Meet Charles James Reither, when he was a 25 year old conductor on the Maumee-Perrysburg (Ohio) Interurban Line. He was much better known later in his life as "Chicken Charlie" who resided on the small island in the Columbia between Hood River and Mosier, where he raised chickens and sold eggs to passing steamers.
"Chicken Charlie" must have enjoyed the reclusive life on his island. I would think it could get sort of nasty out there in the winter, but guess he wouldn't worry much as he had no intention of going anywhere.
He no doubt would have had to have had some sort of boat, as periodically he would need some sort of groceries. Where did he get his wood for his fire? Would he have had to get it on the mainland and ferry it over? I wouldn't think he would have enough on the island, even though prior to Bonneville he had more land than shows now. Not that many trees grow there and he would have wanted those I would think for shade.
He was 80 years old when he passed away and is buried in the Mosier Cemetery.
charlott on 29th August 2017 @ 7:17am
Fascinating. Sadly, the camera was ficused just behind his head, at the distance of the chair back. It was so hard to get that right back then.
Kyle on 29th August 2017 @ 8:42am
When I saw the previous photo of his cow, I wondered where he got his hay from. Not sure the Island would have produced enough grass to make hay for the winter.
L.E. on 29th August 2017 @ 8:46am
Wonderful to see a young chicken charlie.
Maybe he traded his eggs for wood from the passing steamers.
Marilyn on 29th August 2017 @ 8:47am
Well, I had my question about hay answered, along with a claim there were never any chickens, and the island used to be part of Washington.
".....Charlie was not an uneducated man, and suscrbed to such magazines as Time and Life and National Geographic and Horoscope. He built “the shortest operating railroad, the Charlie Reither Hayfield Special” to carry timoty grass he’d planted from the fields to the barn...."
L.E. on 29th August 2017 @ 10:02am
That wiki cites some questionable sources. We have multiple photos of chicken coops, including Earl Conser photos prior to 1904. We have no photos of a short line railroad even though we have photos which clearly show the entire island-- including a detailed 1935 survey.
Arthur on 29th August 2017 @ 10:36am
The Island being part of Washington, is what I questioned.
I did find this about the boundary change.
Charlie's brother George filed the homestead claim in 1922? and lived on the Island and in Bingen.
At age 71, he was struck and killed by a car while walking to the Masonic Lodge meeting in White Salmon. He often rowed across the river and attended the HR Masonic Lodge. George is buried at Idlewilde.
Brother Sam Reither was Superintendent of Klickitat County Public Schools.
L.E. on 29th August 2017 @ 2:28pm
Note that at the left top of link page, there are more pages to open and read. Interesting if you understand survey lingo.
L.E. on 29th August 2017 @ 2:53pm
Too often, I forget to check the tag links for these photos. Usually the best source for history.
L.E. on 29th August 2017 @ 4:29pm
Is there a "newer" photo of Charlie? One where he was living on the island?
Jill Stanford on 29th August 2017 @ 8:15pm
We'll see Charlie in his later years next week.
Arthur on 30th August 2017 @ 9:18am