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Stevenson City

Stevenson City Hall is located at 7121 East Loop Road, Stevenson, WA 98648; phone: 509-427-5970.

Beginnings [1]

The town of Stevenson got its name from two early businessmen, George and Momen Stevenson, who bought the land, much of it originally part of the Shephard family's donation land claim, and platted the town in 1891.

The Stevenson Land Co. was incorporated in 1893 with George Stevenson, George Bell and Seymour Bell as directors and a capital stock of $24,000.

The first town council meeting was held December 18, 1907. Ordinance No. 1, dated January 14, 1908, provides for the name.

The first mayor was Thomas Carr Avary, a doctor from Georgia, who arrived here around 1900 and in 1908 built the old Samson hotel, which he used as a sanitarium. The first council was made up of A. C. Sly, J. P. Gillette, John Sweeney, A. Fleishauer and W. S. Young. The councilmen drew lots to see who would serve for two years and who for one. Gillette and Sweeney drew the long terms.

W. E. Miller was chosen as town clerk, S. L. Knox was appointed town marshal and a Mr. Wetherill became treasurer.

Among early settlers in the area were, of course, the Shephards, who were gone before the town was actually built, the Iman and Nix families and the Sweeneys, who also had homesteads east of town; the Taylors, Gillettes, Wachters, Linvilles, and Bevans. E. P. Ash arrived in the vicinity in 1886. The Slys and R. M. Wright came shortly after the turn of the century, each of them serving in many public offices.

Raymond C. Sly was the first regular town attorney and served in that capacity until in the early 1950s. Members of most of the other families are still to be found in this area. The court house came to Stevenson in 1890 from Lower Cascades under cover of darkness. A group of young men employing a handcar, wheelbarrows and saddle bags stole the records and brought them to Stevenson.

Business was transacted in the dance hall over Totton's store until 1903, when the first regular court house was built.

  1. 'Stevenson Gets Its Name from Early Businessmen' in Skamania County Pioneer Bi-Centennial Paper, 1976,, accessed August, 2015.
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