The town of Stevenson began as a land claim settlement by the George H. Stevenson family in the 1800s and incorporated in 1907. The original town relocated away from the river to higher ground when the SP&S Railway laid tracks through the Columbia River Gorge in 1908. For over a century, the rhythm of the rails has become a familiar melody through the City of Stevenson. That tune was the reason for constructing the Colonial Hotel, just three blocks from the tracks - the Colonial accommodated hands who worked on the railway. Today, the clatter of the rails is a song in part about the hotel's history. While first built for the rest of hard-working laborers, the hotel's new mission stands in contrast: to provide indulgent rest for hard playing adventurers, explorers, and those escaping everyday life.