Oregon Secretary of State

Bridal Veil

Shape of the State of Oregon with a marker in the north mid-west area indicating the location of the town of Bridal Veil.
About 30 people (teachers and students) stand on the steps of a 2-story wood building. The ground is rocking and has an incline.
The teacher and students stand in front of Bridal Veil School in 1894. (Wikimedia Commons) Enlarge Image
Bridal Veil was a small company mill town on the Columbia River. It took advantage of the great trees on the steep banks of the river, and took its name from the nearby Bridal Veil Falls. Along with the milling buildings, the company provided homes, a post office, a combination church and community center, as well as a cemetery.

The town was established in 1886 by the Bridal Veil Lumber Company on Larch Mountain. The site operated continuously for over 100 years. It had one of the longest runs for a company timber town west of the Mississippi River. 

A half mile flume in the forest. The flume is a raised channel built to transport logs or timber.
A lumber flume at Bridal Veil in the early 1900s. (Wikimedia Commons)
The town did not stand alone, but worked in concert with a nearby company town named Palmer. Felled timber was rough-cut at Palmer, then sent down a one-and-a-half-mile log flume to the finishing mills and railroad at Bridal Veil.

Palmer closed down in 1936, putting Bridal Veil’s future into question. The town was saved the next year when it was bought by the Kraft Food Company. The mills were retooled to manufacture wooden cheese boxes. They ran for over 50 years, closing in 1988 after timber resources began to dwindle. The whole town left shortly thereafter. Today, only the post office and cemetery remain.

 Some years after its closing, the Bridal Veil Historic Preservation Society acquired the deed to the cemetery from heirs of the founders of the lumber company. This nonprofit works to keep the history of the site available to visitors. They work alongside the tiny old post office. Without residents, the office is able to stay in business as part of the wedding industry. Brides and grooms have made a tradition of sending their invitations through the office so it bears the unique “Bridal Veil” postmark.

More Bridal Veil Photos

Dozens of men stand & sit while posing for a photo. One man holds an infant child. Several have musical insturments.

The crew of the Bridal Veil Lumber Company, 1885-1919. (Courtesy of Oregon Historical Society) Enlarge Image

One-story, single room wood plank building with a covered porch. The sign over the door says, "United states post office"

Bridal Veil Post Office continued to operate in 2019. (Oregon State Archives, 2019) Get a high resolution copy of the post office from the Oregon Scenic Images Collection​.

About a dozen men walk up a wooden ramp to get to a building used for meal times in the lumber company. A railroad track is near

Dinner time at the Bridal Veil Lumbering Company logging camp in the 1930s. (Courtesy of Oregon Historical Society) Enlarge Image

Photo of Bridal Veil taken from high atop a hill or mountain shows train tracks running along the river and buildings to east.

The mill town of Bridal Veil with a log flume shown to the right. (Wikimedia Commons) Enlarge Image