Down Manor celebrates Jubilee event Sunday

Providence Down Manor stands tall on the Heights in Hood River. The four-story building on a garden-filled campus provides spacious apartments for independent seniors.

Down Manor jubilee goes from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Enjoy complimentary barbecue lunch, beverages, kids’ activities and door prizes.

This weekend marks the 25-year anniversary for this Hood River landmark with a public “jubilee” celebration in the Down Manor courtyard.

Founded by a charitable gift of nearly $2 million, Down Manor is named after Louise Nex Down, who designated her gift to build a retirement facility on land acquired by Hood River County.

She said at the time, “It is my intention to provide a retirement home in Hood River that will be attractive with a park-like setting so that there will be grounds where residents may walk and enjoy themselves.”

The document with her wishes went on to say that the “costs to senior age residents should be reasonable and the building should have common eating facilities along with outside medical care that is quickly and easily available.”

Mrs. Down’s vision was fulfilled on May 31, 1989, when the 97-unit, one-million-square-foot building was dedicated, and Wilson and Dorothy (Duckwall) Applegren were the first residents. Over a span of 25 years, Down Manor has provided one- and two-bedroom apartments, meals, activities and transportation to shopping and medical appointments to more than 2,000 residents.

In 1999 Providence Health and Services acquired Hood River Memorial Hospital and Down Manor.

Down Manor is considered as a ministry of Providence and it has been committed to following the wishes of Mrs. Down. One of those wishes was that an “infirmary” be attached to the building. That occurred in 2001 when Providence constructed nearby Brookside Manor, which provides both assisted living and memory impairment care.

The current staff is led by manager Kathy Ferns, who said.. “We only hope that Louise. Down is smiling upon us pleased with the years of service that has been given to hundreds of people.”

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