The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., November 9, 1905, page 1

Addition To City's Resources
Description of Its Construction and Advantages -- Has Capacity of 500 horsepower and Cost $30,000.

     About a mile up the Hood River valley, partially hidden by a clump of trees, is an unpretentious looking building housing an enterprise that is perhaps to be more closely identified with the comfort, convenience and prosperity of the city of Hood River than any institution that has over been erected within or near its confines. It is the new plant of the Electric Light & Power company, with a capacity of' 500 horsepower, and is obtained from the most economical motive power known to man -- water.
     While it takes just as much power to produce a given quaintly of electrical a horsepower as it does to produce an equal number of steam horse-power, electrical power, with the exception above noted, is the most economical in use today. The reduced cost of electricity is in its conductivity -- in the fact that it can be conveyed so far away from its base of supply in an almost undiminished quantity and that it can be utilized in so many ways. Therefore, who you have combined water power with electricity you have reached the some of economical motive power.
     The erection of the plant itself was quite an undertaking for its promotion and reflects no small credit upon them, as it also does on the manufacturing resources of Hood River, for practically all the material for its use apart from the machinery was made in this city. The boards for the wood stave pipe, which is five foot in diameter and 3000 feet, in length, were dressed and prepared in the box factory of the Davidson Company, consumed 140,000 feet of lumber. The pipe is banded with half-inch round iron bands, bolted together at the ends with an arrangement which allows them to be loosened or tightened, according to the expansion or contraction of the wood. Two carloads of iron rods were used in the construction of these bands, which were made by Snow & Upson, who bought special machinery and ordered to complete the contract.
     Near the powerhouse and rising out of the top of the pipe is a stand-pipe 43 feet high and about two feet in diameter, with a sluice at the top, which extends downward and empties into a ditch constructed to carry away the waste water. The standpipe is necessary to relieve the strain on the flume when the pressure is too great. Paralleling the railroad embankment for about 1400 feet the pipe runs under the proposed tracks of the new railroad through a culvert, rounds a sharp point on the riverbank and crosses the stream over a bridge of the suspension type. Continuing 1300 feet up the valley, it reaches the dam, which is constructed in a narrow defile in the river, with bluffs rising 200 or 300 feet on each side.
     To construct the dam required one of the nicest engineering feats of the work, as the water here is both deep and swift and the fall from this point to the power house is 56 feet. It is 105 feet across from side to side of the river, 60 feet wide at the base and 20 foot wide on the spillway, with a height of 12 feet. Constructed on the crib plan and braced with huge logs it looks as though it will last for all line. In fact it has already been subjected to one of the severest strains it is likely to ever bear during the recent high water, when driftwood and logs borne down stream by the swift current became caught above the structure and caused a vast quantity of water to pour over the spillway. The water gates consist of two outside ones protected from the driftwood by strong guards, and one inside at the point of intake by which the pressure of the water can be more or less controlled. There is also a waste gate constructed on the opposite side of the dam through which such a volume of water passes as to astonish the beholder. The construction of a fish ladder is about completed as required by the state laws.
     The span of the bridge is 180 foot with approaches on each side and is amply strong to bear the weight of the big water way.
     In the power house the machinery is of the latest construction, consisting of two generators and their exicters, switchboard and latest devices for controlling the current.
     Twin turbines 18 inches in diameter furnish the power for the electrical They are of the McCormick new type high speed and were especially manufactured for this purpose. The distinctive feature about them being that they are directly connected to the same shaft that oper-ates the generator.
     The selection of the site of this plant is a very good one as while it is almost as low as the river bed it-self, which is necessary in order to obtain such a fine fall of water, it is protected from high water in the river by the railroad embankment at this point. The generator and dynamos are placed on a concrete foundation varying from 12 to 11 feet thick, thereby reducing the vibration to a minimum. The water wheel is of the McCormick patent, built by the S. Morgan Smith company of York, Pa., and the generator of the Bullock manufacture, of Cincinnati, Ohio. It is of the latest revolving field type and was supplied by their agents at Seattle, the Bogart-Bates company.
     The plant was put in operation for lighting service on Nov. 1, and on Nov. 12 a 24-hour service for both light and power will be inaugurated. It is now supplying power for 1450 lights, but has a capacity of between 5,000 and 6,000 lights.
     A 40 horsepower induction motor, with accompanying electrical apparatus, is being placed in the Davidson Fruit company 's plant to operate its refrigerating machinery, and a number of business places in this city are going to put motors in to supply power for various purposes.
      The plant is complete in every de-tail and is far superior to many to be found in towns of much greater magnitude than Hood river, and presents an opportunity to manufacturers seeking a location where transportation facilities will be in a year or so be as good if not better than most places in the state, and within easy access of Pacific Coast points, while avoiding the high taxation that prevails in large cities.
     To place the entire plant in operation cost $130,000.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer