The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., October 2, 1913, page 1

Auto Tour Made Of Valley
Stag Luncheon Enjoyed at Eggermont and Enthusiastic Road Meeting Held Tuesday Night

     With sunshine from a clear sky and a touch of autumn chill to make the air invigorating, no better day could have been wished for Tuesday, when Portland good roads enthusiasts came here and were the guests of local roads enthusiasts.
     The visiting men came on a specially chartered Pullman, which was placed on a siding in the local yards and returned to Portland on the early mail train yesterday morning. They were met on their arrival by a delegation of local men and taken out for a ride over the West Side roads and through the orchard districts. Returning from there to the city they rode up the East Side grade, being allowed to get the view of the Hood River gorge scenery, and taken out over the East Side roads to Eggermont, where Secretary Ravlin and President Clark, of the Commercial club, were hosts at a luncheon.
     The route led out of the city over the state road to the ranch home of J.W. Hinrichs. There all left the automobiles and walked to a jutting point on the bluffs of the Columbia, where a magnificent view was had up and down the great stream. Mr. Hindrichs presented the party with boxes of the old fashioned sweet apples, which were delicious and caused the praise of all.
     The machines then, piloted by Mayor Blanchar, turned back on the State road and crossed over to the Belmont district, traversing back to the Portland Way and Oak Grove. They drove thence past the Ravlin home and struck the macadam on the West Side at the top of the Davidson hill. The journey then continued over that way to the city and out over the East Side to Eggermont.
     Here the guests and local men, as well, had the most pleasant surprise of the day, when they were tendered the luncheon by the secretary and president of the Commercial club. No sooner had the first car entered the grove of beautiful trees that surround the country home at the point made by the confluence of Neal creek and Hood river then the savory odor of fried chicken met them and accentuated the keen appetite made by the ride in the invigorating atmosphere. The luncheon was strictly a stag affair. No women were on the premises of Egermont Tuesday, and Mr. Clark and Mr. Ravlin, with white aprons and coats were busy in the big kitchen, frying chicken and fish, baking corn bread and preparing soup and oyster cocktails. The men who were so fortunate as to enjoy the feed will never forget it. Someone was heard to murmur: "Well, if they call that a luncheon in Hood River valley, what will a real dinner be?"
     Mr. Ravlin must have taken lessons from a southern mammy. No one ever ate more delicious corn pope. Mr. Clark's chicken was cooked to the taste of and an epicure, and his fish, brown and juicy and fresh from the West Fork of the Hood river, were excellent. The crowd gave a curtain call for the cooks after the meal was finished and each was enjoying a big red cheeked Hood River apple -- just looking at it -- for there was no place for it in the inner man. The apples were taken home as souvenirs.
     The fish were caught Monday by William Baker and Ivan Dakin, who made a special trip to the West Fork above Dee for this "piece de resistance" for the luncheon. These young man returned home with 115 fine trout after an afternoon's sport. Some of the fish where 14 inches in length.
     And Hood River men were waiters at the luncheon. Garbed in white aprons and coats, C.A. Belle, R.E. Scott, J.H. Heilbrenner, Truman Butler, P.S. Davidson and Joe D. Thomison juggled plates of bread and soup with a surprising ease. And all the time in the kitchen and out there was chatter of the wonderful scenery of the valley and what the Columbia highway would mean.
     "Say, fellows," Ravlin was heard to say to the waiters, as he was heaping plates with corn pope," "wouldn't it be great to have a country club here. This kind of shows us what we could do with a thing of that kind." "Yes," was the concerted answer, "and just wait till the road is through and we will have it."
     After luncheon the men left in the automobiles for a ride over the Neal creek canyon, where Mother Nature has simply outdone herself in garbing the Little Child Earth in a robe of purple Oregon grape and silver and gold vine maples. From a butte near the home of Jake Lenz, the visitors were able to see the Upper Valley and the stretch of orchards in the Lower Valley, looking back across the Columbia gorge to Mount Adams.
     At 7:30 Tuesday afternoon a public reception was tendered to S. Benson, whose donation of $10,000 for the work of making the road around Shell Rock mountain, has been the greatest boost the highway has ever had. Citizens from all parts of the valley flocked to the rooms of the Commercial club to meet the wealthy lumberman. The following Upper Valley delegations was present: John Goldsbury, Ward I. Cornell, Barroll & Busch, and G.M. Uptegrove. No speakers at a political, religious or any other kind of a meeting have been more enthusiastically received than were the Portland good road enthusiasts and those from other parts of the northwest, who addressed the large audience. A renewed enthusiasm was created for the scenic road, and with a unanimity of feeling the men and women many times broke into applause.
     "The days of argument and resolutions as to good roads have passed," said Rufus Holman, Multnomah county commissioner and the first speaker of the evening. "And now is the time for action. This Columbia river road is going to be a great thing for Portland and you people of Hood River valley. The revenue that you will receive from the tourist traffic will more than repay for the expense of building an excellent system of highways through your community."
     Mr. Holman and was followed by the Hon. John P. Hardman, president of the Washington state good roads association, who told of the bitter fights that the people of King county and other sections of his state had had in getting good roads. He declared that but for the misgoverning of the neighboring state Washington would already have had a Columbia River highway. This road was begun several years ago at the instigation of Samuel Hill. Mr. Hardman and others, and convicts, until they were withdrawn, worked near Lyle, where several miles of the proposed highway have been cut through solid rock. Mr. Hardman's address took a "See America First" trend. The citizens of the Northwest, he declared, should take advantage of the assets of a profligate nature. He cited the instance of Switzerland taking the enormous toll yearly from American people of wealth, who crossed the Atlantic to travel on the good roads of the Alpine district. Mr. Hardman then told of what had been accomplished at Rainier National Park by the construction of good highways. "If you people here in Oregon don't hurry," he said, "we will get all of the tourists and you will have none left."
     According to Mr. Harfman, King county has bonded for $3,000,000 and has made it possible to secure $2,000,000 more for the construction of good roads.
     Major H.L. Bowlby, executive officer of the Pacific Highway Association and Oregon state highway engineer, stated that he would begin work soon on the survey of the highway through Hood River county. Mr. Bowlby reiterated the expressions as to the benefit of the road and urged the people to get together in their desires and work for its hurried completion.
     Next followed that fluent Welchman, Frank Terrace, adopted son of King county and one of the most enthusiastic good roads advocates in the world. The words came from Mr. Terrace's throat like the blows of the smithy's sledge falling on the anvil, and every time he spoke he struck the iron hot, and the sparks flew. With wit a plenty and wisdom, too, he told of the mistake that farmers make in not hastening the day of the construction of better roads. He told of the campaign begun by Samuel Hill for better highways in Clarke county. "The farmers held up their hands in Holy horror and declared that he had an axe to grind," said Mr. Terrace, "and that makes me think of a story. Once there was a very pious old woman, who was simply starving. The village cut-ups, deciding to have some fun with the old woman, bought a five cent loaf of bread and taking it and tossing it in at her open door, awaited results. The pious old creature knelt on the floor and thanked the Almighty for his kindness in sending the sustenance. Then one of the boys stuck his head in at a window and asked: "Do you really think the Lord sent you that bread?" "Yes, I know he must of sent it if the Devil ietched(sic) it." And, Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, let us make good roads, even if the railroads do offer them to us."
     Mr. Terrace, who is a member of the Oregon state grange, said that it was often the man paying the least taxes who kicked on high taxation for good roads. He recalled an instance of his local community, where a man was raising a mighty howl, and though, when an investigation was made, was found assessed for property that would increase this tax payment just 30 cents.
     Col. C.S. Jackson, owner of the Portland Journal, was the next speaker. "I'll just bet he's droll," someone was heard to mutter as he stepped up in front of the audience. And scarcely were the words spoken when Col. Jackson declared that "Sam Hill" had been a cuss word down in his country. With bits of advice veiled in jest, Col. Jackson urged the building of better roads and warned the people that they should get a dollar's worth of value for every dollar spent. He declared that too many people were like the lightning bug, with their headlights behind, reciting that little bit of verse:

"The lightning bug has much brilliancy,
But he hasn't got much mind.
Though he flashes his light through the night,
his headlights on behind

     The Portland editor urged that a water highway be made in the channel of the Columbia, declaring that the people did not give the importance enough to this method of transportation.
     The evening session was closed by a Samuel Hill, who at the close of his interesting recital of his trips abroad and the struggles that he has had in Washington over the good roads movements presented to the Hood River audience the views of a number of beautiful scenes of this country and abroad. Mr. Hill showed some of the most scenic spots of Europe, the Rhine and in other much visited communities. Then followed the Columbia River scenes, which in comparison far surpassed the views of foreign lands.
     The last pictures on the screen showed the different effects of the time of the day on well known and well loved points of beauty of the northwest. The sun came up tinting a rose color the snows of Mount Hood, and after dawn came the midday sun, melting away to the afterglow, all the time the shadows and light changing on the screen. Night settled her sable robes, as Mr. Hill said, as the stars were seen to twinkle above the crest of ghostlike white of the snow peak, and the Hood River audience was hushed, silently looking and admiring.
     The Portland delegation was composed of J.B. Yeon, W.E. Coeman, H.L. Keats, S. Benson, A.S. Benson, H.L. Pittock, Paul Wessinger, W.L. Lightner, Rufus Holman, L.V. Hart, Guy W. Talbot, Engineer Elliott, Major H.L. Bowlby, Samuel Hill, C.S. Jackson, Bert McKay, A.H. Averil, J.B. Middleton, H.L. Corbett and Fred S. Stanley. Wells A. Bell, district attorney, of The Dalles, was here, as was H.C. Richardson, of Maryhill.
     The local men who furnished their automobiles for the day were P.S. Davidson, Leslie Butler, J.H. Heilbronner, W.E. King, E.O. Blanchar, C.W. Hooker, J.E. Robertson, Louis Goodenberger, E.L. McClain and H.F. Davidson. Those accompanying the Portland man on the visit, with the drivers of the machines were: E.L. Smith, C.A. Bell, Judge Castner, G.A. McCurdy, J.R. Putnam, C.T. Early, Truman Butler, R.B. Bennett and S.A. Mitchell.
     In a committee meeting representing the three local banks, Mr. Blanchar, Mr. Butler and Mr. Mitchell Tuesday morning decided to take care of the expenses of the day's conference. This shows the unanimity of public sentiment.
     From Odell, Harry Connoway, Mark Cameron and Thomas Lacey were present for the meeting. Roy D. Smith and A.I. Mason were present. Telegrams were received from E.E. Coovert, Julius L. Meier and M.C. Dickinson and read by W.L. Clarke, who presided over the meeting. All regretted that they were unable to be present.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer