Historic Hood River
… For Nearly Four Months
The faded fountain pen ink on the reverse of this card says “This is the way we have looked for nearly four months.” That message reminded me of the account in Elizabeth Lord’s memoir about spending the winter of 1852 attempting to homestead in Hood River.
“I have no date, but know that very early in November there came quite a deep snow, then cold rain, which formed a heavy crust. Some of this snow still lay on the ground in March. There were more snowstorms, thaws, freezes, and many temporary changes, but the ground was never bare for over four months.”
Snow and ice don’t usually linger here, but when they do– when we’re forced to acknowledge we’re not fully in command of our environment– it seems like the gulf between us and the people we visit on this site gets a little but narrower.
As I am sitting here reading this on a dark winter morning, the snowplow is going by my house removing snow and ice from the road. One more modern day convenience I am thankful for.
These HHR photos also discuss the Laughlins experience. (Elizabeth Lord was their daughter.)
Make sure you are sitting by a warm fire with a hot cup of chocolate when you read her story.
Early day cattlemen were careless with building their herds, which many winters could graze the grassy hillsides east of White Salmon and Hood River. Then a winter would arrive as described, where the snow didn't leave for four months. With the arrival of spring the hillsides were covered with carcasses.
I remember a deep snow one winter. The deer suffered terribly. When spring came, eagles were visible everywhere, feeding on the carcasses.
Arlen L Sheldrake
i well remember a winter in I believe the early 50s out on Belmont when the snow was high and we got an ice crust on the top, a neighbor was ice skating over the top of our pasture fence.
Admittedly I was a bit shorter in the early 50's. But I remember building tunnels through the snow and huge forts with walls taller than me. No worries though; Dad shoveled and grumbled most often with a Chesterfield in hand!