The Fashion Garage at the base of Oak Street was a downtown landmark from the early 1900s until it burned in this spectacular fire. The three story building included a livery, a garage and a trucking company, though by 1929 the livery business was probably in decline. In hindsight, the mixture of hay for the horses, gasoline and oil for the automobiles, and a wood frame structure was probably not a great idea.
The building went down the hill in the back to the train tracks, and was the site of that great Fred Donnerberg photo of the steam powered donkey we saw a while back.
We have the ID of only one person in the image. Chas. Carson was the hydrant man in the lower right corner (above the arrow).
It's not easy to capture a fire on film, especially at night, but this photographer (identified as F-W. Loschenkohl) knew what he was doing. The long exposure allowed the fire and the street lamps to illuminate the scene. While blurred subjects isn't normally a good thing, in this case it shows the high drama of the moment as everyone raced to save the contents of the Willard Service Station next door.
The scene of this high drama is now the site of Big Winds on Front Street at the base of Oak.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
Looking at the backside of the building in the Donnerberg photo, the fire must have been huge.
It appears that luckily, it was not one of HR's windy days.
I wonder if the Willard name is connected to the community of Willard up above Cooks Landing.
l.e. on 22nd March 2012 @ 7:16am
Is Willard the name of the service station? Willard was a name brand battery back then, it looks like it may say Willard Battery service on the sign.
Jim Gray on 22nd March 2012 @ 7:48am
I hope no horses died in the fire.
db on 22nd March 2012 @ 8:27am
Very cool photo!
Dan on 22nd March 2012 @ 10:23am
Fred Loschenkohl was a Hood River resident. He came originally from Nevada. Living here until his death in 1956. Don't know if he was an actual photographer or just a man with a camera that knew what he was doing.
Charlott on 22nd March 2012 @ 12:41pm
Evidently Fred Loschenkohl was a photographer and some of his work is included in the Robert Monroe collection at the U. of Washington.
l.e. on 22nd March 2012 @ 7:47pm
Jim asked if "Willard" was the name of the service station or the battery brand. Here's what the signs say:
1) Willard Service Station/ Gibbs Battery Station
2) Gibbs Battery Station
3) Gibbs Radio Battery Service
4) Schiller Repair Shop Authorized Buick Service
So-- I guess I'm not sure what the name of the place is.
Arthur on 23rd March 2012 @ 2:11am
Is what is left "The Ruins" ??
Paul Landau on 26th June 2012 @ 6:00pm
Not quite, Paul-- Check out picture #40. You'll see that the ruins are an old cannery building just east of this building.
Arthur on 26th June 2012 @ 9:53pm
Here are portions of an article from The Oregonian August 26, 1929.
Hood River Flames Raze 7 Buildings
$250,000 property loss is caused by Fire
One of the most spectacular fires in the history of Hood River occurred to-night when a blaze started at 6:45 in the basement of the Old Fashion garage, three-story frame building formerly used as a livery stable and sweeping to neighboring structures at one time threatened the entire east section of the city.....The heaviest damage was suffered by the Hood River Canning company, which lost its entire plant valued at approximately $175,000....Equipment and stock valued at $10,000 and owned by P. L. Tomkins, washing machine dealer, stored in the canning company's building was destroyed....The flames swept the Pacific Fruit Express company's warehouse and office, the Old Fashion garage, the Gibbs Battery station, the warehouse of E.B. Goodrich, the engine house of the Mount Hood railroad and an operator of a truck line. The service station of John Schiller was damaged...Dr. J.M. Creamer, county veterinarian had an office in the garage...John Connell who operated as automobile service ship lost $1,000....Approximately 30 automobiles valued at $8,000 to $10,000 were burned...... A west wind, the city's new $250,000 water system and prompt aid from fire departments of White Salmon, Wash., and The Dalles, Or., were accredited with saving the business district....The blaze attracted residents throughout the district and approximately 4,000 persons crowded the streets of Hood River to watch the battle to save the city.
LMH on 18th January 2019 @ 10:46pm