Historic Hood River
This is a good example of how context is important in a collection. We have an undocumented stack of about two dozen negatives which include this view. Some of them are from Goldendale, some are from the 1912 start of construction of the Columbia River Highway, but there is a group including this one which all show the same Nash automobile with a 1920 dealer plate. Our friends at ODOT say this was registered to Mt. Hood Motors, which leads to the man– “Cap” McCan who was a car dealer and very involved in the Columbia River Highway project. That looks like him on the right. We know he was present when Hood River county officials met with Sam Hill at Maryhill to promote the project, and this is a pretty good likeness of him. From additional context, I am reasonably comfortable the location is the spot marked below: the “county line overlook” on the highway between Hood River and Mosier.
Here is another image probably from the same day. Evidence is he was taking a drive to check out the construction of the highway segment between Hood River and Mosier. Other photos in the collection show the same car, driver and passenger at various recognizable spots along what is now the “Twin Tunnels segment” of the Columbia River Highway State Trail
It only took nine years for me to pull these pieces together! This is a good illustration of why you always should try to leave negative in the order you found them, even if they are tossed into a big shoe box. From one pile we get the very beginning and the end of the highway construction, as well as several previously unknown images of one of the more unusual characters in Hood River history.