Portland’s Witch’s Castle
This elopement at the Witch’s Castle deserves a little bit of backstory. If only for the reason that a Witch’s castle elopement took place many years ago. In the 1800s Danford Balch purchased a huge piece of land around the area that is now Portland, while it was still being developed. This was well before the Witch’s Castle had even come into existence. The area was so large that he ended up having to hire some help to clear the land. Among the men he hired was a man by the name of Mortimer Stump. Stump lived on this Portland property with the Balch family. Despite the large family of ten, Stump only had eyes for Balch’s daughter, Anna. The two fell in love and so begins the story of Witch’s Castle. Although Stump did get Anna’s fathers permission, his refusal led to their elopement.
Some say the name Witch’s Castle was formed by high school kids partying on this ruin near the Balch family home, acquainting the spooky setting for a name that matched. Other’s say it has to do with Anna & Mortimer. Danford Balch became an angry drunk when the two ran off and eloped and when they returned he did what he deemed fit in his broken state. He shot Mortimer Stump. Danford Balch was the first execution to take place in Oregon.
The end of the couple in this story is tragic. And something about that tragic nature fit the vibe of these wedding portraits perfectly.
Your Narrative blog will appear here, click preview to see it live.
For any issues click here
Eloping at Witch’s Castle
The fog in Portland was thick this evening. It settled around Witch’s Castle and only added to the story, the one before us and the one that had happened long ago. There’s something incredibly beautiful about darkness catching against something new, something that is just beginning. As two creative souls, this mossy covered stone house was as Portland as it got. The unique story, the moody backdrop, the feeling in the air. We climbed into the ferns and stayed until the fog made it too difficult to see. My favorite thing besides Witch’s castle itself was the wedding dress, which was thrifted at a local Portland store for only $15- imagine how much it must have been when Anna & Mortimer eloped so long ago.
How to Get to Witch’s Castle
“The Witch’s House is an easy half-mile hike from the Upper Macleay Parking lot near the Portland Audubon Society, or a slightly longer three-quarter mile jaunt starting from the Lower Macleay Parking lot at NW 30th and Upshur. One can take the Aspen trail to get there. A great way of accessing the trailhead is to walk up on Thurman Street.”