Tracks of the Heart
Half a century ago, Stevenson was
renowned as the Northwest’s elopement capital. With liberal
policy waiving the standard three-day waiting period, few questions
asked about actual age, and close to Portland, couples flocked
to this little Columbia riverside town to get hitched. Typically,
a couple picked up a license at the Skamania County Court House,
asking for a waiting period waver from Clerk Ray Wright. A few
minutes later, license in hand, hand-in-hand, they walked across
the street to the barbershop. Don Neidert, the town’s
barber, also served as the county judge. Between cuts, he’d
perform the wedding, often using those in the chair or casual
passer-bys as witnesses. Small town romance at it’s best.
Then off to Betty’s Silver Spoon
or the Spar Tree for a celebratory wedding dinner for happy
couple. Later, maybe a walk out on the Sternwheeler dock to
watch the river.
In Stevenson today, waiving the waiting
period is a little more difficult, and Betty’s, the
Spar Tree and the barbering judge are long gone. Still, some
things don’t change. Couples wander Stevenson’s
streets hand-in-hand enjoying the romance of a small riverside
town in the Columbia River Gorge. Fine restaurants, an award
winning brewpub, antique and other shops line the streets.
Proving romance still lives in the locals too, Stevenson,
a town of only 1200, boasts two florists. Nothing says love
like a bouquet of fresh flowers.
This Valentine’s Day, romance
in Stevenson comes in a variety of packages. Perched on a
hill with an expansive view up the Columbia, Skamania Lodge
offers a host of special Valentine’s Day packages from
dinner and a riverside room to a full rejuvenating spa treatment
for two. (www.skamania.com)
For the simple romantic, the Columbia Gorge Riverside Lodge
situated on the Columbia River’s bank offers themed
rooms with hot tubs overlooking the river. For those on a
budget, the Econo Lodge (www.econolodge.com)
provides simple clean rooms in the heart of town.
This Valentine’s Day, track
romance in a town with a history of romance.
For a wedding license call 509-427-9420
8:30 to 5:00 weekdays)
For small town romance on Valentine’s
Day try these Stevenson events.
romantic packages at the premier Gorge Lodge
intimate 8-room lodge on the Columbia River
economical lodging in Stevenson
lovers, a chocolate fountain with fresh fruit
and Garden. Special Valentine’s Day flowers
for the love of your life
off all massages for Feb
cloths, a special menu for a special night
For more information:
For Photos: www.cityofstevenson/valentine
Please credit photographer if used.