The Hood River News-Letter, Hood River, OR., March 2, 1907, page 1


     Hon. E.L. Smith has passed another milestone in the history of Hood River. Yesterday, the 1st day of March, 31 years ago, Mr. Smith and family landed in Hood River. In thinking over the names of those who were here when he came he can recall but those of D.A. Turner, F.M. Jackson, and S.M. Baldwin on the East Side and Jim Wallace, F.C. Sherrieb and Mrs. Ingalls on the West Side. There was not a house in the business section of Hood River and the Indians were camped where the Mount Hood hotel now stands.
     Mr. Smith moved out on his ranch and the wild game came right up to his door. An elk came one day into the door yard and drink from the spring. At another time the water of the spring became very muddy as it went by the house and Mr. Smith, wondering what caused it, went to see and found a big black bear wallowing in the pool.
     Mr. Smith has seen many wonderful changes in his little stay in Hood River. He has seen the desert gradually driven back, and the happy homes of the homesteaders take its place, only to be removed later by the orchardist and the fruit grower, who divided the land into smaller tracts until now it is hard to indicate to the causal observer with the country ends and the city begins. The railroad and heavy river steamer have taken the place of the pack mules and the little tug boats as a means of transportation.
     There is a debt we owe to these old pioneers which we should not grudgingly pay. It is to them that we owe the very existence of our city. To their thrift, their energy, their bravery amidst hardships such as we never meet with here and now, dangers of that never come to our doors is in these later times, and which it is simply impossible for us to realize, is due a debt of gratitude that is only equaled by the beneficent result of their toil and dangers -- the beautiful and fruitful valley of Hood River.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer