Historic Hood River
I try to do a photographic inventory of downtown every year or two. Usually I go out after a big snowstorm since everything looks so nice and I can stand in the middle of the street without getting hit. When I captured this image in January I didn’t know it would be my last photo of the Kayak Shed/ Cuddeford Blacksmith Building, but I guess that’s the point of making a regular inventory.
This single block has changed so many times over the years I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the changes. We first saw the earliest building on this block in the 1883 Carleton Watkins image which shows the post office from the back, seen up close in this image as well as this view from the Spanish American War. By this 1917 image it was the Yasui Bros. store. The early wood frame Yasui Bros. Store was seen in this image along with the Cuddeford Blacksmith Shop. The photo was taken from a vantage point in the Fashion garage shortly before we lost both the Yasui Building and the Fashion Garage. In the early 1930s that wood frame building was replaced by this gas station and the “new Yasui Building”. The gas station was removed and became a parking lot for many years, only to be replaced with the second “New Yasui Building” seen above with the first “New Yasui Building” as well as the Cuddeford Blacksmith Shop building. The newer New Yasui Building houses Celilo Restaurant, Sushi Okalani, Copper West Realty and various other businesses.
I’m happy to be one of a long line of photographers starting with Carleton Watkins who have captured this block. The fact that we all made an effort to preserve the moment suggests we knew it would eventually change, but none of us knew how. I look forward to seeing a rebirth of the Kayak Shed, and I’ll take a picture of it the next time it snows.