Due to heavy snowfall I'm calling an HHR "snow day." I've rescheduled the rest of Benjamin Gifford week and substituted some more seasonal photos.
I'll add an observation: I used to think it snowed much more "back then" because we have so many pictures of snowy scenes. Then I looked at my own photo collection, and realized people like to take pictures of unusual things like deep snow. So I'll trust the record keepers to tell us if we have more or less snow today, while enjoying seeing how Hood River looked under a blanket of snow a hundred years ago.
This image from Arline and Max Moore's album shows a very snowy scene from the winter of 1915-16. Arline Moore's note says, "First St. looking north from State winter of 1915-16. Snow was six feet in places when the storm was over." I'm sure she meant "Second Street."
Here's the account from The Hood River Glacier. 52 inches in 50 hours, with the first snow closure ever in Hood River school district.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
My Dad, who was born in Hood River in 1906 often spoke about winters and stated that there as much more snow. He said it was common to have the fence posts all buried in the snow.
I remember that 1950, think it was that we had a terrible amount of snow. Okay, Arlen, Buzz, Bill Seaton and Hood Riverites, what was that year in the '50's that Dick and Tom Barney wandered across the Columbia from H. R. to Bingen. That was a bad one as I recall.
Wasn't it 1983 that there was the 5 feet of snow?]
I like this photo, as it is so very basic. Good view of the cotton woods across the tracks, the water tower at the depot, there is Gerde's down there and all the nice new clean buildings up and down the street. I also notice now houses along the Washington rim.....
Charlott on 11th January 2017 @ 7:13am
Snowing at the beach this morning. Damn--no golf. Must have been about 1957 Charlotte.
Buzz on 11th January 2017 @ 7:45am
I edited the "notes" section to add a link to the Glacier article on this storm.
Arthur on 11th January 2017 @ 8:14am
This probably would not be a good promotional "Come To Hood River" photo.
You can see Cook Grade across the River.
I think it did snow more back then Arthur. What we are experiencing now, is like the winters we used to get. It still has a ways to go to cover the fence posts, which used to not be uncommon in the mid-gorge area.
Wasn't 1916 the year the orchards had a damaging ice storm?
L.E. on 11th January 2017 @ 8:28am
This photo is 2nd Street as I recognize the Franz Hardware building down on the right side.
As for large snows I can remember walking to high school in the streets because the snow was too deep on the sidewalks. There was one bus for east side and one for the west side and they got there when they could. We never heard of a "snow day" to stay home.
Norma on 11th January 2017 @ 9:09am
Reading Arthur's link to the HR Glacier made me chuckle.
Sounds like the HRWeather chat.
"WORSE STORMS HAVE PREVAILED
Naturally one of the first thoughts of newer residents of Hood River last week was, "Is this the worst snow storm we have ever had?"
There is some good weather history reading on that page!!
L.E. on 11th January 2017 @ 9:33am
Yes, we've got the Eliot building, Hall Building and Brosius Block defining the intersection of Second and Oak. This was just a couple of years before the construction of City Hall.
I like the Glacier headline that this was the worst traffic tie-up since 1883. Back then "traffic" referred to trains and riverboats.
Arthur on 11th January 2017 @ 9:36am
I like to say that I walked to school with snow clear up to my arm pits. However, I failed to mention that I was only 4' tall😂 The last big snowfall I recall in HR was the winter of '79 - '80.
Judy on 11th January 2017 @ 12:45pm
I think I walked from the heights to Park Street School around 1949 and it does seem like snow was up to my arm pits. Charlott, did Dick and Tom make it all the way across? What grade were they in?
cg on 11th January 2017 @ 1:46pm
I added a photo I took today of the same scene.
Arthur on 11th January 2017 @ 3:35pm
Even though the old photo shows the depot, the today photo seems to put it in better perspective for me.
Question. How was the water tower filled? From a spring?
L.E. on 11th January 2017 @ 6:16pm
LE, as usual, you sent me back to the books with your question. You mention the depot in the 1916 picture-- but the depot we have today was built in 1911, and we know it's not under the 2nd Street overpass. Turns out the building we see beyond the water tank isn't the depot, it is the Stranahan & Clark Hay and Grain Warehouse. It is present in the 1909 Sanborn map, but not the 1916 map, so it must have burned or been removed shortly after this photo.
I don't know how the tank was filled. I suspect it was on the city water line, but don't have any proof. The Wilson reservoir pipe which powered the industrial buildings runs right past here, but it was built after the tank.
Arthur on 11th January 2017 @ 8:25pm
I do remember mother Lois being amazed at the neighbor ice skating over the top of our fence posts out Belmont way......that was winter; not sure what year in the 1950s.....but so is what we have in Portland's west hills...this foot is going to be here for some days.
nice today picture of the same location Arthur!
Arlen L sheldrake on 11th January 2017 @ 8:29pm
I think it was 1919 that the trees froze out.
Yes, the two of them made it across the river, but they had second thoughts about coming back. What scared them out was the fact that going across where the boats had cut through and refrozen they could actually see the water swirling around, so wasn't frozen too deep right there. Decided to walk back across the bridge. The bridge tender asked them to pay and they didn't have any money. Finally, Dick called his Dad to come and bail them out...His father wasn't at all impressed with their feat. I know they were in high school as Dick came to Hood River just before the start of his freshman year. But boys will be boys.....that was their only claim to fame on that one.....
Charlott on 11th January 2017 @ 8:48pm
I remember probably during that 1950 snow of going up Fir Mountain to this pond that is still up there where the old community of Fir was and skating. We didn't have skates, just socks over our boots. Dad had skates as some of the Crag Rats used to go up to Green Point and skate and play hockey.
charlott on 12th January 2017 @ 7:23am
I remember February 1950, the year my brother was born, we had 5+ feet of snow. We did not have "snow days", but often they let school out early when there was a blizzard threat so we could all walk home safely.
Also, have pictures of JoAnn and I playing outside the following weeks with just a sweater on with the large piles of snow everywhere.
Jane Wheeler Wonsyld Herman on 12th January 2017 @ 4:30pm
I have never heard of any RR using a city's water, they had their own pipe system or used well, creek or river. Here either gravity or river gave them an easy source. This was a great location compared to their problems on the plains with little water and most of it alkaline.
Kenn on 13th January 2017 @ 11:27am
This issue of the Glacier shows the water tank was built in 1905 and filled by the private water line which fed the industrial uses like the Union Building and the flour mill:
Arthur on 12th February 2017 @ 12:27pm
I have always been surprised at the number of flat roofs in Hood River in both The Heights business area and Downtown. With heavy snow loads on our minds this winter, I once again wonder why? But, they seem to have survived some major dumps of deep snow.
Underwood Mtn, is out of view in this photo, but Arthur's newspaper link talks about a lumber flume on the north side of Underwood Mtn and a dam at the mouth of the White Salmon River. It would be interesting to find out more history about that Menominee Flume.
L.E. on 13th February 2017 @ 4:16pm
The tank was located at the proper distance so the engine could be watered while the train was in the station. There was probably a water spout fed by this same tank east of the station for eastbound trains. I hope to see this spout in other photos.
Kenn on 14th February 2017 @ 5:59pm
Found the photo of the water spout east of the depot in "UP Northwest" on page 68. Passengers and mail had to wait until the engine was spotted exactly under the spout going east or the tank going west.
Kenn on 23rd February 2017 @ 9:10am
I was born in 2000, here in Hood River and the biggest snowfall I have seen so far is the snow/ice storms of 2012 and 2017
mauro on 2nd January 2018 @ 6:47pm
1949-50 winter 5+ feet of snow, at least on the East Side grade and Panorama Point road
Dwaine (Spike) Goodwin on 13th December 2019 @ 5:21pm