Yes, I was a Twilight fan.
I’m not going to say I was a “Twi-Hard” by any means, but in my 20’s I enjoyed the books immensely. I also may have seen every movie in the theater as they came out. Not that they were great by any stretch of the imagination, but two things kept me going back. The enjoyment of seeing scenes from the book series play out on the big screen, and the fact that much of it (at least the first movie) was filmed in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.
The Historic View Point Inn, Corbett, Oregon
Quite a few Oregon filming locations are still around today, including Bella Swan’s house in St. Helens which has been revamped as an Airbnb (with a waitlist longer than an organ transplant). One of the more famous scenes in the first movie was the ending school prom in which Edward and Bella have a magical human/vampire first dance amongst twinkling lights in a beautiful nighttime garden setting. This took place in real life at the View Point Inn, a lovely historic property 22 miles east of Portland heading into the Columbia River Gorge.
The old building was showing its age, even at that time. The chimney was falling down and there were holes in the roof that the owners simply couldn’t afford to fix. A year after the Twilight filming, a fire in 2009 destroyed the kitchen and parts of the floor above it, but the big blaze took place in 2011. The fire caused severe damage to the inn, and restoration was hopeless since the insurance had expired. For several years, the historic building remained in a sad state of disrepair without a roof or windows, gradually deteriorating due to water damage from rain and harsh Gorge winds.
Viewpoint Inn History and Fame Before Twilight Was Even a Thought
The origin of the View Point Inn dates back to Mr. Lorens Lund, a Danish immigrant who was granted 120 acres of land under the Homestead Act in 1884. Lund and his wife Mari named their property “Thor’s Heights” after the Scandinavian deity who resided in a lofty abode with an unparalleled view of the world (how beautifully fitting). Three decades later, the Lunds generously donated significant portions of their land to Multnomah County and the City of Portland, including the site that eventually became the Vista House at Crown Point. By 1917, the majority of the Lunds’ property had either been sold or given away.
In 1924, the Lunds’ plot of land was purchased by Grace Palmer, who envisioned a tea house and resort on the location. The ‘Tudor Arts and Crafts’ style building that would become the View Point Inn was constructed for $47,000 (over $820,000, adjusted for inflation in 2023), and by 1927 was under new ownership. Renamed “The View Point Hotel”, its fame soared as a roadhouse that welcomed famous visitors from all over the world. Recorded in the guestbook were the signatures of signatures of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin, and foreign dignataries visiting Oregon.
As is frequently the case with development and highway infrastructure, when I-84 was completed in the 1950s it completely bypassed Old Highway 30, and the hotel lost much of its clientele. Being placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 wasn’t able to change that. Ownership had shifted several more times over the years, and it wasn’t until 2006 that Multnomah County resident Geoff Thompson was able to reopen it as a hotel, restaurant, and event venue.
You know the rest.
A New Owner and New Life for The View Point Inn
In 2016, Heiner and Sheron Fruehauf realized their lifelong dream when they acquired the dilapidated building. The property’s rich history and spectacular location atop the Columbia River Gorge in their hometown of Corbett initially drew them to it. Dr. Fruehauf, a renowned teacher and practitioner of Chinese medicine, envisioned the ruins as a potential world-class center for natural medicine wellness and retreat, complete with medical-grade spa amenities. The View Point Inn will become “The Healing Order” when restoration and construction is complete.
According to the latest updates on their website, the Fruehaufs have “just broken ground at our new location, the historic View Point Inn in Corbett, Oregon. With outstanding recreational opportunities nearby, it is uniquely poised to provide opportunities for restoring the mind, body, and spirit. With sweeping views of the Columbia Gorge, we hope to make this spectacular place a meaningful confluence where health, nature, and holistic practices converge“.
“This stunning location provides fresh air, pure water, and tranquility, making it the ideal location for a wellness retreat. The structure will be fully restored and upgraded to meet functional and aesthetic requirements. It will retain its status on the National Register of Historic Places.”