The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., July 14, 1899, page 1

A Picturesque Health and Pleasure Resort That Is Visited by Thousands of People Annually
The Trading Center and Shipping Point for the Famous Hood River Valley, Noted for Its Fruit - Place for Investors

     Nature, the great architect of the universe, located the habitations of man. Large cities are not placed by chance. The little brook that trickles from its crevice in the rocks and receives its growth from the snow-capped giants of the hills, winds its way to the sea, opening up a highway for the traffic of a nation. Slowly but irresistibly, it cuts its channel through mountain gorges, over silent meadows, down rocky steeps, roaring, plunging and spreading, but never stopping till it mingles itself with the boundless ocean. It asks no help from the puny hand of man. Whether its waves dash against the desolate shores of the wilder-ness, or labor with the weight of com-merce, it cares not; only onward, is its progress, inviting the laborer to rest his wares upon its bosom, that they may be easily transported to the teeming world. It stretched its hand up the canyon among the hills far by the side of the great Columbia; an opening had been made, and an outlet granted for the many productions of the great agricultural and horticultural region here. Alone in its great power, uncompromising in its restless strength, it gave out the flat and located the slightly little city of Hood River in a natural grove of towering oaks. Little by little, men made obeisance to the incontrovertible mandate and the place has steadily grown until today it has a population of about 500 souls.
     Hood River is delightfully situated on a hill side in a forest, affording ample shade and natural drainage. It is in fact a Forest City. Horizoned by rugged and picturesque mountains, and tree tops, that cut sharp silhouettes against a sky of incomparable blue, the town is hidden by a dense carpet of green. Here and there a white splotch shows against the deep mass, where some house thrusts itself above the trees, but a man standing upon the height to the south and looking down would never guess that 500 people dwelt under that natural thatch of stately oaks. To the north an inspiring view of that grand, broad stream, the Columbia is afforded. The residence portion of these circling forest hills, disclosing glimpses of cozy cottages, unique villas and pretentious mansions, surrounded by evidence of artistic landscape gardening, sweeping driveways and every evidence of wealth, culture and refinement. No place of its size in this or any other state has more magnificent homes, nor more happily surrounded, and in nearly every instance the landscaped handsome residences are owned by the occupants thereof.
     The business streets are well shaded and located on a natural incline and are lined with pretty and commodious trade emporiums.
     Hood River, the thriving town of the Cascade mountains, is situated at the confluence of the Columbia and Hood rivers, at an elevation of 103 feet above the level of the sea. Owing to its proximity to Mount Hood and to its healthful location, the place attracts many summer visitors. Excursionists visit us by the steamers in large numbers and quite frequently during the hot months. The town is also the shipping point for the Hood River valley, noted the country over for its production of strawberries and apples. While the population of the town is only about 500, yet the valley is thickly settled and contains about 2,000 people. It is on account of this dense population that the rural free delivery mail system is now on experimental daily trial in these parts.
     A pen sketch of the Hood River valley, found elsewhere in this issue, even when kept scrupulously within the bounds of facts, reads like a tale from the "Arabian Nights." The development that has been accomplished is but feebly described when it is called marvelous. The old simile of a desert converted into a garden has been so frequently applied to the many localities in Oregon that it has become trite; nevertheless, there is not another portion of the state where it is so emphatically applied as in Hood River valley. It is true, wonderful results have been accomplished in other places, but Hood River valley stands first and foremost in the demonstration of the possibilities of that fruit culture.
     The city of the Hood river was incorporated about five years ago, though the first settlers arrived in the valley in 1854, among the number, H.C. Coe, whose strawberry patches covering a number of acres are within the corporate limits and from which about 1,000 crates of berries of 24 boxes each have been shipped this season.
     The first store building erected in the town is still standing and is occupied by the large mercantile house of Bone & McDonald. The town of was laid out in March, 1881, by H.C. Coe, on the donation land claim of his father, the late Nathan Coe. The second building erected in the town was the Mt. Hood hotel by T.J. Hosford, in the latter part of August of that year. The first residence was built by John P. Hilsteon, the second by Judge George T. Prather. Peter Tanner's residence came next, then followed the erection of a store building by Mrs. Jennie Champlain, now occupied by Blodgett's harness shop. No more buildings worthy of note were put up till 1882, when E.L. Smith store building, Prather's building and the Rand building, occupied by A.S. Blowers & Son, besides others, including the O.R. & N. railroad depot and the old school house went skyward.
     In 1891 there was another spurt in building operations and quite a number of edifices were completed, including two churches, two business houses. Since then the growth of the town has been steady and substantial till today it may be said to be a lovely little city of homes, churches and schools.
     The first mayor of the town was C.M. Wolfard, now a resident of White Salmon, a village in Klickitat county, Wash., immediately across the Columbia river from Hood River.
     The present city officers of Hood River are: Mayor E.L. Smith; recorder, John Nickelsen; treasurer, George P. Crowell; marshall, E.S. Olinger; councilmen, Captain J.H. Dukes, Charles A. Bell, Judson Ferguson, Wm. Yates, G.D. Woodworth and Putman F. Bradford.
     The growth of Hood River has been steady and permanent, based upon actual demand, and what is found here can be accounted for on the basis of existing to supply a present instead of a prospective demand. As a trading point, Hood River ranks with the ordinary town of several times its size. It has both rail and water transportation and all wagon roads lead to the town, as naturally as they are said to have led to Rome. A costly ferry system will soon be in operation across the Columbia, and which enterprise will draw additional trade from the Washington banks of that river.
     The people of Hood River are fully alive to the fact that the common school is the foundation from which the state must draw largely its best citizens -- men and women, full-orbed, with the qualities which make them true and wise. This evidenced by the liberal spirit which the citizens have in the past provided for the wants of the Hood River graded public schools and by the confidence and respect which the school demands in the community, as well as by the jealous care with which its interests and reputation are cherished. The old school building has given place to a new $8,000 edifice, which is heated by a furnace and has all the modern conveniences and paraphernalia. At present, inclusive of the principal, four teachers are employed and the fifth instructor will likely be added this year and the tenth grade established. There are eight months of school in the year and there is an enrollment of 154 pupils. A new principle has been employed in the person of Professor C.D. Thompson, who taught at Cascade Locks last year. He is a graduate of Corvallis. He has able assistants in the persons of the Misses Grace A. Graham, Mella White and Minnie Elton, with another yet to be engaged. The school board is composed of S.H. Cox, chairman; N.C. Evans, and A.S. Blowers, with D. MacDonald as clerk.
     Hood River's social advantages are as desirable as can be found anywhere in the East. There are three magnificent church edifices here, vis: Congregationalists, Methodist and United Brethren. The churches of this city are, as a rule, strong, vigorous, healthy societies. They compared favorably with similar bodies in any place of equal size in New England or the Middle States. The stranger within our gates may worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience and the fashion of his fathers, and find himself in company with those of his own belief.
     The fraternities are well represented in Hood River. The rosters of the different orders which draw the veil of considerate secrecy over their ceaseless and wide charities embrace the names of our foremost citizens, men prominent in affairs and full of public spirit and civic pride.
     The circulating public library of Hood River is an admirable institution. Since its inception, it has steadily grown in usefulness and the favor of the public. The shelves contain about 800 volumes. A membership fee of fifty cents per annum is charged for its privileges. The library is in charge of George T. Prather, who is also a justice of the peace.
     Hood Rivers has a gravity system of water works, which are supplied from a large, never-failing spring, at an elevation of some 250 feet above the town. The water has been analyzed and pronounced to be the purest and the best in the land.
     There has as yet been no system of electric lighting established here; however, there are nine individual acetylene gas plants in operation.
     All lines of business are represented here and there are some very fine and large stores conducted by mercantile firms with sufficient capital and facilities to compete with larger cities close at hand, all doing a first-class business and many of them are spoken of separately in this issue.
     Visitors who come to Hood River in search of pleasure, as well as health, will find little difficulty in passing their allotted time most agreeably. Those who delight in viewing the beauties of nature will find a world of interest in visiting the notable river attractions and throughout the adjacent country. Any part of the country is easily accessible by means of the existing routes of travel, by boat, railway or well-traveled roads over which driving is a favorable recreation. The sportsman will find abundant material upon which to practice his skill. Fishing affords unrivaled sport for the anglers. Sailing, driving, horseback-raiding, bicycling and other out-door forms of exercising are feasible during a greater part of the year. Invalids who in the East dare not venture out, either because of the cold, the heat, or some other menace to health, will find supreme delight, and a new lease of life in the vitalizing air and sunlight which permits them to enjoy to the fullest extent all the outdoor exercise which they are capable. No matter what may be the object which brings visitors to Hood River, they cannot fail to yield to the pleasurable enjoyment of existence in a spot where, as one contended traveler observed, "It is so good to be alive!"
      The climate of the Hood River is proverbially excellent. The summers are ideal. Even in the hottest part of summer, the nights are deliciously cool, insuring sleep and rest. The winters are neither long nor severe. The climate will perhaps be found best suited to invalids, whom, from long residence in high or windy regions, have suffered from that nervousness so common to such sections, and to busy men and women in general, who find it impossible to "slow down" the machinery of their lives while within the stimulating influence of certain climatic or social conditions. Such people usually are suffers from insomnia and loss of appetite and digestive power. The effect of this climate on such is to induce sleep and improve the assimilating functions. Sufferers from general malaria affections will almost invariably be cured, as will also most cases of dry catarrh, which prevail in high, dry climates. Many sufferers from rheumatism in high altitude and the cold, damp regions of the country are entirely cured here, and especially favorable are the conditions for heart affections. Consumptives should not come to this region with the disease developed, though consumption rarely originates here, but when it does, it runs a very rapid coarse to a fatal end. There is practically immunity from the ordinary diseases of childhood in severe forms and from acute inflammations due generally to sudden chilling as the equability of the climate is a sure safeguard against such dangers. In conclusion, however, be it said that about all kinds of climate a person wants can be obtained at the different altitudes in this vicinity.
     Hood River has been the home of prosperity from the date of its foundation, but the best days of this place are in the future. Mark the prediction.
     Some idea of the importance of the sprightly and sightly little city of Hood River may be gathered from the fact that here are founded a stable municipal government, one of the largest lumbering mills in the state, with a capacity of the 160,000 feet of lumber per day, and another, a third as large, soon to be erected west of town; two hotels, an armory hall, two restaurants and numerous private boarding lodging houses, two livery stables, an excellent weekly newspaper, the Glacier, part of which you hold in your hand, a fruit growers' union, an extensive fruit cannery, a ferry, four general stores, two drug stores, three churches, two hardware stores, two furniture stores, two harness shops, two meat markets, two confectioneries, two bakeries, a box factory, a racket store, a grocery, a photograph gallery, billiard room, a barber shop, a shoe shop, a queensware, crockery and stationery store, two laundries, a band, a blacksmith, two real estate agencies, while the professionals are represented by a dentist, two physicians and two attorneys. There is no saloon in Hood River. Some months ago one was conducted here under a government license, but it was starved out and the proprietor quit the business in disgust.
     It is worthy of mention in connection with the schools, to state that besides the six-room high school building in Hood River, there are the Barrett school, with two rooms, four miles southeast and the Frankton school, two rooms, 2½ miles west. While two new school houses of the same capacity, are in the course of construction in the Pine Grove and Odell districts on the east side. In the Mt. Hood district a new school building is also being constructed.

S.E. Bartmess, Furniture and Undertaker

     Mr. Bartmess established himself in his present business at Hood River about seven years ago, coming from La Fayette, Ind. It would be next to impossible, within the limits of this article, to enumerate everything kept in stock at his establishment. Suffice it to say that his assortment of goods is full, complete and up to date in every respect. The upper story of his building, which is now with his own property, is occupied by himself and family as a residence, while the entire lower floor is used for business purposes, being stocked to the ceiling with goods. The front part of the room is taken up with furniture, carpets, baby carriages, wall paper, paints, oil, etc., of which he has everything usually found in a first-class store. An addition, 18x30, has been built to the main building, two stories, making the present dimensions 30x74 feet. The middle room is utilized as an undertaking department, where are found handsome coffins and caskets and a general line of undertaking goods. Mr. Bartmess owns a hearse and he makes a specialty of embalming and shipping bodies. As a funeral director he has few peers.
     In the rear of his store is kept his supply of building material, consisting chiefly of doors, windows, lumber, lime, hair, cement, molding, etc. Picture frames are made to order. The building is lighted throughout with acetylene gas. The Oregonian has been handled at this store for the past seven years, the daily deliveries ranging from 50 to 100 copies.
     Mr. Bartmess is a citizen of public spirit and high standing, always ready to help along any enterprise that may have for its purpose the advancement of the interests of Hood River and vicinity.

Mountain Stage and Livery Co.

     Messrs. Ferguson, Dukes & Wright, all old-time citizens, are the proprietors of the Mountain Stage and Livery Company. They have been associated together in business since the month of March last. The location of the spacious livery, sale and feed stable, is adjacent to the railroad depot and the boat landing and it is immediately across the street from the Mt. Hood hotel. They have ample stall room for the large business they are doing and special attention is given to commercial men and camping parties in season. A draying business is also carried on by this firm and teams can be fitted out for any purpose on short notice. Among the horses kept for livery purposes are fine roadsters for gentlemen's driving, gentle horses for ladies' driving an riding, fine carriage horses and gentlemen's riding horses. This stable is the place to hire a livery team, have your team taken care of, or you can buy or sell a horse here as quickly and satisfactorily as elsewhere. Careful drivers furnished, when desired.
     J.H. Ferguson is a native of Pennsylvania, and has resided here since 1879. He formerly worked at his trade, that of a watchmaker and jeweler, at one time being employed in the city of Portland. He owns the barn occupied by the firm, also his residence and 80 acres of land, three miles out of town. He is a member of the city council, as is also his partner, Captain J.H. Dukes, who was reared in Illinois, and has been a resident of these parts for the past 12 years.
     F.J. Wright, the remaining partner, is also from Illinois, an old-timer, and has been engaged in strawberry culture.

Mt. Hood Hotel, C.A. Bell, Prop.

     There are few hotels in a place of the size of Hood River that have entertained a greater number of guests than the Mt. Hood hotel for the reason that it is the only first-class hotel in every respect in the city. The history of the house dates back a number of years, Mr. Bell, himself having been "mine host" for the past six years, and to many of its old patrons it has come to be looked upon as home and Mr. Bell as a genial friend and a host.
     The Mt. Hood hotel is too well known to the traveling public to require a description in detail, but for the benefit of readers of this paper at a distance we will state that it is a fine, modern, two-story structure, located conveniently to the depot and overlooking the majestic, on-flowing Columbia river. There are twenty guest rooms, equal in their furnishings and arrangements to the best hotels in towns many times the size of Hood River, and a free sample room is provided for commercial men. The cuisine department is in charge of competent hands, and the tables are supplied with the best the market affords. The dining room is large and inviting, and the service is of the best. Commercial men, tourists and businessmen from neighboring towns always make their headquarters at the Mt. Hood hotel when visiting Hood River. The rates are reasonable and reductions are made to guests who remain for any length of time, whether they be on health, pleasure or business trip.
     Mr. Bell came to Hood River from Eastern Oregon about nine years ago and was at first engaged in the sawmill business. Three years later, he took hold of the hotel and has made a success of it from the very beginning. Besides being a popular landlord, Mr. Bell is a sanguine and enthusiastic supporter of all enterprises for the good of the public and his deservedly high standing as a caterer and a businessman is second only to his popularity with his guests and many personal friends. He is a member of the city council.

A.S. Blowers & Son, General Merchandise

     The general merchandise store has always been, and it must be in the nature of things, always continue to be the store of the people. The general merchandise is usually among the pioneer merchants and he has also been a leading citizen in all pioneer settlements. His prosperity as always depended upon the common prosperity.
     There is probably not a general merchandise store in Hood River that commands more confidence and general patronage than that of A.S. Blowers & Son. This firm has been in existence for the past ten years and it deals in nearly everything that can be mentioned with the exception of drugs, furniture and harness. The stock consists chiefly of staple and fancy groceries, dry goods, clothing, ladies and Gents' furnishing goods, boats, shoes, hats, caps, shelf and heavy hardware, stoves, etc. Agricultural implements and farm machinery are kept on hand and anything wanted in this line will be ordered directly from the factory, if not already in stock, also machine repairs can be obtained through this firm. A.S. Bowers & Son have the exclusive agency here for the celebrated Miller shoe, made at Racine, Wis., though other standard makes are kept on their shelves.
     A.S. Blowers, the father, is a native of New York, emigrating with his parents at an early age to Minnesota. He was a soldier during the war of the rebellion and subsequently located in Otter Tale county, Minnesota, whence he came to Hood River, in the month of January, 1889. He owned a handsome residence here and will likely spend the remainder of his days in these favored parts. He also has a strawberry ranch and an apple orchard. From the farm he will this year ship about 1,000 crates of berries. His orchard was planted about five years ago and is beginning to bear profitably. Mr. Blowers has served one term has county commissioner, in which arduous and responsible position he had had 12 years experience in his Minnesota home. He has served as a school director and captain of the crack militia company of this section, it having walked off with the championship as the best drilled company at the regimental encampment at The Dalles. Mr. Blowers is also president of the City Water Company, and half owner of the works.
     L.N. Blowers, the son, was the first mayor of Sumpter, Ore., to which place he removed, and engaged in business for a short time, and was also the second mayor of Hood River. He is a young man of family, possessed of fine business attainments, and is the owner of a fine forty-acre orchard. He also owns a town lots here on which he is about to erect a residence.

Mrs. M.M. Fewel, Mt. Hood, Confectionery.

     Mrs. Fewel, who is a most deserving and successful caterer, has been tickling the palates of the people of Hood River, so to speak, for the past four years. Her cozy and inviting place of business is near the railroad depot, the boat landing on the Columbia, and opposite the Mt. Hood hotel. The Mt. Hood Confectionery is always stocked with all kinds of sweetmeats, fruit in season, and a fine line of cigars and tobacco is carried. Soft drinks are a specialty, and her nicely carpeted ice cream parlor is the most popular resort in town for ladies and gentlemen. The attractive way in which the stock is displayed, and the courteous manner in which patrons are served, usually by Mrs. Fewel herself, are noticeable facts and warrant us in saying that this is one of the pleasantest places in Hood River at which to trade.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer