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Sternwheeler Marks Annivesary Of Its Maiden Voyage In 1983

Celebration to occur on Oct. 26

The 20th Anniversary of the Sternwheeler 'Columbia Gorge' will be celebrated Sunday, Oct. 26, with the re-creation of the ship's maiden voyage from Hood River to Cascade Locks.

The 'Columbia Gorge' was built in 1983 by Hood River's Nichols Boat Works. In October of that year, the Sternwheeler made its first voyage to its home port.

The vessel is owned and operated by the Port of Cascade Locks.

To mark the anniversary of the inaugural voyage, the Port of Cascade Locks has invited representatives from regional media, the hospitality industry, government agencies, local businesses and residents.

Captains Randy Holmstrom, Tom Cramblett, and Misty Parker will greet guests during the re-enactment of the ship's first journey surrounded by the spectacular beauty of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Captains Randy and Tom crewed on the maiden voyage, as did Cheree Stansfield, who continues to work for the Sternwheeler 'Columbia Gorge' as tour coordinator.

Another celebrated guest will be Port of Cascade Locks finance manager Marianne Bump, whose mother, the late Charlotte Bump, christened the Sternwheeler 'Columbia Gorge' 20 years ago.

The 'Columbia Gorge' is an authentic triple-decker paddle wheeler, a replica of boats that cruised the waters of the Columbia River in the late 1800s. The boat is 147 feet long, 36 feet wide, and the paddlewheel is 17 feet in diameter. She carries the bell from the Bailey Gatzert, a sternwheeler from the 1890s. The construction cost was $2.5 million. The United States Coast Guard regulates the Sternwheeler Columbia Gorge and she is licensed for up to 599 passengers.

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