Historic Hood River
These plates from the 1917 water use report show fine detail of the Dee Mill. The accompanying blue line drawings show the upper view is from the mill pond captured behind the dam (south). The lower image shows the detail of the penstock which carries water from the pond to the electrical generators which power all the equipment in the fully electric mill. It’s a bit hard to see in this image, but a neck of the mill pond stretches into a forebay beyond the dam. There are head gates there allowing excess water to spill to the Hood River below, while a flume carries water to the power house to turn the turbines.
The Dee Mill powerhouse was tested at that time to generate 107-427 Kilowatts (143-573 horsepower), with an efficiency from 23% to 51%. If you want to know detail about the turbines, we now know everything from the number of blades to the manufacturer! We have similar information for the Pacific Power and Light Tucker Bridge plant, as well as the Powerdale plant. The Tucker Bridge plant generated 316 Kilowatts, and the Powerdale plant 227 Kilowatts. Remember this Powerdale plant was replaced about 1923-24 with the “modern” plant which was decommissioned last decade. For some context, 227 Kilowatts could power about 3500 60 watt light bulbs. I suspect lighting was the largest consumer of those early kilowatts.
The report included a note the Powerdale trestle carrying the pipeline across the Hood River gave way the evening of July 26, 1917, and it was down for two months. I believe we have seen several images from this flood event, including this Alva Day view of the trestle washout.
A destructive flood at the end of July??
Arthur – how are you able to tie the Alva Day flood scene (image #2803) in your link to the date of July 26, 1917? Based on the quality of the images, they look like they could be in the same time period, but there were no comments on Image #2803 identifying the time frame of that Alva Day photo.
Concerning the Powerdale flume: I was wrong in saying it was a flood event. I found this article in the HR Glacier: The excitement that prevailed in Hood River over a report that the flume bridge of the Pacific Power ft Light Co. across Hood River just south of the city had been blown up by I. W. W. agitators, was quieted on an announcement of power company officials that the rumor was erroneous and that the structure had probably collapsed through faulty construction of a concrete pier or the decay of timbers. Crews of men made a thorough examination of the debris, and no evidence of any violence could be found. A. H. Rogers, a night watchman at the company's power house but a short distance from the bridge, says he heard no report of any explosion. The collapse occurred last Friday morning at 2 o'clock.
kmb, I don't have any definitive evidence for the date of image 2803, but we have several Alva Day images dated 1917 (the earliest in the collection) and they all have similar scratching of the negatives. It's as if he didn't start handling his negatives carefully until after 1917– the kind of scratching is distinctive. So it's a hunch the negative for #2803 is from 1917.
Arlen L Sheldrake
this is an absolute gold mine!!!! of information/history. WOW
Interesting about the I.W.W. I grew up hearing stories about â€œWobbliesâ€ and their activities in the Skamania County lumber industry. I looked it up and evidently 1917 was a very active year for them.