The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., March 9, 1900, page 2


     Its northern boundary is the Columbia river; its eastern a high spur or divide putting out from Mount Hood, 2,000 feet or more in height, admirably protecting the valley from cold winds in winter and hot, destructive winds in summer that come from the east; its western boundary the timbered slopes of the Cascade range, while the broad base of Mount Hood completely blocks the valley to the south. The arable portion of the valley is some twenty miles in length by an average width of five miles, or 64,000 acres. Deduct 14,000 acres for bluffs and tracks too rough for cultivation, and we have 50,000 acres suitable for tillage. Hood river receives all the drainage of the north and east side of Mount Hood, and the melting snows of summer maintain a large and constant flow of water. The river has a descent of over 60 feet to the mile, and a canal eight miles in length would direct any portion of the waters to the brow of the plateau just above the village and 350 feet above the railway line.
     At the present time all the arable land on the west side of Hood river have irrigation facilities, and a good commencement has been made on an irrigation ditch on the east side of the valley that will cover 15,000 acres. In a brief time there will not be a ten-acre tract in all this district but what may have its running brook, its fragrant meadow.
     The country adjacent to the upper reaches of Hood river is covered with forest growth, and the timber adjacent to the river has been estimated as high as a billion of feet.
     Last year were shipped some 37,000 crates, or over one million pounds of strawberries, which went to Omaha, St. Paul, Duluth, Denver, Salt Lake and other markets. There are also about 120,000 standard fruit trees, largely apples, in orchard form.
     Such, in brief, are some of the characteristics of Hood River Valley; but apart from these it has an esthetic value that should not be overlooked. Here beauty and sublimity are added to wealth of the forest and soil. The climate is most salubrious, the air a luxury to breathe. The western breezes, fragrant with the odors of the pines and firs of a hundred miles of forest, and nowhere does the glorious sunlight lead a warmer blush on fruit and flower than in this mountain vale. Ascend to the level of the plateau just above the village and objects of physical grandeur are everywhere about. To the south, so beautiful and seemingly so near, rises the graceful, immaculate shaft, Mt. Hood, that all Oregonians love. To the north, Adams rears its bulky form more than 12,000 feet above the sea, sovereign of all the lesser peaks from Shasta to Rainier, while at their very feet flow in ceaseless measures the garnered waters of an empire. Modest and plain our homes, but grand and incomparable our surroundings.
     The fruit products are not limited to apples and strawberries, but include pears, peaches, prunes, blackberries and all varieties of small fruit, while clover and the various grasses, wheat, potatoes, vegetables and garden products succeed admirably, especially under irrigation.  
     Six or seven saw mills, three of which cut from 50,000 to 150,000 feet of lumber per day, employing many men, are operating in the valley. The available water power is fully 120,000 horsepower and equals that of Spokane. Hundreds of visitors spend their summer vacations in the valley, camping, hunting, fishing or wheeling, each year. There are no cyclones to terrify, no blizzards to chill nor thunderstorms to destroy. Water is pure and abundant, fuel to be had at a slight cost above the cutting.
     Lands can be purchased at from $25 to $200 per acre, according to location, improvements, etc.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer