Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Historic Bridal Veil, Oregon

By Miralee Ferrell

A few years ago I wrote a book set in Bridal Veil, Oregon, titled Finding Love in Bridal Veil, a historical romance/mystery set in 1904. It's been optioned as a movie, and it will start filming in the spring for an international audience (7 countries have purchased rights). When it's finished, the producer will pitch it to the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel. Praying that happens! I thought you might enjoy a few interesting details I learned about the town and area while researching for the book.

One thing that made it very easy for me is that Bridal Veil is about 35 miles to the West of me in the Columbia River Gorge. The thing that made it the
hardest? Bridal Veil doesn't exist anymore. The Forest Service tore down most of the remaining decrepit buildings over 25 years or so ago. The only thing remaining are a few homes, a community center (not historical) and a tiny post office that's the second smallest in the nation, but does a booming business for sending out mail. Brides from all over the nation send boxes of wedding invitations there to have them postmarked "Bridal Veil". Pretty cool, huh?

While researching, I met Tom Cowling, a wonderful man (see the pic above in front of the PO) who grew up in Bridal Veil and lived there for over 40 years. He wrote a book about the history of Bridal Veil called Stories of Bridal Veil as well as one about Palmer, Beneath the Ashes. He took me over the entire area, including a little used/hard to access road leading up to what used to be the town of Palmer, on the mountainside above Bridal Veil. Both towns were booming logging and sawmill towns. Palmer is where the logs came to and were sawed into large, square beams, then sent down the elaborate flume system to the lower mill in Bridal Veil, where they were sawed into lumber and shipped by paddle wheel boat at first, and eventually, by train.  

There was a huge fire during the time period my book was set that wiped out
Thanks to KATU.COM for this pic...see their
website for more
Palmer, the little mill town on the mountain, and threatened Bridal Veil. Now, a little over 100 yrs later, that same general area was hit by a huge wildfire (caused by a teen boy who was shooting bottle rockets in the driest time of the summer, out on the hiking trails) that again threatened that area and wiped out thousands of acres of beautiful forest. The fire figures prominently in the later part of my book, but I never expected to come close to living it myself, many years later.

Another interesting fact is that my great-great grandfather and his new bride settled in Bridal Veil and logged with his team of horses for the saw mill. Later, he and his team were hired on to help clear the trees and stumps for the now-famous Old Columbia River Highway, a beautiful national treasure with amazing tunnels and gorgeous rock work, running parallel to and above the I-84 freeway. Here is one of the tunnels going through a rock cliff.
One of the historic tunnels on the
Columbia Gorge Old Highway at Mitchell Point
Picture courtesy of Wikipedia 

Finding Love in Bridal Veil, Oregon

Amidst a backdrop of thievery and murder in historic Bridal Veil, Oregon, a
schoolteacher is torn between the memories of a distant love and the man who could be her future. Margaret Garvey had given her heart to Nathaniel, but he left town four years before. Now she’'s giving love another chance, but her decision to build a new life with Andrew is shaken when Nathaniel steams back into Bridal Veil on a riverboat to work at the nearby sawmill. When disaster strikes the town and threatens the welfare of its citizens, Margaret will be faced with the most important choice of her life.

Miralee Ferrell is an award-winning, best-selling author of 20 novels. Her newest book, Runaway romance, a contemporary romance set mostly in Kentucky, is available in print and ebook, and will air as a movie on UP TV on January 7th at 7 p.m. eastern. You can learn more about Miralee and her books at 


  1. Congrats on the movie option. Praying Hallmark pick it up. I remember reading the book when it first came out. I love reading books about history. Thanks for sharing

  2. Miralee, congratulations on the movie option. I'm glad to see a possiblity for Hallmark to pick it up--they need more historical movies.

  3. I've seen the lovely water falls in Oregon. They are so majestic. I hope the movie deal works out.

  4. Wonderful news Miralee, congratulations on the movie option! I hope Hallmark does pick up the movie, I would love to see it there!
    Blessings, Tina

  5. Thanks, everyone! Unfortunately, it won't stay a historical, as Hallmark isn't interested in making more historical shows/movies other than When Calls the Heart--don't ask me why, since it's so popular. IF they take it, it will be a contemporary with the mystery thread intact, for Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. I should know sometime during 2018. I Hope! Merry Christmas, all~~~

  6. Miralee, I am so thrilled for you...Congratulations!

  7. Very interesting! And the old highway and stone tunnels sound like something that would be fun to see. Good luck on your movie option, I hope they don't ruin your book!

  8. I remember reading this book and loving it. I've never been to the upper West Coast, but would love to visit someday. So sad that the history is being lost. Thanks for a great post. Looking forward to the movie.

  9. Thanks, Melanie, Connie, and Martha! The movie will be made this spring, but they won't film it in the actual Bridal Veil, as it no longer exists...just a handful of buildings left. And it will be a contemporary setting instead of historical, but mostly will stick to my book.