Historic Hood River
Happy Birthday, HHR!
I really don’t know much about this undated Alva Day photograph, but I like their style. Sure, there are some loaves of Franz wheat bread and dishes of what might be chicken salad, but they are practically untouched. Everyone has gone straight for the pie, the German chocolate cake, the brownies, the ice cream and berries. And none of this “which one would you like.” Everyone seems to have all of the desserts on their plates at the same time. I’m not sure about the cans of condensed milk, but perhaps that’s for the coffee.
Ten years ago I made an experimental post of this image, intending it to be a private communications channel with a couple of local historians who I hoped would help me identify some details in our photo collection. We hadn’t yet started scanning what I believed to be 5000 images. But after I released the link into the world, first through Hood River Weather, I discovered how much local knowledge is out there, and how quickly you all would extract every detail from our images.
Our digital image archive now contains more than 20,000 images, almost 2.5 Terabytes of data, and there’s plenty left to scan. We’ve explored 2600 photographs in detail on this site. We’ve had over 3 million image views from all over the globe, and the average viewer spends 3.5 minutes wandering through the collection on a visit. You’ve left over 20 thousand comments identifying family members or noting clues to the date or location, providing useful resources with further information, or just commenting on the snapshot of life we’re viewing. Early on I described this site as an effort to crowdsource history, and I think that’s exactly what has happened.
So a sincere “thank you” to those of you who comment every day, or just occasionally, or who just enjoy wandering through the archives on a rainy day. You’re all furthering the mission of Historic Hood River and the History Museum of Hood River County.
And if this image seems a little familiar to you, we saw this table from the kid’s end on our 7th birthday. But we’re 10 now, so we can visit the grown-ups end of the table to see what they are doing. Turns out they’re doing the same thing the kids are doing, though maybe a little less messy.