding, dentil moldings, fluted columns, pilasters, leaded glass windows, porches, balconies, and a central prominent entrance (porte-cochere).
Both the exterior and interior of the house are intact, with minor alterations. The interior main salon has original quarter-sawn white oak columns, coffered ceilings, floors, staircase, newel posts, doors, windows, moldings and baseboards are original in finish, patina and materials. The first floor of the home is now open to the public as The Gorge White House.
Unique Gorge Gifts
In addition to the splendor of the land, the tastes and smells of our fruit, flowers, wines and ciders, we offer a delightful shop full of jams, syrups, vinegars, nuts and snacks, local art, cards, fruit labels, books and more!