This is the first season for the new Lover's Oak, the second of its kind, which was recently transplanted to the south side of the Harlow House museum. Though it doesn't look like it yet, the new oak with its wire restraints is being bent into the same shape as the original beautiful oak that once graced the banks of the Sandy River, on the same site as Troutdale's new sewer treatment plant.
Shaped by an 1876 Columbia River flood, the slender oak was forced over one log and under another, maturing into the shape of the letter "S" lying on its side. The lowest curve of the S-shaped tree formed a perfect bench where friends and lovers met on pleasant Sunday afternoons. Local residents soon came to call it the Lover's Oak.
During World War II when the government built the aluminum plant nearby, it was agreed to fence and protect the tree. The publicity resulting from that decision brought the tree to the attention of Ripley's "Believe it or Not," a nationally syndicated cartoon featuring unusual items throughout the world.
After the war, the tree was forgotten by most and, with the advent of prosperity and more cars, it is no longer a Sunday afternoon destination. The tree fell in the Columbus Day windstorm of 1962 but it remains as the logo of the Troutdale Historical Society.
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