Historic Hood River
Too Much New Stuff
When the good folks at The Hood River News moved into smaller quarters last month, the museum jumped at the chance to provide a new home for their archives. Lester’s Moving and Storage transferred the materials into the closed but now jam-packed museum a few weeks ago, and I finally got a chance to take a quick look last week.
There is certainly a wealth of material which will take years to sort through. Roger has bravely jumped in to start the process of organizing everything. I randomly sampled the collection and came up with a few images to share this week.
Exhibit #1: a view down Oak Street, probably late 1960s.
I think this view really shows some of the positive side of changes over the past five decades. Hood River looks pretty shabby in this view, in my opinion. Crumbling sidewalks, lots of projecting signs and billboards, no trees, overhead powerlines– we’ve come a long way. Downtown is certainly more visually attractive. The urban renewal program started in the 1990s replaced streets, sidewalk, and crumpling utilities beneath the street. It also added street trees and moved power and telecom wires underground. A sign ordinance reduced visual blight, and an historic district with a landmarks review process encouraged preserving and restoring historic buildings. But none of that would matter without building owners investing heavily. It’s hard to find a building on this view that hasn’t been significantly improved by its owners.
Clearly the character of downtown has changed, with more tourist services with their seasonal congestion, and fewer storefronts serving permanent residents. We certainly have far more dining choices now. On the other hand, you can’t buy gasoline on Oak Street today… and get free glasses.
Tags: 1960s, Hood River News, Oak Street
This is Oak street as I remember it when growing up.
I always remember the parking meters. I had a friend who was leapfrogging over them when he slipped and broke a tooth on one of them.
Arlen L Sheldrake
totally agree Arthur, downtown HR has vastly improved….back then on a Sunday is was really quiet….
Bill, how about naming your friend??? yes, pretty common for some of the football players to do the leapfrogging after coming down the stairs during the August shapeup…..and yes, one did NOT want to slip.
“I get ALL my fine glass stemware at the gas station…”
Oh yes, I have heard all about Dennis leap frogging the parking meters to try and impress the Rainbow girls I think it was. Yes, that is one thing he has always remembered very well, I assure you.
Charlott, who are the “Rainbow girls”?
Rainbow girls I believe were an offshoot of The Masonic lodge. I recall knowing some girls who were in them, robes and stuff…but I have no first hand knowladge -( and those what do may have been sworn to secrecy 🙂 )
International Order of Rainbow Girls was a service group of girls with the Mason's. The boys order was called DeMolay. If I recall there was a group in town and another chapter in Parkdale. I am not totally certain, but think in order to be in either your father had to be a Mason.
Can't believe someone hasn't corrected the “Glasses” comment. That's a window display at Paris Fair.
The free glasses offer is advertised on the Mobil gasoline banner…..purchase a minimum number of gallons gas and receive a free glass. Nothing to do with the Paris Fair building behind the banner.
Years ago, one of the gas sales tactics was Blue and Gold trading stamps you received when buying gas….paste them into a book and exchange the book for a variety of “premium items” shown in a colorful catalog…….
I grew up drinking my milk out of glasses from our neighborhood Mobil gas station. Thatâ€™s where we got our steak knives too.
I got my first set of china from Bowlsby's service station on the eastern corner of Oak Street. Every time my Dad got a fill up he got a piece of china.
We used to trade coins with Jerry Kramer at the Mobil station in the mid 1960â€™s. We would get a roll of quarters at 1st National bank, find the silver ones, then dimes, nickels and pennies. Kramer would buy the duplicates from us, and we would start again.
Lottie Farraâ€™s thrift shop was on the end. She lived on the corner to the west. We got two Siamese cats from her when we lived on State street.
The Whistlepunk and Hood River News newspapers were between the Thrift Shop and gas station.
The Rialto theater used to be across the street where the empty lot was located.
Looks like this picture was taken shortly after the Rialto was demolished. Still barriers up along the sidewalk.
I'd sure like to see the Heights receive the same UR treatment!
That thrift shop is where I bought my first book with my babysitting money. It was “What Makes Sammy Run.”