The Enterprise, White Salmon, WA., March 7, 1913, page 3


     Hood River, Or., March 19. -- The anniversary of the arrival of E.L. Smith, an early pioneer, to the community, and one of its best-known characters, was celebrated here today. Mr. Smith is one of the few surviving men of the state who attended the convention that nominated Abraham Lincoln for his first term to the Presidency. He has figured prominently in public life of the Northwest, being at one time secretary of the Northwest Territory, and later Speaker of the House of Representatives and of the State Legislature. He is a pioneer orchardist in the Hood River Valley, and has come to be known as "Hood River" Smith. He was for many years president of the State Horticultural Society, and annually attend its meetings in Portland.
     "Yes, it was 37 years ago today," said Mr. Smith, "since my wife, six little girls and I disembarked on the old sandbar north of the city, or what is now the city. It was not even a village than. All the families of the neighborhood (there were about 12 of them) were there to meet as.
     "We had a great deal of household goods, a crate each of Buff Cochin, Little Brahma, Silver-Spangled Hamburg, Golden Hamburg and Top-Knotted Poland chickens, a piano and a great lot of provisions. And those chickens! I smile every time I think of them. We had no place to segregate them, and soon we had the greatest mixture of fowls that the eye of man ever be held. Some of them must have been of a great number of colors than was Joseph's coat.
     "Two years previously I had purchased from John Chipman his 480-acre ranch west of the present townsite. A home had been built there by lumber shipped by boat from Portland.
     "And the orchards that were on the place! South of the house was located a great peach orchard. Peaches, in a limited way it, created as much interest in those days as do apples now. And I assure you, that in the shipping season, when the ranchers were down on the sandbar looking after their shipments and when the peaches were piled in great heaps on the clean white sand, the landing place was a busy spot. Portland formed the principal peach market, of course, since we did not have any railroads over which to send our fruit to distant markets.
     "In the year that we arrived here The Dalles-Sandy road was completed through the Hood River Valley. The construction of the road was superintended by John Marden, a late pioneer of The Dalles. James Wallace, an old citizen of this city, was a member of the crew that pushed the road as far as Bonneville, where work was stopped on account of a lack of further appropriations.
     "The country at that time was much more beautiful to me than it is now. Wild flowers were abundant. The wild sunflowers bloom in profusion, almost covering the open places, and these formed the best of food for both horses and cattle. Grouse and pheasant were plentiful, and the bears came down from the heavy timber to eat the acorns of our oaks.
     "One day a bear came down and bathed in the spring from which we secured our water. It was wash day, and Mrs. Smith was worried about how the water could have become mudded, until she learned that Bruin had intruded."

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer