Of Portuguese heritage, St. Peter’s Church in Echo is slowly being restored.

Preserving Heritage

The rally to restore a historic church written by Joni Kabana If you find yourself traveling along Oregon’s Interstate 84, consider taking a short side trip to the small historical town of Echo, 8 miles south of Hermiston and 20 miles east of Pendleton. Set amid gorgeous rolling hills on the banks of the Umatilla River, Echo takes you way back in time. You can sip wine at either Echo Ridge Cellars or the Sno Road Winery, take a jitter juice or lunch break in the family operated H&P Cafe or peruse any of the small yet highly fascinating museums. There are seven buildings that are registered with the National Register of Historic Places, so simply strolling the town’s streets is a history lesson in and of itself. The real treasure of this town is tucked away on a lot that, despite facing three major floods in the last century,…

The fine craftsmanship of Perpetually Devastated played out in a 1968 Overlander.

Art and Craft in an Airstream

A couple creates one-of-a-kind Airstream interiors in Southern Oregon written by Melissa Dalton photography by Bethany Williams With a business name like Perpetually Devastated, Parker Bolden and Bethany Williams are used to explaining the meaning. “We are sensitive people and find the state of our world depressing sometimes,” said Williams. “People hate others just for being different. There’s environmental degradation, extractive capitalism, the list could go on and on. You could just be really sad. It’s all perpetually devastating. And yet, you have to find a way to make yourself happy, to make things just a little bit better if you can.” One of the ways that the two have done that is by renovating Airstream trailers alongside a talented crew at their shop in Southern Oregon. Each project starts with a trailer that has solid bones, which they use as a base to rebuild the interior from scratch, from…

Spirit of Halloweentown festivities transform the town of St. Helens in the fall.

Autumn in St. Helens, Vernonia and Sauvie Island

The path less trodden to adventures in fall written by James Sinks Fittingly, for a movie about off-duty Halloween monsters, Disney producers scouted for a ghost town. They found a perfect backdrop in northwest Oregon’s St. Helens. The mills were long gone, but the once-busy downtown boasted a picturesque public square, a classic courthouse and a stunning view of its namesake, Mount St. Helens, 39 miles away across the Columbia. Filmed a quarter century ago, Halloweentown became a cult classic and even spawned several sequels. Soon after, cameras returned for the vampire-teen romance mashup Twilight, in which St. Helens stood in for another timber town, Forks, Washington. Now, each autumn when Mother Nature readies her technicolor picture show, St. Helens unpacks the nostalgia, costumes and cash registers. For six weeks, downtown and the central plaza—where usually you can trace Lewis and Clark’s voyage on stepping stones—are transformed into the “Spirit…

Sosta House’s Great Room is open to guests for dining, reading, working or visiting by the fireplace.

Sosta House

written by Kerry Newberryphotography by Kenna Beban For brother-sister duo Nico and Mia Ponzi Hamacher, Sosta House means much more than an idyllic wine country retreat. “We are sharing the way we grew up,” said Nico. “With beautiful moments in the garden and around the table.” Their three-room bed and breakfast that opened mid-July is in the original home of their grandparents—wine legends Dick and Nancy Ponzi. Over the course of a year, the siblings, along with extended family and friends, brought their vision to life, turning the home that housed multiple generations of the Ponzi family into a thoughtful wine country getaway. In fact, their 90-year-old grandfather helped build the back deck. One of Mia’s friends stitched all the curtains on her grandmother’s sewing machine. And their father, winemaker Eric Hamacher, spearheaded the organic kitchen garden that supplies ingredients for guest breakfasts and wine-paired dinners. Most of the artwork…

In Portland, countless cars were crushed or immobilized by the storm.

West Coast Hurricane

THE GREAT COLUMBUS DAY STORM OF 1962 written by Sig Unander Jack Capell was puzzled. As the veteran television meteorologist sat at his desk in the U.S. Weather Bureau office in Portland amid clacking teletypes and office chatter, he looked over routine weather reports that had come in that October morning. Reviewing the sketchy data, he thought he saw—or sensed—something unusual. Capell was no novice. Ten years into a long career as a meteorologist in the Pacific Northwest, his calm, professional on-air presence was familiar to viewers. He had previously served in World War II as a U.S. Army infantry soldier, surviving almost a year of combat before helping to liberate prisoners from a Nazi death camp at Dachau. In 1962 there was no Doppler radar, satellite imagery or computer-generated models. Meteorologists relied on spotty ship reports, data from far-flung weather stations and their own experience with volatile northwest weather…

Witch’s Castle in Forest Park is a creepy symbol of a creepy seduction and subsequent murder.

Witch’s Castle

Macabre folklore a stone’s throw away written by Joni Kabana Looking for a gothic love story location that is full of mystery close to your favorite take-out eatery or coffee shop? Take a short hike to the Stone House, otherwise known by locals as the “Witch’s Castle” in Portland. This hidden wonder, located via a short hike along forested pathways, has quite a sordid history. Ernest Tucker, commissioned by the Bureau of Parks, built this stone building in 1929 to serve as a public toilet and storage room. As part of the Works Progress Administration projects, this structure was completed sometime during 1935–1936. It was in full operation until 1962 when the Columbus Day Storm destroyed the water line, which has never been repaired. But there’s more! Folklore has it that Danford Balch brought his family to this spot by way of the Oregon Trail around 1850. Balch claimed a…

Dining outdoors at Riverside.

Riverside

written by Kerry Newberry photography by Amy Robb When chef Mark DeResta talks about his restaurant kitchen, he describes it as a culinary incubator. For more than fifteen years, he’s leveraged his all-day dining program to bolster surrounding micro-farmers, makers and producers. “We want to help share their story,” said DeResta. Locals in the know beeline to this under-the-radar Hood River spot: Here you can catch sunsets from an outdoor terrace elegantly tiered above the Columbia River, not to mention spy ospreys swooping for fish. But what really sets this hotel restaurant apart is how it’s so deeply rooted to the surrounding community. On a recent morning, DeResta swapped tales with Rebbecah Winnier, a third-generation tribal fisher from the Yakama Nation, as she delivered glistening Chinook salmon she caught hours before from the Columbia River. Soon after, he mingled with other regulars swinging by with everything from organically grown mushrooms…

Perhaps its the isolation (or the plunge to the water) of Heceta Head Lighthouse and its B&B that gives it an extra spooky feeling.

Spookiest Places in Oregon

THESE SEVEN HAUNTED VENUES WILL MAKE BELIEVERS OUT OF THE DIS-SPIRITED written by Jean Chen Smith | illustrations by Allison Bye Halloween is the ideal time to reconnect with your inner child. Remember sitting around the campfire, listening to ghost stories, and not being able to fall asleep because you were so scared? Or how about plotting your trick-or-treat route so you could maximize your treat bag? Even though the 31st of October is one day out of the entire year, some of us spend the whole month either decorating, planning a costume party or making a costume for our kiddos. Beyond the home, there are also a ton of events to check out. “Halloween is an iconic time to see unique sights in fall colors from the Coast to the Cascades,” said Kari Westlund, president and CEO of Travel Lane County. This year, if you are in the mood…

McCredie Hot Springs is just east of Eugene and along Salt Creek.

Oregon Hot Springs

Four places around Oregon with very different vibes for your relaxation written by Jen Sotolongo Hot tubs are great, but there’s nothing quite as idyllic as soaking in a natural hot spring in the woods in the middle of nowhere. Thanks to the volcanic mountains that run throughout the state, Oregon is home to a number of hot springs. Ranging from luxurious resorts to rustic soaking pools situated in far-off destinations, these natural hot springs offer a relaxing excursion. Whether you are looking for a unique adventure or seeking a therapeutic wilderness retreat, Oregon’s hot springs will leave you in pure bliss. WILLAMETTE VALLEY AREA Breitenbush Hot Springs Breitenbush Hot Springs offers a remote and tranquil escape nestled amidst the picturesque beauty of the Mount Jefferson wilderness. In 2020 the Lionshead Fire, one of the most destructive fires in Oregon’s history, ripped through the resort, burning down 73 buildings on…