The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., September 3, 1908, page 5


     Miss Melissa E. Hill, who is connected with the School and Home, a magazine devoted to the interests mentioned on its title page, and who is well known at Hood River, contributes the following excellent article on Hood River to the September number of the magazine:
     Our boat has landed on a white sandy beach of a cottonwood grove, and I shall soon be at home in Hood River. I hasten through the grove toward the setting sun. The mountain hemmed Columbia that has interested me during a ride up 65 miles from Portland is forgotten for another scene, lift upon lift of blue green woods. Between oak and pine, Hood River homes present their green roofs or white or brown fronts. The wild "marigolds" on the sand dunes nod their welcome as I passed to a bridge "Where Flows Hood River" to join the Columbia.
     Over the bridge I go, down long streets of graded lawns. What a place for a home is the town of Hood River! Built as it is on a hillside, with one street elevated a few feet above the other, every home may have a view of river and mountain. No photograph can show the beauty of the location has a whole.
     Right about; face to south for a long pull and a strong pull up to the third bench from the river, and through a pine grove. I have walked two miles along the northern and western boundaries of the village, and everywhere there is evidence of prosperity.
     What are the sources of this prosperity? Hood River valley is generally known as the red apple and strawberry country of the northwest, but it has won this reputation not only because of fine fruit grows in the valley, but also because men live there who know the advantage of organization. Businessmen and farmers pull together in Hood River.
     The business men have an active commercial club, with a wide awake publicity committee, who have issued a most attractive booklet. The merchants have a club. The fruit growers have two unions, the fruit growers' union and the apple growers' union, the latter of which has 240 members, 90 percent of the apple growers in the valley.
     The value of the organization for the former is evinced by the prosperity of the apple growers' union. Sixty-five new members were added this year, although the membership fee has been increased since the organization of the league in 1903. Fruit can be purchased from members of the union through the union only, a plan which prevents unfair combinations between sellers or buyers, and relieves the grower from finding a market.
     The apple grower' union is now building a cold storage plant, which when completed, will be 400 feet long and 40 feet wide, with a capacity of 100,000 boxes of apples. Two hundred and fifty feet of the plant will be completed this year.
     The proximity of good markets is another source of the prosperity of the Hood River homes. With an open river to the sea and three railroads, one through the valley, one on the south and one on the north bank of the Columbia river, the problem of shipping is easily solved.
     "The climate of this place has induced many to make their homes in Hood River. The average number of days in each year when the temperature is above 90, is nine, and the average number of days when it is below freezing is 74. Winter commences late and spring early, and wild flowers picked in February are not uncommon. The average maximum temperature over a period of 15 years is 39 degrees for February and 41 degrees for January, and for July and August 79 degrees. The average minimum temperature for these months is 29 degrees for January and February and 54 degrees for the months of July and August. The rainfall is 35 inches." -- Commercial Club Booklet.
     Many persons with tired nerves or weak lungs or with asthmatic coughs, have found itself in the mountain breeze and sunshine of Hood River; and many strong, active people have retained their strength and activity while they have worked and become wealthy.
     The resources and industries of the valley and town are so generally known that only a summary is needed to assure one that Hood River homes have a strong foundation. The fine land of the valley - 30 miles long and from three to eight miles wide -- the exhaustless supply of water for irrigation and the timber make possible varied industries. The town has a large flour mill, three cold storage plants -- two for fruit and one for meat -- an ice plant, a vinegar plant and an electric light plant. In the valley there are three saw mills. One hundred carloads of strawberries were shipped from Hood River this year and the apple crop will be the largest Hood River has ever had.
     Six thousand people now call Hood River valley and town home. The Japanese have found a home, for they are needed to clear the timber from the new land; the Turks because they make good helpers on the farms, the sturdy rancher, without whom the west could never have been called home, has built his "wee bit ingle;" the artist, Hood River claims at least three, has found a home suited to his temperament; the musician, a home where his harmonies are appreciated. All are striving for "quality," the slogan of Hood River valley and town.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer