The Hideaway along the Russian River is located on the site of the 1870 Montesano Station, which was built for the Guerneville and Russian River R.R. line. The structure burned down in 1920 but not before being a part of the lumber industry’s heydays. The present building was built on the original foundation and might explain why the roofline and windows were cockeyed for so many decades. Until recently, there was not a square or plumb part to be found. If you ask me, it added a touch of character (not unlike many of our river residents) and should have been left alone. Since then, it has served as an inn and saloon with the upstairs, according to legend, housing a six-room brothel at one time. Ghost busters have discovered that the building is perhaps haunted. Several former employees testified having run-ins with a specter named Evelyn Ripkin, a previous owner who remained on the premises long after her demise.
A fixture at The Hideaway was Angie Stanford who stood an imposing five-feet tall.
Angie spoke with a heavy Austrian accent and often listened to German folk music full blast in the second floor of her home, which was located next to The Hideaway. Short of stature, she had to stand on risers to serve her patrons. It was quite a sight to see the diminutive owner standing next to her longtime friend, ex-Niner Bob St.Clair who stood 6′ 9″. But no one questioned the size of her heart or her resolve. On one occasion a band of bikers rolled into the parking lot. Angie told her customers to sit still as she promptly exited to order the thugs to vamoose. From old-school values, she wouldn’t tolerate foul behavior. She has been known to publicly admonish a husband for displaying poor manners toward his wife, or to eighty-six someone for cursing. If you were a regular, you never paid for the first beverage at The Hideaway. And could she pour a drink! No one dared to complain regarding the generous amount of alcohol. If you were foolish enough to do so, you would soon be shown the door. Angie passed away on May 26, 2015, and is residing in heaven next to her beloved George. God bless.