Historic Hood River
Middle Blockhouse at the Cascades
This photograph is identified as the Middle Blockhouse at the Cascades. In 1855, the Middle Blockhouse (or Fort Rains) was built on the north side of the Columbia River between the present sites of Bonneville Dam and the Bridge of the Gods to defend white settlers at the Middle Cascades of the Columbia River. It was subject of a three day siege in 1856 (part of the “Cascades Massacre”), after which forts were built at the upper and lower rapids. Fort Rains was abandoned by 1857 and destroyed in 1876. In 1927 a model of it was built, but that is also gone.
I’ve seen pictures of the 1927 replica, but this is the original. I ran across this same image in a collection of Carleton Watkins photos, and it is dated to 1867. Watkins published it in a series of stereo views, and I suspect our image is a copy made from a stereo card.