Historic Hood River
Our friends at ODOT provided this image of Tooth Rock tunnel and Bonneville Dam. It was taken on September 28, 1937, and shows President Franklin Roosevelt (with Eleanor) on his way to Eagle Creek overlook to dedicate Bonneville Dam, which you can see in the background. I’ll give the full photo credit for posterity: â€œColumbia River Highway, Oregon Forest Highway Project 28-AUS, US Bureau of Public Roads.â€
There are several things to note in this image. Tooth Rock tunnel was built as part of the realignment required by the construction of Bonneville Dam. You can see how it disconnected a piece of the original highway which passes above the tunnel. This was the “beginning of the end” for the original Columbia River Highway. This piece has now been reconnected as a non-moto trail, including a controversial set of stairs to descend to Eagle Creek hatchery. Along with the auto tunnel there was a short rail tunnel, which is now hidden under the viaduct for westbound I-84.
You can also see one of the airway light beacons which helped guide aircraft through the Gorge, especially on grey days like in this photo. We have one of these beacons at WAAAM (relocated from Mitchell Point, if I recall correctly).
And finally, this photo brings up a sore point for Matt and me. Through all the scanning we did over 5 years, we haven’t found a single image of FDR’s drive through downtown Hood River. Where was Alva Day? I believe he was a staunch Republican, and the only photos he took that month seem to document the new garage he added to his house on June Street. If you have a family album with a picture of FDR’s motorcade, please share with us!