The Columbia Gorge Hotel was built by Portland lumberman Simon Benson in 1921 on the site of the former Wau Gwin Gwin Hotel. The Columbia Gorge Highway had recently reached Hood River, bringing a steady stream of automobile traffic right by the hotel. This photo was taken in the 1920's, shortly after its construction. Here's a more recent view.
What a dramatic change from Wau Gwin Gwin....Simon Benson had more bucks to command than Bobby Rand. While the former was quaint, the CGHotel is Grand.......
James Holloway on 1st September 2011 @ 8:56am
Yes, it is grand. Hood River apparently won the draw for the grandest hotel on the new highway route.
We benefit from the generosity of men like Benson, Sam Hill and others. They apparently did not enter this venture for the purpose of making more bucks, but for some philanthropic gesture to share the beauty of this area with others.
l.e. on 1st September 2011 @ 8:53pm
My mother, Lois, was fond of telling the story of her Odell High School home economics class visitng the hotel and the absolutely wonderful stainless steel kitchen... She would have loved to see this picture as it is a view that I'm sure she remembered fondly.
Arlen Sheldrake on 2nd September 2011 @ 12:34am
My dance class performed in the main dining room area of the hotel when I was about 7 years old. I personally was involved in decorating this beautiful historic building for Christmas for a number of years before it has become what it is now.. Yes, I have met Oscar, the live in spirit, and others. I have a claim to fame there that probably no one else has, I have danced on the bar in the Valentino Lounge.....(music playing and I am standing on bar decorating and decided to do my own dance.)
Charlott on 2nd September 2011 @ 6:55am
I remember when it became Neighbors of Woodcraft a retirement home.
judy on 30th September 2011 @ 9:22am
At the age of 13, I probably was the youngest bell boy in the country to have worked at the Columbia Gorge Hotel under management fo Peter Fred Clark and his wife. It was my first experience of tasting homogenized milk and the smell of cigars in the lobby. I was extatic when I recieved my first 25 cent tip.
Bill Pattison on 8th October 2011 @ 8:32pm
I explored it top to bottom when I worked there when it was Neightbors of Woodcraft. Stunning rooms, left just as they were. Neighbors only used the 1st and 2nd floors.
Libby Bickford on 7th January 2017 @ 9:44pm
Thanks for your recent comments Libby. They brought me back to reading the enjoyable comments from our locals five years ago.
L.E. on 8th January 2017 @ 1:53pm
Cool Historical Hotel. For the prices, the owner should put some more money into the up keeping of the building, especially paying special attention to the plumbing.
Mr. & Mrs. Ramsey on 20th October 2018 @ 9:32pm