Ohme, Oh My

Summer, 1929

A rocky outcrop with sweeping views of the Wenatchee Valley, Cascade Mountains, and the mighty Columbia River, bakes in the famous 100 degree heat of eastern Washington - it is a wasteland. It will be a testimony to the uncommon devotion of one man and his family.

In 1929 Herman and Ruth Ohme purchased 40 acres - including the rocky outcrop - to farm apples and build a life together in the Pacific Northwest. Struck by an uncommon vision and an heroic tenacity the Ohmes began transforming the barren cliff side into something quite different. Soon weekends were spent driving loads of trees from the Cascade foothills in the family Studebaker. Five gallon milk jugs were filled far below on the banks of the Columbia River, then hauled by hand to water every new transplant.

The locals predicted it would all fail, the trees would wither and die, the summer heat would prove too intense, and the will of Herman Ohme would break. Instead, the boulders were hewn and lifted into rustic stone benches, meandering rock paths, and carefully crafted ponds. Elaborate irrigation was installed and now, nearly a century later it stands in defiance of the arid landscape and nature itself.

Ohme Gardens, now owned and operated by Chelan County is a lush alpine garden, a favorite spot for local weddings and is full of shady paths by quiet waters. 

Ohme Gardens, now owned and operated by Chelan County is a lush alpine garden, a favorite spot for local weddings and is full of shady paths by quiet waters.