The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., January 19, 1913, page 10


     To those who are comparatively new residents of the valley it will be of interest to note that Hood River's fame was beginning to be heralded abroad a quarter of a century ago. A write-up of the city was contained in the West Shore, an illustrated magazine published by L. Samuel in Portland 25 years ago. This was probably the first bit of publicity work done for the valley and it is evident that the city then took second place to Paradise Farm, Dr. W.L. Adam's beautiful home. Oak street was the only one of consequence and Hon. E.L. Smith's residence the only large one in the city.
     The residence on Paradise Farm had just been completed. The store building of George P. Crowell, then owned by Mr. Smith, was the only two-story business house, another one was being erected on the south side of Oak, all the other business houses were little shacks, nearly all of which have since been removed.
     While a few may have read the article, the News reprints a part of it, which follows:
     It is generally conceded, by those whose travels render their opinions valuable, that the mountains of the Pacific Coast, from Alaska to Mexico, do not hold in their embrace a more beautiful, salubrious and fertile valley than that of Hood River. No more delightful or healthful place of residence could be hoped for, and none where nature more willingly lends her aid to the efforts of man to surround himself with the beauties, luxuries and food products of the vegetable world.
     The river is a stream of pure mountain water, flowing northward from its fountain head amid the melting snows and glaciers of Mt. Hood, and uniting with the Columbia about midway between the Cascades and The Dalles. Along its length, right through the heart of the Cascade mountains, lies a valley of remarkable beauty and fertility, one of the most charming, healthful and enjoyable summer resorts of the Pacific coast.
     The mountains abound in large and small game, and the river and its associate streams are noted for the excellence and abundance of their trout. Many an invalid has restored his health, and many a man infirm with age has almost renewed the vigor of his youth, by surrendering himself to the full enjoyment of the pleasures the mountains and streams afford, and by breathing the life-giving atmosphere.
     The railroad crosses the river near its mouth, and a short distance above is the charming little town of Hood River. This is the shipping and supply point for the many prosperous settlers in the valley, and enjoys a good and increasing trade. The valley is renowned for its fertility, for the size and quality of its vegetables, and the superior excellence of its fruit, and in humidity is about midway between the moisture of the Willamette valley and the dryness of Eastern Oregon. Peaches are superior in flavor to those of California. Soft shell almonds are equal to the famous ones of Chili, and apples are of such superior size and flavor, that even the Willamette Valley, that famous land of the "big red apples," has to take a back seat.
     Among the most beautiful homes in Oregon is that of Dr. W.L. Adams, at Hood River. The doctor is an old pioneer, having driven his own ox team across the plains in 1848. After nearly three years of travel, through North, Central and South America, taking in the Sandwich Islands, he selected Hood River Valley as the most desirable place for a home he had yet found.
     The air is of such a crystal clearness that Mount Hood, 22 miles southwest, and Mount Adams, forty miles to the north, both glistening with eternal snow, and both in plain view of the house, appear as though they are only a few miles distant.
     The doctor's place is located at the forks of four wagon roads, half a mile west of the railroad depot. A beautiful road, smooth and slightly ascending leads to it. It contains three hundred and twenty acres of excellent land, mostly under fence, one hundred acres in cultivation and one hundred and fifty in pasture, with a fine wagon road running on three sides of it. The whole surface has a gentle slope to the Columbia River, where steamboats, flat boats and pleasure boats, with Indian canoes, paddled by "Native Americans," after the swimming deer, or who fish for sturgeon, salmon and trout, all add to the interest of the view.
     To the north across the Columbia, can be seen White Salmon River, heading among the snows of Mount Adams, and winding through tortuous ways cut through the mountains, and lashing itself into foam over huge boulders, till it enters the Columbia.
     Here hundreds of Indians often camped to fish and dry salmon for winter use, while as many as two thousand are busy gathering whortleberries at the foot of Mount Adams.
     Besides what they dry, the squaws visit the white settlers for fifty miles around, selling whortleberries, cranberries, salmon and trout, and bear, elk and deer meat.
     On either side of White Salmon River, running up from the Columbia, are mountains rising from two to three thousand feet, with large patches of prairie, dotted with farms and pastured with stock. The scene is grand, and to a poet, simply indescribable.
     At the railroad depot, half a mile from the doctor's home, Hood River empties into the Columbia. It rises in Mount Hood snows, and goes roaring over the rocks with a voice that can be heard from the mountains above, till it finally sinks to rest in the bosom of the Columbia.
     Hood River is noted for its trout, many of which are from 20 to 28 inches long. The waters of Hood River and the White Salmon River, fed by the snows of the mountains, are so pure and cold during the whole summer and the fish taken from them are hard and delicious.
     During the summer, the wind comes in strong, mild breezes up the Columbia, direct from the ocean. Hot, relaxing weather is not known here. The country and climate seem to be fascinating. People sometimes settle here for a time, when their migratory instincts induce them to go somewhere else; but they almost invariably return.
     The doctor has a large orchard, and will this fall set out over one thousand more trees. His place is supplied with numerous springs, two of which are strong enough to turn a small turbine wheel -- all cold, sweet water. One spring dashes from the hillside about 80 rods back of that house, having a fall of about 80 feet, and serves, through iron pipes, to supply the house with water. It also furnishes abundant water for his carp pond and a sturgeon pond immediately below it. Besides this, there is enough for irrigating purposes, and to supply the barn lot and all of the fifteen buildings on the place. No mineral can be detected by the taste, but it turns all wood with which it comes in contact to stone in a few years. In front of the house is a marble fountain, imported from France at a cost of $2,500.
     To sum it all up, in the words of an intelligent lady artist just from Australia, "I have been all over the world and I never saw as beautiful a place as Dr. Adams has in Hood River."
     The tourist seeking a few days of rest in the paradise of nature, the over-worked business man, seeking a relaxation from mental toil, the sportsman and the invalid, will all find all that heart can desire in Hood River Valley; while the immigrant, seeking a place where patient toil and intelligent industry may build a home for himself and family, will need to look no further for the golden opportunity.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer