The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., January 17, 1896, page 2

[Essay Read by Miss Bertha M. Warren at Frankton School]

     The pleasant little Valley of Hood River is situated about sixty miles east from Portland and twenty miles west from The Dalles. From almost any point in the valley can be had a view of the snow-capped peaks of Hood and Adams, which rise to the south and north, standing like sentinels keeping guard over the peaceful valley.
     From Mount Hood flows the clear and beautiful stream from which the valley takes its name. From the mountain two branches start, called the East and West Forks, flowing for a distance of about fifteen miles before uniting to form the main stream, which finally pours its waters into the great Columbia, the northern boundary of the valley. The valley as many attractions for the visitor and tourist. The snow-clad mountains are more accessible from Hood River valley then any other point, Mt. Hood being 28 miles distant from the railroad station and Mt. Adams 35. The scenery is always attractive and the orchards and strawberry patches in the fruiting season lend additional charm to the view. Ditches are being taken out of the mountain streams to irrigate the constantly increasing berry patches. Some of the orchards are grown without irrigation, especially on the East Side, where the soil is more adapted for grain raising and where the farmers generally raise wheat for their own flour, which is ground at Harbison Bros.' mill. This mill is picturesquely situated on Neal creek, a good-sized stream which flows in northwesterly direction and empties into Hood river a few miles above the mouth. This mill was brought to the valley 17 years ago by Mr. D.D. Rogers, now an old gentleman over 80. When owned by Mr. Rogers the mill was situated at the falls of Phelps creek, near the old state road, where at one time it was thought the town would be located. On this road, at about the same time, the first store building in the valley was built and owned by Hon. E.L. Smith. When the railroad was built and the station located on its present site, the town of Hood River was started. Mr. Smith moved his store there, and it is now the oldest store in town and is owned by Mr. George P. Crowell.
     The fruit growers of the valley have formed a union, and through it most of the fruit is shipped. During the summer and fall of 1895 the shipments of strawberries and prunes were considerable. Many apples are now being shipped, but this industry is still in its infancy. Young apple orchards are numerous and more are constantly being set out. The farther up the valley one goes the better the apple land is found to be. Near the falls of Hood river the country is as yet thinly settled, it being mostly heavily timbered. When it is cleared, however, it makes the best orchard land in the valley.
     Hood River is becoming quite a noted summer resort for people from the city, who, during the summer months scatter through the valley, some going to Mt. Hood, others to the falls or to Lost Lake, near the mountain. Anyone going to the falls cannot help but notice the grandeur and beauty of the water as it falls over the rocks into a deep basin below. This basin is said to be bottomless and is called "The Devil's Punch Bowl." A new bridge is being constructed just above the falls, and when completed will be quite an advantage to the public. Fish abound in the lakes, rivers and smaller streams.
     Several small mills are located in the mountain. Davenport Bros. & Co. had a long flume, extending a distance of about eight miles from the mills to their planer near the Columbia, through which they flume the railroad ties and rough lumber to be dressed for building purposes.
     Hood River Valley has a bright future. When a complete system of irrigation is reached and all the young orchards now being set out are in fill bearing, along with the strawberries and other fruits, train loads of fruit will be shipped from its borders. And with such a delightful climate, beautiful scenery and in fact everything that goes to make a peaceful and happy community, Hood River is sure to become a noted place.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer