This takes a bit of explanation but I think it is worth it. This page from Arline and Max Moore's photo album documents the construction of an early hydroelectric project at Powerdale in 1915. The dam which was removed in 2010 was built circa 1923, but in 1915 a dam was built which provided power to Hood River. As the caption explains, there was an even earlier hydro project here which she describes as a discontinued direct current generator.
It's possible this is the same derelict generator which Alva Day photographed in this 1931 image, though he described it as "an old 125 cycle" rather than direct current. I'm aware of three Powerdale hydro projects along the Hood River: the 1904-05 one which provided the first electricity to the city, the 1913-15 one pictured here, and the 1923 PPL project, but perhaps there were others. Moore and Day both knew their generators.
In other news of interest to HHR fans, renowned local historian Scott Cook will be speaking at the Museum tonight at 7PM. He will be talking about his lifelong quest to find visual remnants of Gorge history as featured in his newly released 4th Edition of "Curious Gorge." Scott researches his books meticulously and his talks are always lively and entertaining. I hope to see you there.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
Arthur, I have found interesting the early 1900's adventures of the local capitalists,around the area, that showed interest in building electrical generation projects. There were lots of people (community elites) with excess money that invested in these schemes. Plots and subplots, lawsuits, people leaving town and even resulted in a state investigation. Eventually the Pacific Power and Electric company won it all.
At the very least it is worth a good sized paper or small booklet documenting this very important time in the Hood River valley. I don't think it would be a best seller, but just having the history would be a fascinating read.
LMH on 10th May 2017 @ 1:00pm
I'm glad I'm not the *only* one interested in this subject. There are two of us!
One of the more interesting aspects to me is there was no AC generation standard (120V 60 Hz in the US) so devices like clocks which were dependent on the voltage and frequency had to be purchased from the power company so they would be compatible. Every electric clock in HR would have had to be replaced when this 125 Hz generator was replaced with a more standard 60 Hz apparatus.
Arthur on 10th May 2017 @ 2:08pm
Arthur, Just a few years ago (2-3?) the last area of New York City converted from Edison's DC power to standard 60Hz AC.
Longshot on 10th May 2017 @ 2:25pm
Were all three Powerdale projects in the same area, and if so, what was special about the area for producing power?
L.E. on 12th May 2017 @ 3:21pm