The Cows of Multnomah

View of Tualatin Valley North of Multnomah (courtesy of Multnomah Historical Association)


Multnomah Dairy was established at what is now SW 40th and SW Vermont; Fruitiger and Silver Hill Dairy were established at the present-day Mittleman Jewish Community Center; Elco Dairy on SW Shattuck, purchased by Alpenrose Dairy after a fire destroyed their original operations; Fulton Park Dairy, Hillsdale Dairy, the list goes on…the area that Multnomah Village and Hillsdale call home was once vast dairyland. The photo above pictures Multnomah Dairy (at the right) and the house in the foreground still exists at 3522 SW Texas. The area, once known as pasture for dairy cows, is present day Gabriel Park.

Cows and dairy farms played a major role in Multnomah until the late nineteen forties. The dairies consolidated, land was sold for schools, residential homes pressed into the area and business districts flourished creating what we now know as Multnomah Village and Hillsdale.

Cow House, or Casa Vacca

Casa Vacca, our neighbor to the east, sought to celebrate the rich dairy history of the Multnomah area. For almost six years Casa Vacca served first Mexican tapas dishes, later transitioning to their Italian specialties and wood fired pizzas. Sara, Nick and Pete provided an inviting gathering place with delectable bites and fine spirits.

Succumbing to the vagaries of COVID restrictions, supply chain issues, unsteady employment situations and health issues, Casa Vacca sadly closed their doors for good last week. The note on the door says, “We did our best. Thank you for your incredible Loyalty and Support.” Village Frame & Gallery will miss Casa Vacca and Sara, Nick and Pete and wish them good luck in their next adventures.

Cow by Sara Star Medici


Cows graced the walls of Casa Vacca – old photos, artwork and a very big, very special painting. Cow, shown above, was quite popular. It hung over the windows, high on the wall. At 48 inches high by 60 inches wide, Cow is an imposing figure and a fitting tribute to the history of Multnomah Village. Painted by Casa Vacca co-owner Sara, it adds its own flavor to the history.

Cow is now for sale at Village Frame & Gallery. Call us at 503-245-8001 or stop in to see it before it’s gone to grace another home in Multnomah Village.

Village Frame and Gallery is located at 7808 SW Capitol Highway, Portland 97219 in the heart of Multnomah Village. Our regular hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm and Saturday, 10 am to 2 pm.

Village Frame & Gallery, 7808 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97219 ● (503) 245-8001
Open Tuesday - Friday, 10am - 5pm, and Saturday 10am - 4pm, or by appointment.