The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., March 28, 1907, page 8


     Lyman Smith, a former resident of Hood River, who now lives in Portland, is one of the few surviving members of the Hood River colony which landed here in November, 1875. The party numbered 90 and started for Oregon from Elmira, N.Y. It was organized by Parkhurst, who died on the way and was buried in California. In telling about the colony and the early days of Hood River, Mr. Smith says:
     "We had to come to Oregon by way of San Francisco, coming up the coast as in those days there was no railroad up the river. We went on the boats, transferring at Cascade Locks, and it cost us $5 apiece. When we got to Hood River there were no accommodations, and we built barracks, which we used until we were able to take up land and erect homes. Mrs. Parkhurst secured 160 acres of what is now best land in Hood River valley, and, after living on it awhile vainly endeavored to sell it for $300 in order to return East, as she had become homesick. Money, however, was a scarce thing in those days at Hood River. People were not getting $3.15 a box for Spitzenbergs, and the biggest crop was rattlesnake and coyotes. The coyotes used to chase the children home from school in winter evenings. I think my daughter was the first teacher at Hood River opening school shortly after we came here, in a building that is still standing, but is now part of a farmhouse.
     "The original town of Hood River was started a considerable distance west of the present one, and the first store was established there. It was rumored that the railroad would be pushed through to the coast and that the station would be placed near that point. Indians were plentiful at that time, and there was a big camp of them near the spring on the hill from which the present town gets its water. Until the colony came there were not over half a dozen white families in the valley. Among the sellers there was Peter Henrichs, who is still living and owns the first land he took up. Peter lived in a cave. He was a great reader, and it is told of him that he got interested in a book one night and after finishing it thought he would take a look at the weather before retiring. When he reached the mouth of the cave he was astonished to find that it was daylight and the sun shining. He had read all night. He used the cave as a residence for two years, and during that time a report was started by some newly arrived settler that a volcano was smoking in the valley. That news created considerable of the panic. When we came to find out, however, the smoke was coming from Peter's cave. The pipe from his stove did not project above the ground, and it gave the impression that the smoke was issuing from the earth.
     "The only apple orchard hear then was a small one of perhaps half an acre, owned by a man named Watson, who had been instrumental in bringing the colony here." -- Telegram.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer