Cemetery Tales 2021
Nathaniel Coe (1788-1869) is remembered as the founder of Hood River, a successful farmer and fruit grower, all of which occurred after he was appointed - at age 63 - as Special Postal Agent for the Oregon Territory by President Fillmore in 1851. Early postal routes included steamboat service on the Willamette and by horseback over Native American trails. Coe's wife and sons joined him in Portland in 1854 arriving by way of Panama from Western New York where he had practiced law and served as a Baptist minister. Coe had also served in the New York legislature and as State Auditor.
Mary White Coe (1801-1893) was born in New York City, but moved to rural New York after marrying her husband Nathaniel in 1827. Mary and her three sons traveled to Portland via the Isthmus of Panama in 1854 to join her husband who worked as the first Postal Agent of the Oregon Territory. The family soon homesteaded on the Dog River, a name Mary found distasteful, changing the name to Hood River as soon as possible. The Coe Homestead included much of what is now downtown Hood River.
Henry Clay Coe (1844-1928) was the youngest son of Nathanial and Mary and arrived in Hood River as a young boy. He later wrote a series of articles in The Hood River Glacier about his experiences with the Native Americans who lived in this area. He platted the city of Hood River in 1881 with his brother Eugene and worked as a riverboat captain on the Columbia River.
Arline Winchell Moore (1887-1969) was born and raised in Hood River. Her parents were early Hood River Valley settlers that instilled a love of reading and the importance of education in their eight children. Arline, the eldest, altered her goal to become a doctor when her mother’s early death demanded she help care for her younger siblings. An independent woman, she started and maintained a business through the Depression with her husband Max Moore for several decades. Known as Grandma Moore, she advocated publicly and privately for the local Nisei and Celilo citizens, demonstrating her commitment to justice and equality for all people.
Hattie Redmond (1862-1952) was Reuben Crawford’s oldest daughter. She lived in Hood River as a young girl, then went on to be a leader in the Black suffrage movement in Portland and was an active member of the Colored Women’s Council. She was also a leader at the Mt. Olivet Baptist church, as her father had been before her. In 2012, on the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Oregon, the Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery erected a headstone in her honor. The marker reads, “Harriet ‘Hattie’ Redmond. Black American Suffragist.”
Reuben Crawford (1827-1918) was a ship caulker and former slave who purchased his and his wife’s freedom in 1862 in St. Louis, Missouri. He and his wife Vina and their children were the first Black family to live in Hood River, arriving in 1869 from California. They moved to Portland in the early 1870s, where he continued his work as a ship caulker. The Oregonian named him “the best known ship caulker on the West coast.” He was a founding member (in 1884) of the first African American Odd Fellows lodge in Oregon, among many other community involvements.
Charles Patterson "Cap" McCan
Charles Patterson “Cap” McCan (1887-1951) came to Hood River in 1910 and opened one of the first car dealerships, Tip-Top Auto Co.. He built a track on his property so new car buyers could practice driving. After moving to Forest Grove and dabbling in horse racing, he resettled in Hood River in 1916 to become an orchardist and all-around interesting local character.
Ray Sato (1917-2009) was a Japanese-American Nisei (second generation), born in Parkdale in 1917, who was sent to an internment camp during WWII. He was one of the first three young Japanese-American men to return to Hood River after WWII ended and experienced racism and hate. Ray continued his family’s orchard business in Parkdale after the war. He enjoyed much success and happiness, with work and family.
Jose and María Castilla
Jose Castilla (1922-2009) came to Hood River in 1969 and opened one of the first Mexican restaurants in Hood River, Jose’s Taco House. Jose and Maria provided support in many ways, not the least of which was delicious food and a friendly environment, to the Mexican-American community in Hood River. Jose’s Taco House had a small market with canned goods, spices, teas, pinatas, Mexican music and magazines. It also served as an employment office, welfare office and homeless shelter; Jose had a big heart and never turned anyone away.
María Castilla (1925-1994) was a proud wife, mother, and grandmother. Well known for her cooking and kind soul, Maria used her talents to help her husband open a Tejano style restaurant in Hood River. Over time, their establishment came to embody their values and served the community in more ways than one.