Historic Hood River
This post was originally published on October 30, 2014. I’m trying an experiment here. Historic Hood River was started as a way to “crowd source” history. It’s working pretty well, but most of you don’t know when someone has added pertinent information to an old post. This post is a great example of how knowledge is gained over the years. Some of you pin things you’ve found to this post, and new folks (often family members or subject matter experts) discover it while doing keyword searches. Let me know what you think of HHR doing “reruns”, and by all means keep adding information. One of these days we might even find Shushula!
[Original Post from October 30, 2014]
This image is a bit rough, but it’s what we have. “Shushula” was Dr. T. L. Eliot’s summer home in Hood River.
Dr. Eliot was pastor of Portland’s First Unitarian Church. In 1880 he reported to The Oregonian about his trip with a party of 11, including E.L. Smith, Newton Clark, and Milton Odell to the lake they christened “Lost Lake”. It took them two days to find the lake, during which they declared they were not lost, the lake was.
Tags: Eliot, rereun, Shushula
Where was this house located?
T. L. Eliot was Thomas Lamb Eliot, who was married to Henrietta Mack. Married 28 November 1865 in St. Louis.
He was quite a remarkable man, graduating from the first class at Washington University in 1862. Then on to Harvard school of divinity in1865, where he crammed two years of study into one.
The word shushula is naturally and indian word. What it might mean I don't know, but there is a shushula bush in our area.
So we know where the location of this house was? Could it still be around. Anyway a beautiful old piece of architecture.
It has a very similar roof line to a house on Sherman between 10th and 11th. But I think that house was a Coe House…I think.
The type of construction is called a Dutch Colonial Revival. There are a number of them in Hood River County.
I don't know where it was located, but it was referred to as their “country home”.
Since Eliot donated the land for Eliot Park, do you think the home could have been in that area?
From what I can tell, the ground falls away steeply to what I suspect is the east. The hills in the background could be Eastside area. Possibly at the end of Eliot Dr?
This is about the best I can find.
From “History of Early Pioneer Families of Hood River, Oregon. Compiled by Mrs. D.M. Coon
REVERAND THOMAS LAMB ELIOT AND FAMILY D.M.C. 1878″
….”Dr. Eliot claims Portland as his residence, but Hood River has claims that cannot be ignored. When exhausted with his duties, he has come here for rest and health. In very early days he was a visitor here. In 1878 he camped six weeks on Mrs. Henderson's place. In 1880 he bought land of Lyman Smith and erected a cottage where the family spent their summers for many years, and the children grew up with love for our valley. They searched for our early wild flowers, they hunted pollywogs and crawfish in Indian Creek and caught trout in Hood River. They knew the trails down the river bank and up the steep mountain side, and there were other trails known to them, trails which led to neighboring farms where other boys and girls were found and where the big red strawberries grew. In 1889 Mr. Eliot bought 160 acres of land, known as the “Price place”. It is located on the West bank of Hood River and Indian Creek forms its northern boundary. This canyon has been donated to the town of Hood River for park purposes, by Mr. and Mrs. Eliot. They built a substantial dwelling on their “Shushulah” farm and moved into it in the early summer of 1892. Every year, as regularly as the birds, they return to this lovely spot. No trees have been cut, no “improvements” made, everything is left in a state of nature, and a visitor can see what Hood River used to be, before man began to improve the land. In the early days of Hood River, when there were no churches and religious services were rare, Dr. Eliot would preach in the schoolhouse, and always there was a crowd for the people came gladly.City people are not neighborly, the Eliot family came from the city to rest and grow strong, yet they were the best of neighbors. In sickness, in health, in adversity or prosperity, they were the same kind, helpful friends as their Hood River neighbors, of many years standing, will gladly testify….”
That 160 acres is about 700 100' x 100' lots of some fairly valuable real estate in today's market. From the description of the “Price place”, and my assumptions, the house would be overlooking the Hood River at the east end of Betty Lou Ave to Eliot Dr. 160 acres would include that area west to close to 12th St.
Rev. Eliot's home burned down. He (and Georgiana Smith of library fame) founded a Unitarian Society, which met until 1915 at the (now home) at 9th and State. When they disbanded, they sold to the Lutherans who subsequently moved across 9th. He's a big deal in NW Unitarian Universalist circles; our regional summer camp on Hood Canal is named after him.
I ran across the blueprints for this house at the museum today. Unfortunately they don't tell us where the house was.
From the June 23, 1904 HR Glacier: page 7
Dr. and Mrs. T.L. Eliot are up from Portland, and will spend the summer at their country home, Shushulah, on the banks of Hood River.
From D. M. Coon's “History of Early Pioneer Families” Mr. and Mrs. Stephan Price:
“In 1878 Mr. Price bought one hundred and sixty acres from the state, paying for it at the rate of $1.25. This land was located on the West bank of Hood River and South of Indian Creek. Mr. Price built a small three room house, put a hydraulic ram in the spring below and pumped water to the house. He cleared land and set out an orchard but the climate was too dry to make farming profitable. He sold the farm in the summer of 1883, to a minister by the name of Robertson who never moved to the place. After keeping the place several years Mr. Robertson sold it to Dr. T.L. Eliot who has kept it in a “state of nature” thus preserving a little corner of Hood River in all its primitive wildness.”
Don't know if this is Shushula property or not:
From the 1904 American Electrician Vol. 16:
“HOOD RIVER—Leslie Butler, H.F. Davidson and John Leland Henderson, a company of local capitalists, are reported to have secured a lease of ground from Dr T.L. Eliot and will erect a 50 ft. dam on Hood River about half a mile from the city. The dam will be used to hold logs for the Oregon Lumber Company and the water power developed will b utilized in operating an extensive electric plant. It is hoped to have the dam completed early in December…….
The Hood River Glacier, January 5, 1911
Dr. Eliot Offers to Donate a Portion of
Indian Creek Grounds for Public
Park, Which is Accepted
The council received the following communication from Dr. T. L. Eliot:
Portland, Oregon. December 9, 1910.
To the Hon. Mayor and the Council of Hood River, Oregon.
Gentlemen â€“ I intimated some time ago to one or two members of your body on the part of Mrs. Eliot and myself to set apart a small tract on the northern part of our estate adjoining Hood River City for a public reservation or park. Since that time a survey has been made to facilitate this purpose, and I am writing at this time in a preliminary way to ask whether the city is willing to take over this property as a public park, to be conducted with the care and for the uses which usually go with such parks. The proposed donation would include the portion of the bed of Indian Creek, which is on the land, together with a strip of 150 feet in width and about 1320 feet in length of the upper or flat ground. It would be our intention to lay out the adjacent ground so that an additional strip of 60 to 80 feet would follow the south side of the proposed park as a boulevard, continuing along or near to the bluff of Hood River for a certain distance. I would remind you that this proposed park, which with the upper portion and boulevard would amount to twelve acres more or less, joins on the north to a reservation or trust for the public, which was made some time ago, I think by Mr. Wilson and Mr. Schenck to certain trustees, and containing about ten acres of the bluff of Indian Creek on the north bank.
If I am right in this, the entire contiguous reservations for public uses will thus be over 20 acres and at no distant day in the history of the city, it would become of use to the people, particularly if improved along the line of modern parks by proper trails and protection. If this intention upon our part meets with your approval, Mrs. Eliot and myself will submit to you a map of the proposed donation and a proposed deed to be signed by us, and then if acceptable, will carry out in full the purpose herewith indicated. It will be understood that there will be no condition attached to the gift, except the general provisions for the perpetual use by the public as a park.
Very truly yours, T. L. Eliot
The matter was accepted and discussed, and Mr. Eliotâ€™s proposed gift will be accepted as outlined in the above letter.
The Hood River Glacier, August 9, 1917
This issue has an article concerning Archibald A. Schenck, a pioneer engineer of Portland who is now engineer of maintenance for the Chicago & Northwestern R. R. Co., with offices in Omaha, Nebraska.
He came to Hood River in 1883. Mr. Schenck, according to Dr. T. L. Eliot, was one of the greatest cranks on the conservation of native trees who ever hit Hood River. Today, Mr. Schenck says he knows of one other man who exceeds him as an exponent of conservation, that is Dr. Eliot.
Through the interest and initiative of Mr. Schenck, the gorge of Indian creek lying just south of the city, was secured as a park for the people of Hood River. According to a document recorded in 1887, Mr. Schenck, Dr. Eliot and Murray Kay hold the beautiful gorge in trust for the residents of the valley. Mr. Schenck planted one of the earliest commercial orchards of the community in 1884.
I would be interested in seeing what the 1887 document mentioned says about the Indian Creek park.
The Hood River Glacier, July 13, 1911, page 2 shows a real estate transfer from Henriette R. Eliot to City of Hood River, tract for park along Indian Creek.
From the August 29, 1891 HR Glacier page 3:
Rev. T.L. Eliot has let the contract to Messrs. J.L. Langille and Oscar Stranahan for the erection of a house and they commenced work on the same Monday morning. The location of the building is on Mr. Eliot's place just south of Parkhust, and is more familiarly known as the Price place. It is to be a handsome structure and will cost about $1,400.
The Hood River glacier. (Hood River, Or.) 1889-1933, January 04, 1906, Image 1
ELIOT HOUSE BURNS
AS FAMILY LOOKS ON
Residents of the valley who happened be out of doors about 6 o'clock Friday evening were startled to see a bright red light Illuminating the sky for a long distance. Hurried inquiry by telophone disclosed the fact that the residence of the Rev. T. L. Eloit, about three miles up the valley, was on fire and was fast burning to the ground.
Dr. Eliot, with his son, W. G. Eliot, and daughter, Henrietta, came to this city from Portland Friday afternoon and went to their home, which had been closed for some time. A fire was started in the large open fire place and some bedding placed in front of it to dry out the moisture, and the party went to a small building on the place which they used as a kitchen and dining room, for supper. There was no screen in front of the fire, and it is thought that sparks from the burning wood flew out and ignited the bedding, which burned so rapidly that the house was ablaze before it was noticed.
When the fire was discovered Mr. Eliot endeavored to extinguish it by pulling the burning mass apart, but the flames had gained such headway that he was forced to leave the house. The building burned rapidly and was soon in ashes. The blaze attracted the attention of the neighbors in all directions, but by the time they arrived mey were unable to stay the progress of the fire.
On learning of the disastrous effect of the fire, E. L. Smith sent a conveyance from this city to bring Mr. Eliot and the other members of his family to town. On arriving they went to the residence of Elmer Rand, where some slight burns which Mr. Kliot had received were dressed.
The Rev. W. G. Eliot, who was on his way to Spokane and had only stopped off between trains, continued on his way to his destination on the 8:10 train.
Later in the evening Rev. T. L. Eliot and his daughter went to the Mt. Hood Hotel and Saturday morning returned to Portland.
The house which was destroyed was recently built and was used largely by the Eliot family as a summer residence. The total loss is said to be about $1,800, and the insurance $1,000.
It was the intention of Dr. Eliot to have held services in the Unitarian church, but owing to the accident he did not do so.
(The Glacier was published on Thursdays. The fire occured on December 29, 1905.)
Yes, that is a photo of Thomas Lamb Eliot's summer home in Hood River. It would seem likely that it was located near the end of what is Eliot Dr., since that is where the road was at the time and it looks like the property near the edge of the land before it sloped towards the river. There is a better photo of it in his biography, “Thomas Lamb Eliot” by Earl Morse Wilbur. There should be a copy of that book in the museum library. If not, the Mid-Columbia Unitarian Universalist Fellowship has a copy that I donated. I gave a powerpoint presentation on the history of the Unitarian church in Hood River which include a photo from the book of Shushula and also copies of the house plans that Sally Donavan found for me in the Hood River History Museum. Please e-mail for any questions. Juliana
The February 10, 1914 White Salmon Enterprise page 4, says Shushula is an Indian word for the wild lilac that grows in the area.
Awesome info thanks everyone. Eric Eliot Great grandson of TL Eliot
Iâ€™m fine with reruns, but it makes it necessary to choose where to post supplemental information on a topic.
Also, are you running out of new material to post?
I am good with re-runs. It is enjoyable reading older posts from Charlott and Buzz and refreshes our memory for posting additional information, which I assume would still be with the original.
I think there may be a little confusion: when I republish an older post, there is only one copy of it– just with a changed publication date. If you go back to October 30, 2014 you will not see this post anymore. Comments are attached to this image, #982, no matter what publication date is attached to it. This is still an experiment, so I need to think about side effects this might have.
Whidden and Lewis, noted Portland architects, originally from the East, designed the house.
Arthur – I like the idea of republishing, but I'd ask that you keep the original publishing date somewhere obvious in the republishing, as you did in the Notes. I'd also like you to provide me with a gps coordinate, a cache of photos of Shushula, and at least some indication here that you're working on a virtual reality rendering of Shushula in your spare time, made from those photos.
Jim, I found Shushula years ago but just enjoy teasing you with the search!
But seriously, we do know much more today than we did when this was first published in 2014.
To me, Arthur's Google Earth east hills lineup, from the end of Sieverkropp, was a very big breakthrough in putting Shushula in a fixed location. I think it deserves to be on this thread, (as well as all Shushula subject tagged photos, but you can do that through searching the database easily.) http://historichoodriver.com/index.php?showimage=2533
I like the idea to re-publish old posts. Being newer to the HHR community, I would appreciate being directed to older posts that have a lot of “crowd source” info. Thank you, Arthur!
The Inventory of the county archives of Oregon for Hood River County, under County Clerk registrations includes a Register of Farm Names, 1908â€“. The register provides the name and location of farm, name and address of owner, and date of registration. Shushula may be listed with its location.