The Woodstock Mystery Hole is perhaps Oregon's only meta-theme park. Constructed in the backyard of a house off SE Woodstock, the Mystery Hole (and accompanying Mystery Pole and History Mole) will invite you to climb down a 20-foot wooden ladder into the earth, but not before signing a waiver stating, "I, the undersigned, do hereby certify that I must be out of my mind to climb down into a damp, dark hole when I'm perfectly safe where I am." On your way out, a gift shop run by teenagers will happily sell you a vial of genuine hole-air for only $1.
I showed up at the Portland landmark for my first time ever on Sunday night to watch the Perseid meteor shower. The backyard was packed with star-gazers and croquet-players snacking on vegetarian potluck food and waiting for nightfall. At the gift shop, I was greeted by the man who claims to have discovered the mystery hole in his own backyard nearly 20 years ago, a local public school substitute who goes by Mr. Barron Mind. The Barron speaks slowly and is prone to sly puns. When I asked what he teaches in school, he replied, "Students."
The Mystery Hole has an Enchanted Forest vibe about it, a labor of love and ridiculousness built not for the sake of "Keeping Portland Weird"TM but just to make people laugh. For "insurance reasons," the Barron asks that people not publicize his address, but I'll direct you to his website. Keep your eyes and ears open along Woodstock and someday you'll stumble across the Mystery Hole.
More hole-some photos below the cut.
- "True Blood" blogger Dave Bow and the History Mole
- Mystery Pole rules
- The hole.
- Strange artifacts found inside the Hole.