It was a long out-of-the-way drive to get there, but that's what I love most about it. There's one road going into town that dead ends just past town. It's isolated and peaceful and historic and tranquil. The entire town is an inn. Fourteen structures exist in Story. There's a former general store that houses a restaurant, tavern and has rooms on the second floor and there are also several rental cottages and a century-plus old barn that is a setting for weddings.
The community dates back to 1851. The lumber town was founded by Dr. George Stay and had a church, grain mill, blacksmith shop, two general stores, butcher shop and post office. After the Great Depression there weren't many people left in Story and the county lost half its population between 1930 and 1940. When the road leading out of the area was cut off and the town became surrounded on three sides by state and national forest, it became pretty much a ghost town. A "hippie" couple later opened a bed and breakfast there, but by the early 1990s it had closed and Story Inn sat empty until it was purchased by Rick Hofstetter in 1999. He purchased not used the former general store, but the rest of the town, too.
When I visited I was greeted by Hofstetter who told me that the current population was three humans and four dogs. Yes, the dogs outnumber the people there. It's totally frozen in time and such a unique place to visit and stay.
You can now rent the entire town for a wedding, visit for brunch or dinner or enjoy cocktails at the Story Still. Read more about the dinner I had at the Story Inn here. The co-owners of the Story Inn (and the other two residents of the town) are Jacob and Kate Ebel, both chefs who met when working in Alaska.
I've seen posts online this past week about the town being for sale. It sounds like the inn/restaurant is there to stay, though. So, put it on your travel list for this year. It's a getaway like no other that will provide lasting memories. For more info, visit storyinn.com.