Historic Hood River
E. L. Smith on His Porch
Here’s a nice image of Ezra Smith relaxing with the newspaper on his porch in 1914. I don’t see this particular porch on his house today, but it has been renovated many times so perhaps this porch is gone.
Category: Downtown Hood River
Tags: 1910s, Smith, State Street
Tags: 1910s, Smith, State Street
Ezra Smith deserved to sit on his porch and read his paper, as his life had been very busy and he did get around.
He was a native of Vermont, the son of Ezra and Avis (Baker) Smith.
He ended up going to Lombard University/College in Galesburg, Illinois. Somewhere along the line he had met Abraham Lincoln and they became friends. Smith would be a frequent visitor to Lincoln's home in Springfield. In the end he would become the last survivor on the Pacific Coast who had attended the first Republican Convention where Lincoln was first nomiated for the presidency.
His wife was Georgiana Slocum. They had met at Lombard where she was also a student. A date was set for their wedding on the morning that Lincoln was to become the president. He wanted to be married during the presidency of Lincoln, so the wedding was changed to the afternoon.
Off the newly weds went to California where they initially settled in El Dorado County where Smith went into the mining business. In the years 1864 and 1865 he was a member of the California General Assembly.
In 1867 he was appointed Secretary of Washington Territory and eventually along with two other men established the first bank in Olympia.
For some reason Hood River gave him reason to re-locate and he purchased farm land in the Frankton area. He established one of the first commercial orchards in Hood River. He would eventually become a founder and at one time president of the Oregon Hort. Society. He also built a store (probably in the Frankton area) which was later moved into Hood River.
For a period of time he was also the Registar of U. S. Land Office in The Dalles, and a one time senatorial candidate for U. S. Senate.
He was the head of the Oregon Commission at the Pan American games in Buffalo, New York.
He was with the group that found Lost Lake.
He and Georgiana would have the following children: Jessie, Avis, Georgia Anna, Laura, Anne Conger and Irving.
He was involved in all things to do with Hood River. He was the 1st master of Local Masons, a member of Knights Templar and the Shriners.
At the time of his death, with him so very well known, his funeral cortege was the first one that ever went from Hood River to Portland where he was cremated.
Yes, he deserved to relax on that porch overlooking the Columbia River.
Yes, he deserved to relax, back in the day when Hood River traffic was not so congested and you could actually relax on a State St. front porch.
I see the Christmas Cactus has been put outside for the summer.
Thanks for the bio Charlott!
I believe that is porch facing oak street… So still there, in one form or another…
This does not look like that particular house to me. It looks more like the house down on State. I've always looked at this State St house and have wondered at which is the main entrance. Of course time may have changed the architecture. But no curved porch or uprights now to my knowledge.
I wondered about the shape of the porch too nels but I think HDR may be correct. I need to walk down and check out the east face of the building, north corner.
From the Google street view from Oak, it does look like there is a bay window, sans porch, at the northeast corner of the building. All of the alterations over the years haven't done anything for the architectural appeal of what is standing there today. It would be nice to see an Oak street view of the home from back in the day, circa 1910's.
We need to keep in mind the alterations to this house. In the current photo, where the window is that shows to the clothes was no doubt added, maybe when it became Anderson's Funeral Home. That area was where the casket was placed during a funeral. Thinking back I think those stairs going off from the upper story were a later addition, also.