Historic Hood River
I’ve used this postcard image in some talks but apparently haven’t shared it on this site. This aerial view of the west side of Hood River appears to be shortly after the 1927 construction of the then Hood River High School, which is now the Hood River Middle School. May Street and Belmont Street are the major east-west routes in the view, with a lonely 22nd Street in the foreground.
A prominent feature in this image is “the pit” where city and county public works offices are located. It turns out there is more history to this spot than I first thought. Apparently “the pit” was both city and county gravel pit generating gravel for road construction at the time of the school construction, and had been used for that purpose back at least a decade before that date. There was also a city water source which was developed at that spot, which was conveniently near an early city reservoir and first city pool. I suspect, but without strong evidence, this spot was the location of “Stranahan’s gravel pit” referred to in this 1900 article in The Hood River Glacier
. We know Stranahan owned much of the property in this area, and his property was just above Paradise acres mentioned in the article.
We also know the school district asked the city to expand the May Street right-of-way from 40 to 60 feet so the roadway could be broadened. I believe the gravel pit provided significant fill material so May Street just north of Jackson Park could be expanded from the “foot bridge” indicated in the 1928 Sanborn map to a major east-west route we see today. There is now a culvert and bridge at the spot, but you could be forgiven for not realizing you’re on a bridge because so much of the ravine has been filled in. I believe widening May Street and the construction of this grand new high school opened up the west side to much more residential development.
Tags: 1920s, aerial, Belmont Street, Hood River Middle School, May Street, school, West side
Arthur, I thought I've seen this picture posted before but I couldn't remember when. After some searching I found #283 published on 3-01-2012.
Always amazed looking at the wide open territory that has been ground down to a flatlanders dream for planting crops. Today the same view is now planted with houses nearly to Country Club Road. There appear to be some “hangers on” with orchards and the like, but I think eventually they are doomed to submit to land value schemes. In thirty years all we will have left are the terrific pictures you have posted.
Incredible shot. Amazing how the perspective makes it look so much flatter than it is.
Beautiful and definitely agricultural. You can see how Alva Day was able to release pheasants and they could survive on farm crops.
Now days, everyone complains if there is a gravel pit operation in their community. It is a situation that is between a rock and a hard place. Gravel is needed for better road conditions.
Today, this scene is a maze of houses, where hours of back breaking work once cleared away the timber to create these fields. As LMH says, thanks to HHR photos, so we know the previous scene.
Thanks for tracking it down LMH. This is a good illustration of the importance of good tags/keywords. I've enhanced the tags on #283 so it will be easier to find in the future.
Fascinating – my house (well, my plot of land… house wasn't built til '53) is in this shot. So much to dig into here.
Unfortunately, the gravel pit , once isolated, is now in the middle of a neighborhood who has to put up with gravel being hauled in and then back out
to county roads. The stream of industrial activity is not only unhealthy, it is dangerous to the students going to school and the swimming pool and the many joggers and walkers that use that route. The dust is a continual issue, not to mention the noise. Times change and we must too.
Would that be Adams Creek that ran under the foot bridge? Oddly, there is still a greenbelt west of the school. I wonder how many small creeks and rills were buried during development. There are a couple of springs that appear periodically on Prospect west of 22nd.
The creek that is Adams Creek is just west of 12th street and Sherman (Hospital Hill). At one point, whenever the fire department washed it's rigs Adams Creek filled with soap suds at the Sherman St. and 12th intersection. Does not happen anymore so they must have hooked up the HRFD to sewer drainage at the station.
Today's Jackson Park is actually a ravine filled in and landscaped. I wonder if it also drained into Adams Creek.
The LIDAR link I shared yesterday is helpful if you want to follow the path of “Adams Creek” from Jackson Park north. It's not real clear where or why it starts, but the early Sanborn maps show the ravine from today's Jackson Park north to Sherman Street. The city says this is not fish-bearing, and serves as an open part of the city's storm water system, carrying runoff from the Heights to the Columbia. It's odd to see such a pronounced ravine in one place on this stream, with no visible surface features in other spots. Any hydrologists out there want to explain?
I am delighted to see an old picture of Hood River High School. I checked in my Dragonville Sketches book, and I see that 1928 was the year of the first graduating class from the school.
I wonder if we can see Alma Howe's Cottage Farm.
Bill Pattison says the fields west of the high school had the best pheasant hunting in town. Iâ€™m guessing Alva Day and friends had something to do with that.
Photos like this make me wonder lots of things. I wonder if the gravel pit is a deposit from the Missoula Floods or is it a result of bench gravel which is often found on the edges of a valley where a stream bed has receded to a lower level.
The gravel from that pit is uniformly pea gravel, which is why it was so hand for graveling all the streets and roads during snow and ice. I assume it was water deposited from Mt. Hood. If you go west 6 – 8 blocks (west May St.) you find bright yellow clay soil with big boulders.
About that gravel pit: it wuas just south of the Mormon church,on May Street west of the swimming pool. There was a pool, or seep, in with the gravel, which was home to tiny frogs. We used to run down after church to look at them. One Sunday some adolescent Mormon boys: Norman Markham, David Feinauer, probably David Jacob went down BEFORE church, and caught half a dozen, which they slipped into the flower arrangement at the pulpit. When the organ began the introduction for the opening hymn, the frogs started to sing along. We didn't have a verger, or a beadle ,or even an usher, as some denominations have to deal withblittle frogs and other nuisances, so with unspoken accord, we just let them lift up their voices with us. As the anthem “America” has it, “Letcall that breathe partake/The sound prolong.”
There was a remnant of the frogs in a little seep at the SE corner of the swimming pool property and where there was a playground there where kids, post swimming all afternoon, waited for their parents. With the conversion to adult tennis courts that water became a problem so they built a drainage ,,,,,and the frogs disappeared.