The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., December 25, 1912, page 1

Announcement Made by the Pacific Power & Light Company That Development Project Rivaling That of Northwestern Electric Company of White Salmon Is Planned for Hood River - Power Will Be Used for Electric Railway, it Is Stated, as Well as for Other Purposes - Expenditure of More Than Half a Million Involved - Splendid Christmas Present got Valley.

     Hood River received its biggest Christmas present yesterday when Guy W. Talbot, president of the Pacific Power & Light Company, announced that work will be commenced within a few days on the new power plant here that will rival in size the one being built by the Northwestern Electric Company on the White Salmon River.
     The plant, which will be constructed on the lower river, will have a capacity of 7,000 horsepower and will be entirely separate from the company's present development here. It is understood that part of the service will be used in connection with an electric railway.
     The material for this big electrical development, which will mean an expenditure of over half a million dollars here, has been ordered and the work of installing the plant will be commenced just as soon as the construction crews can be organized in the plans received from the engineer's office.
     It is stated that this project will mean the expenditure locally of approximately $200,000 for labor and materials. With this added to the other big improvement projects, the coming year is rich in promise for continued and increased prosperity in Hood River.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., January 8, 1913, page 1

Additional Details Are Given Out Concerning Big Developing Enterprise of Pacific Power & Light Company Here - Superintendent of Construction Work Coming This Week - Site Described

     Further information in regard to the big power plant which the Pacific Power & Light Company will construct at Hood River was given out Monday by J.E. Davidson, vice-president and general manager. Mr. Davidson, who made a short stop over here, stated that the plans for the big, new plant were being rushed as fast as possible and that the superintendent of the construction work would be here this week to look over the ground. He said that the policy of the company of doing its own construction work instead of letting it out by contract would be adhered to at Hood River and that local American labor would be given the preference in all cases.
     According to Mr. Davidson it will take from five to six months to construct the plant and it is expected to employ from 500 to 800 men. The machinery has all been ordered and the initial order of cement amounting to 20,000 barrels was placed Friday with Jones & Scott, the Walla Walla firm which is furnishing this material for a much bigger project which the Pacific Company is putting in at Natchez, Wash.
     The powerhouse for the new plant will be located on the river property recently purchased by J.F. Batchelder from the Winans estate. This purchase includes all the Winans holdings from the Mount Hood railroad bridge to the O.W.R. & N. railroad on both sides of the river. The site selected will be between the Mount Hood Railroad bridge and the wagon bridge and the structure will be of solid concrete throughout, embodying all the latest improvements in power house construction. Its electrical equipment will be of a newer type than anything now in use in the Northwest, the generators being of the same style that the government will install on the Panama Canal.
     Power will be furnished from two twin pipes nine feet in diameter constructed part way of wood staves, mounted on concrete piers and the balance of the way of reinforced concrete. These will run up from the dam over a specially constructed hydraulic grade. The dam will be re-constructed and when finished the new plant will utilize the full flow of the river with the exception of the amount of water required to be left in the stream by the state law.
     The work will be on a larger scale than anything ever undertaken at Hood River and will be one of the most important new pieces of hydro-electric construction now underway in the Northwest.
     When the plant is completed it will have a capacity of about 7,000 horsepower, a development which officials of the Pacific Company believe will be adequate to handle anything in the electric line needed by Hood River or The Dalles. At the latter place in addition to having recently taken on the business of the Wasco Warehouse Milling Co - 600 h.p. -- the company has a contract to furnish a large amount of power for a big irrigation project at Grand Dalles. It will also be prepared for any local railroad electrification.
     The new plant will be tied in with the companies 2,000 horsepower plant on the White River and between the two developments the Pacific expects to give this section of Oregon the best possible service and provide for future business. Any surplus energy from the Hood River plant will be transmitted east over the company's high tension lines to Prosser, Wash., crossing the Columbia at The Dalles. There it will tie in with the Pacific's and will be delivered into the Pacific's Yakima-Walla Walla valley lines.
     It is stated by officials of the company that applications for employment should be made to the local foreman.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., February 5, 1913, page 1

Camps Are Being laid Out Near Pacific Company's Old Plant - Large Gang of Men Will Be Put to Work In a Few Days - Hopes Entertained That Project May be Completed by September

     Active work was started Thursday of the big power plant which the Pacific Power & Light Company will construct on the lower Hood River. N.L. Pierce, who arrived here Wednesday from New York, has been placed in charge of the work. Mr. Pierce has superintended the construction of several large plants in the Southern States and is thoroughly familiar with all the details of the work. He has taken a suite of offices in the Heilbronner building where the administrative duties in connection with the construction work will be conducted.
     With the aid of an assistant, Mr. Pierce is at present engaged in laying out the camps which will be installed near the company's old power plant and in organizing construction crews. The machinery and apparatus for the work is now on the way to Hood River and it is expected that a large gang of men will be put at work in a few days. A large camp of laborers will be constructed on the flat opposite the powerhouse and another set of buildings will be a erected on the bench just above the power house to be used as headquarters by the engineers, construction foremen and others having charge of the various branches of the work.
     When the crew starts up in full swing the company expects to have 500 men employed and hopes to complete the project by September 1. Local applications for work are being given first consideration by the company but to get a full crew a large number of laborers will have to be imported and applications are being received by many of the men who have been employed on the Northwestern plant on the White Salmon River.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., February 26, 1913, page 1


     About 75 men are now at work on the site of the Pacific Power & Light Company's dam on the lower Hood River south of town. These men have been engaged in laying out the camp, erecting the necessary buildings and preparing for the active work on the dam which will begin about the middle of next month.
     Five bunkhouses have been erected, each large enough to accommodate 25 men. Additional bunkhouses will be built as they are needed, those now up being sufficient for the present force. A dining room has also been built. Water has been secured from a spring above the dam site. This water has been piped to the powerhouse and from there is pumped to a tank on the side hill above the camp, being conveyed from there to the distribution system which will supply the camp. All supplies are being taken into the camp on the Mount Hood Railroad as the spot is difficult of access by team and probably no road will be built into it. Team work will not be necessary to any extent.
     Many persons who walked to the camp Sunday. Already more than a dozen buildings have been erected and a large gang of carpenters is being kept busy. The office building has been completed and the headquarters will be moved this week from the temporary quarters in the Heilbronner Building. The bunk houses have been built on the flat by the river, while the other buildings have been perched on the hillside overlooking the gorge.
     The men already employed at the camp will be given an opportunity Sunday to hear Bishop Robert L. Paddock, who will talk to them at that time.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., January 29, 1913, page 1

City Councils Signs Agreement for Ten Year Period Following Withdrawal of Batchelder Injunction Suit - Both Companies Pleased - Mayor Blanchar Submits Message to Council.

     At the meeting of the city council Monday evening a 10-year contract with the Hydro Electric Company for lighting the city streets was signed. This action on the part of the council followed the voluntary withdrawal by J.F. Batchelder of his injunction suit against the city.
     It has been rumored that certain changes have taken place recently which gives the Hood River Gas and Electric Company control of the local field. This being the case, it seems as though the Hood River Gas and Electric Company owes certain citizens active in the city's affairs their heartfelt thanks to the strenuous part they have taken in getting a 10-year electric light contract for the city at twice the rate which the city now pays. The Glacier in its last issue asked why Mr. Batchelder withdrew his injunction suit. Now they know.
     The contract as signed contains a large number of provisions. One is that the city can demand a readjustment of the rates at anytime that they may appear unreasonable, a hearing to be given before the state public service commission.
     At the same time the contract protects private users of the juice by providing that maximum rate shall not be in excess of ten cents per kilowatt hour the small consumer, with a sliding scale down to five cents a kilowatt for the larger consumers.
     It is provided that the contract shall go into effect not later than 60 days from date. The city shall specify where the lights shall be placed and work will be started without delay in properly wiring the city for lights -- a long felt need.
     The passage of the contract by the council was unanimous with the exception of Councilman Stranahan, who voted against it.

Salaries Are Fixed

     With the approval of the council, Mayor Blanchar faxed the salaries of the appointive officers. They remain the same and are as follows:
     City marshal $100 a month, city attorney $75, water superintendent $100, city water clerk $60, city engineer 75 cents an hour with a minimum monthly stipend of not less than $50 nor more than $150.
     The fire and water committee reported favorably on the fire escapes that have been constructed on the old rink and recommended that a license be granted Messrs. Fitzpatrick to conduct a skating rink.
     The Heights firemen made a protest against the present location of the fire house there. It is now on the springs property, which is owned by the city. This location makes a hard uphill pull for the department and it was requested that quarters be provided so that the apparatus can be kept in a more convenient place.

Mayor Submits Message

     Mayor Blanchar submitted to the council a brief message as follows:
     "With your permission, the mayor will deviate from the usual procedure heretofore followed of preparing a lengthy report at this time of the year with recommendations, etc., believing that more effective results may be obtained from more frequent communication bearing directly upon the needs of the city and our ability to provide for same. We are entering a new year under favorable circumstances. The city's financial condition is splendid and much credit is due the former council for the faithful service rendered.

Should Start Street Paving

     "We should immediately proceed to take up the matter of street paving, carefully reviewing the work of the former council and ascertaining beyond doubt what kinds of paving will give the proper results and yet be the most economical. This is no small problem and the former council was obliged to hurry matters more than they probably would like to have done on account of the short time given them in which to decide. We, however, have ample time in which to work out this problem if we start now.

Should Employ An Expert

     "It is therefore recommended that the street committee be instructed to secure the services of a competent expert in the capacity of a consulting engineer, requiring him to make a personal investigation of the various phases of the local problem, the variation in grades, weather conditions during the winter seasons and present valuation of abutting property, which will be required to pay for the proposed improvement, then give the council his opinion and recommendations.
     "It is further recommended that steps be taken to macadamize the principal thoroughfares from the paved district to the city limits (where same has not already been done) as early as weather will permit and that the street committee be authorized to proceed immediately with the judicious expenditure of not less then $2000 for further improvement of the East Side grade, while labor is plentiful."

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer