Research Guide: Multnomah County Poor Farm records
Multnomah County’s first home for poor residents was Hillside Farm. The facility opened in 1869 and was located in Portland’s West Hills. In 1910, community members inspected the building. They found it to be in deplorable condition. In 1911, the Multnomah County Poor Farm opened in Troutdale to replace Hillside Farm. The Poor Farm expanded to 345 acres of land tended by its residents. In the mid-20th century, farming operations waned. The institution’s name changed several times. By 1964, the facility was operating as the Edgefield Manor nursing home. The nursing home housed residents until it closed in 1982. The property remained vacant for several years. In 1990, local hospitality chain McMenamins purchased and restored the property. It now serves as an entertainment and lodging complex.
Finding Poor Farm records
All Poor Farm records
- See a list of all Poor Farm records in the Multnomah County Archives. Visit the archives catalog page for Edgefield Manor records.
- See all digital Poor Farm records available online. Visit the Edgefield Manor collection in the digital archives.
Use the following search terms to find Poor farm records in the digital archives. Or click on one of the links below to see the search results.
Index to resident admissions register
The Genealogical Forum of Oregon coordinated the transcription of the resident admissions register index. To search for an entry in the index, enter a name in the Search box in the upper right.
If the name is present in the index, you will see a result for the the Poor Farm resident admissions register index. Click on the item and the document will take you to the place in the index where the name appears.
Once you know the location of the entry, you can go to the volume you need and find the page you are looking for. See below for links to the volumes.
For more information about the registers, visit the Genealogical Forum of Oregon’s Poor Farm index page.
Resident admissions register
The Poor Farm admissions register lists people who stayed at the Poor Farm from 1900-1962. Early entries include individuals admitted to Hillside Farm or the Multnomah County Hospital. There are eight volumes in the series, seven of which are available online.
Individual records may contain any or all of the following data: Date, name, nativity, disease, occupation, religion, domestic relation, address of relatives or friends, how long in Oregon, former residence, assignation (hospital or poor farm), date of admission, when discharged, cause of discharge, date of death, disposition of remains, grave number.
Want to find out more about the history of the Multnomah County Poor Farm? Check out the following resources to explore further:
- Nesbit, Sharon. Multnomah County Poor Farm (Edgefield). The Oregon Encyclopedia.
- Hills, Tim and Nesbit, Sharon. McMenamins Vintage Edgefield, A History of The Multnomah County Poor Farm. Portland: McMenamins, Inc, 2002.
Looking for more local genealogical resources, visit: