The History Museum of Hood River County
Bringing the Rich History of Hood River County to Life
I’m not familiar with this event, but fortunately Alva Day documented it for us. The image was taken at Dee on September 8, 1949.
5th August 2019 @ 07:06 AM
It sure looks like an explosion occurred…..gas?
5th August 2019 @ 07:27 AM
From the September 9, 1949 Oregonian: A landslide slashed the small logging community of Dee…smashing one house and snuffing out the life a a girl inside….Alta Joanne Downard, 18 was helping her sister in law Mrs. Reese Howell, 22 in the kitchen when the landslide ripped down. The Howell home, splintered was carried 100 feet to the brink of the east fork of the Hood River. It was the only home hit. Miss Downard, buried under the slide was suffocated. Mrs. Howell, an expectant mother was pinned partly under dirt, but she survived because a fallen refrigerator kept her from being crushed.
5th August 2019 @ 07:31 AM
An irrigation ditch at the base of a steep hillside was blamed for the slide. James D. Wirrick, general manager of the Oregon Lumber company, the town’s principal industry, said 400 cubic yards of earth and rock were loosened by sub-irrigation. The slide ripped out the Lost Lake highway on its plunge toward the Howell home. A small daughter of the Howells escaped because she was playing in a neighbor’s yard.The dead girl’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. Alma O. Downard, Sunnyvale, Cal.Mrs. Howell, whose husband is an employe of the lumber company, was hospitalized here. Attendants said she suffered no broken bones.
5th August 2019 @ 10:01 AM
I must add some sweetness to this sad story.
Walla-Walla Union Bulletin September 10, 1949
Child Born After Mother Survives Dee LandslideHood River, Ore (AP) The expectant mother who survived a landslide at the logging town of Dee gave birth to a 7-pound 8-ounce girl here Friday. Mother and child are doing well.The mother, Mrs. Reese Howell, 22 was in her home when tons of dirt and rock cascaded down from a steep hillside, crushing the house and killing her sister Alta Joanne Downard, 18.Mrs. Howell was saved by a refrigerator which was pushed next to her and took the brunt of the shock as the house was carried 100 feet. She was partly buried but was dug free in 20 minutes.
5th August 2019 @ 01:40 PM
Accident reported on the 8th and baby’s birth reported on the 10th. Wonder if the landslide caused injury to the expectant mother.
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