This letter from the city archives leaves a bit to the imagination. I've transcribed it so it's easier to read:
Hood River, Sept. 5 - 1910
To the City Council. Honorable Gentlemen:
Numerous reports are in circulation concerning the character of a certain pleasure resort in our city conducted by a woman.
The fact that a woman is in charge of such a place frequented by men only is in itself demoralizing to our growing boys and girls.
We therefore earnestly petition that your honorable body take action toward the prompt closing of the place in question.
Respectfully submitted by the Members of the W.C.T.U.
WCTU is the acronym for the Womans' Christian Temperance Association, an organization which was dedicated to the prohibition of alcohol.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
I think this is in reference to a little more than alcohol. Curiosity makes one wish we knew a little more about all of this.
Official name: Woman's Christian Temperance Union. It had it's first real organizational convention in Cleveland, Ohio in November 1874. This organization had a lot of concerns and social reform issues. not only the alcohol issue, but things as international peace, sanitation, health, protsitution, etc.
It is still a working organization or at least it was in 2012 with apoproximately 5,000 members with its headquarters in Evanston, Illinois.
My grandmother was basically a stay home person however, she was a member of the W.C.T.U. I remember, when I was very little, my grandpa having to take her off to the meeting and then returning to pick her up. I think there were a number of units meeting in the Hood River area. I would imagine that there was one at the Pine Grove Church and that is where she and probably the majority of the Pine Grove women went.
Charlott on 3rd March 2017 @ 7:17am
Beautiful penmanship. Interesting how the letter Ts are not actually crossed.
Jen on 3rd March 2017 @ 7:21am
my goodness, a woman run business....for shame.....Della Sheribon, my grandmother (Odell/HR) was a staunch member of the WCTU....will always remember her admonishment to me, $100 if the devils brew doesn't pass your lips until after high school graduation. Missed out on that $ however. Took a long time for my mother to bring herself to even walk down the beer aisle in a grocery store let alone bring a six pack home for her visiting sons.......how times change.....the green weed seems to be running a similar history.
and yes, beautiful penmanship...reminds me of my mother's but NOT mine.
Arlen Sheldrake on 3rd March 2017 @ 8:11am
Arlen, didn't know about the "devil's brew" bet.Thought it was a bet about never smoking until graduation.
Norma on 3rd March 2017 @ 8:33am
Oh no. Innocent men being led astray by a woman in another den of iniquity.
Buzz on 3rd March 2017 @ 8:44am
Wasn't Hood River "dry" in 1910?
L.E. on 3rd March 2017 @ 9:04am
LE, I know prohibition was on the ballot in HR and Oregon several times in that era. I am not sure if it ever passed before the Eighteenth Amendment/ Volstead Act.
That said, I agree with Charlott that we're talking about more than alcohol here. Unfortunately the Sanborn maps don't seem to have a coding for brothels, and the period phone books don't list them either, so I'm not sure how we can learn more about where they were operating in this era.
I've found city marshal reports to the city council, but they don't have nearly the detail of a modern police blotter.
Arthur on 3rd March 2017 @ 9:36am
should have been smoking (now I have COPD) Norma but father John was a chain smoker and that would have caused a marital problem I think as father John wasn't much into what the WCTU was peddling.
Arlen Sheldrake on 3rd March 2017 @ 10:47am
I thought it was dry because of the Coe stipulation, but in the history of the Waucoma Hotel, it says that HR was bone dry until 1900, when courts made a decision about the Coe prohibitory clause. By June of 1900, there were two saloon licenses for HR.
Oddly enough, there is an article in the June 16, 1910 page 3 Glacier concerning an effort to close the Underwood Saloon. "...As White Salmon and Hood River are dry, the Underwood saloon does a thriving business...."
Whatever the name of the "woman", it probably will not be found in the Hood River Glacier social pages.
L.E. on 3rd March 2017 @ 10:51am
The expression "health and pleasure resort" was not uncommon in the Columbia Gorge area in 1910.
L.E. on 3rd March 2017 @ 11:56am
Country Club Inn run by Grandma Munra in 1904 was considered a "popular pleasure resort".
L.E. on 20th April 2017 @ 1:02pm
Gramma Munra ran the RR eating house at Bonneville (before trains had diners) and Munra Point is named for her. She later ran the one at Meacham but I had not heard before of her being in HR.
Kenn on 20th April 2017 @ 7:22pm
My understanding is that under the Local Option law the citizens of Hood River voted for it to be dry. The only tavern I can remember while growing up was Tip Top Tavern, which was just outside the city limits on Tucker Road.
Jeffrey Bryant on 21st April 2017 @ 4:12pm