Historic Hood River
Today get a triple header: we learn the story of the Castilla Family, we add a key chapter to the history of 1810 Cascade Avenue, and we learn about this year’s “Cemetery Tales.”
This image is a family treasure on “digital loan” to share with the HHR community. We see Jose and Maria Castilla, along with daughter Elizabeth (right) and grandchildren Robert, Marty and Patricia (children of Joe Castilla). They are posing outside their family restaurant, Jose’s Taco House, in 1974.
Jose and Maria Castilla moved to Hood River in 1969, following their eldest son Joe, who got a job at Chevron. They bought the building for Jose’s Taco House for $75,000. The restaurant specialized in Tejano style Mexican food cooked by Maria with prep work by Jose and general assistance by the rest of the family. They had a market with canned goods, spices, teas, pinatas, Mexican music and magazines, and it also served as an employment office, welfare office and homeless shelter. People often came for help filling out paperwork and applications. The restaurant was a local favorite and community center until 1988, when health issues made it too difficult for Jose and Maria to continue the enterprise.
Careful observers will recognize this as 1810 Cascade, site of one of the first HHR posts, and home to a long series of fine Hood River restaurants. Make sure you check out the comments which have accumulated on that post over the past 11 years.
You can learn much more about the Castilla family by checking out this year’s edition of the museum’s annual “Cemetery Tales.” Cemetery Tales will be live-streamed this year. Just click through to buy your tickets, and you will see actors portray not only Jose and Maria Castilla, but Ray Sato, Cap McCan, Arline Winchell Moore, Hattie Redmond, Reuben Crawford, as well as Nathaniel, Mary, and Henry Coe.
Well there you have it. A great story about an important Hood River family, a new chapter in one of my favorite local buildings, and your entertainment option for next weekend.