This photo captures a seminal moment in the history of the Crag Rats. The Crag Rats incorporated in late 1926, describing themselves as a skiing and mountaineering club, as well as a mountain rescue organization. In January 1927 16 year-old Calvin White Jr. became lost while skiing out of Government Camp. After three days of searching, Crag Rat Bill Cochran found White, and with assistance of other Crag Rats brought him down to the Battle Axe Inn. He lost some toes to frostbite, but as you can see he survived. For many years after that rescue Calvin's father would host a banquet for the Crag Rats in early January.
This photo includes (left to right): Earl Hammond, Dr. White (Calvin's father), Harry Griffith (police officer), Mr and Mrs. Joseph Brownlee, William Cochran, and Calvin White Jr.
I've been talking with the Crag Rats for several years to figure out how to make sure their collection of images is properly preserved for the future. Most of their collection has now received proper archival treatment, and they are happy to share it digitally with HHR viewers. I'll be working more Crag Rats images into our lineup in the future.
If you know of any other collections of photos which tell the history of Hood River county, contact the museum and we'll help you figure out how to make sure that history isn't lost.
This no doubt was taken at Battle Ax Inn. I have heard the name Brownlee, but can't place it right now.
Charlott on 15th December 2015 @ 7:13am
Calvin was the baby of the family of Dr. Calvin Stuart White and his wife Gertrude. Dr. White was a native of Pennsylvania and she was from Gervais, Oregon. Dr. White only lived three years after this photo was taken.
Young Calvin and his wife Margaret ended up in Honalulu, Hawaii, where he died in 1949.
Charlott on 15th December 2015 @ 8:25am
When I was growing up in the Camas/Washougal area, my dad spoke of the Crag Rats with the greatest of respect. He was not a skier, so I suspect it was the rescue portion that he respected.
Definitely an organization whose history needs to be preserved and archived.
L.E. on 15th December 2015 @ 10:01am
Any comments on the unusual outer wear by Mr. Hammond on the left? More commonly seen in pictures of polar exploration.
nels on 15th December 2015 @ 10:06am
Eskimos called an outergarment parka like that an anorak.
Buzz on 15th December 2015 @ 12:40pm
For those that don't know the Crag Rats are the oldest search and rescue organization in the United States.
I remember going with my Dad over to Government Camp a day or two after Battle Ax Inn burnt in 1950.
Charlott on 15th December 2015 @ 10:54pm