Jack and Heidi Czarnecki Welcome You to the Joel Palmer House

The Joel Palmer House ranks as one of Oregon's finest historic homes, and is on both the Oregon and the National Historic Registers. We bought the Joel Palmer House in May, 1996. Our lifelong desire was to combine great mushroom hunting with fine wine. Naturally, there could be no other place but the Wine Country of Oregon. Also, we honeymooned in Oregon twenty six years ago and never forgot the unique rugged beauty and natural bounty of the region. So our decision was obvious.

Our cooking at the Palmer House revolves around wild mushrooms which we gather ourselves and with friends. We have always striven to obtain locally raised ingredients in our cooking, and we use organically produced greens, herbs, and vegetables. Frequently we will use ingredients found in the cuisines of Mexico, China, Thailand, Poland, and India, so we call our cooking "freestyle." We are also working hard to create dishes which match the glorious wines of Oregon, especially Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay.

About Joel Palmer, 1810-1881

Pioneer leader and author, was born in Ontario, Canada. At the outbreak of the War of 1812 he and his parents, who were Americans, returned to York state, where he lived until he was 16, when he went to Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and worked on canals and other public works. In 1830 he married Catherine Coffee, and following her death married again to Sarah Ann Derbyshire in 1836. That year he moved to Indiana, where he worked on the canals and bought land near Laurel. In 1843 and 1845 he was a representative in the Indiana legislature, but in the spring of 1845 started overland for Oregon. On this trip he discovered the Barlow Pass by climbing Mount Hood in the middle of winter in moccasins which quickly became worn to nothing.

The next year he returned to Indiana and with his family made a second journey to the Pacific Northwest. In Oregon he served as commissary-general of volunteer forces in the Cayuse War, and as a peace emissary. He joined the California gold rush in 1848 but returned the next year, laying out the town of Dayton on his donation claim on the lower Yamhill River. Here he built a sawmill. In 1853 he became superintendent of Indian affairs for Oregon Territory, an office he served with distinction, bending his enormous energy and personal magnetism to the difficult task of securing Oregon lands from the Indian tribes without provoking them into warfare. He negotiated 9 of 15 treaties of cessation made between 1854 and 1855, and negotiated the problems of the Yakima Indian War.

In 1857 he was removed from office, not because he hadn't done a good job, but because of his tolerant consideration for the Indians in carrying out his reservation policy and his restraint of settlers' activities. Thereafter he operated his land claim, his mill, and was active in a variety of business enterprises. He was speaker of the house of representatives in 1862, and state senator, 1864-66. In 1870 he was defeated as Republican candidate for governor. He fathered eight children. His 1845 Journal of Travels Over the Rocky Mountains, served as guide for many Oregon-bound immigrants.

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