Historic Hood River
I can’t believe I haven’t posted this before, as it’s ones of my favorites. Sam Bartmess built this building for his furniture store in 1893. This image has an 1895 date on it, which is presumably the date of the image capture. The store was just east of the Paris Fair building in the south side of Oak Street.
Bartmess was apparently the local dealer for Victor bicycles. Bicycles were hugely popular in the 1890’s, with at least three dealers in the downtown area– just like today!
Bartmess eventually added undertaking to his portfolio, as was common with furniture makers of that era. Coffins have quite a bit in common with furniture. Eventually Bartmess left the furniture business to concentrate entirely on undertaking, moving his operation up to the State Street building we saw previously.
Many people are surprised to find out this building is still around. It is the only wood frame building from this era left in the Hood River commercial district. It doesn’t look exactly the same anymore, but the original Bartmess structure is still in there. Do you see it hiding behind that facade? Take a closer look next time you’re downtown.