This 1938 postcard has a surprising relevance today. It was part of the attic find I mentioned yesterday. Because it related to Samuel Lancaster, engineer of the Columbia River Highway, I sent a copy to the ODOT historian. He requested a high resolution copy of the image for an ODOT geologist. It seems as they are evaluating fire damage in the Toothrock Tunnel area they can use a good early photo reference, and this is as good as it gets: the tunnel was built to reroute the highway around the Bonneville Dam in 1936, and this sharp photo postcard is a great perspective to show the details of the rock face back then.
It looks like Lancaster needed an additional source of funds by 1938, so he was selling these photos as a little side line. Remember the country was just starting to emerge from the Great Depression, so times were tough all around.
I thought the text was a fancy font, but the ODOT historian suggested it was hand lettered by Lancaster and sent handwriting samples to confirm. Lancaster had a meticulous and artistic hand, so it is quite likely he hand lettered this card. I think he should have marketed a font instead of these photos!
Tags: 1930s Bonneville_Dam Columbia_River Columbia_River_Highway dam Lancaster Mt_Hood
Interesting, but don't think Mt. Hood sat there....Two photos put together I assume. I really should see Mona's hill top, but can't pick it out in this particular photo.
charlott on 19th September 2017 @ 7:10am
I bet you are right Charlott about the two photos.
It is an interesting and beautiful photo but convinces me even more that no one more than the United States Federal Government has created huge changes within the Columbia Gorge and on the Columbia River.
L.E. on 19th September 2017 @ 8:13am
Unusually high contrast line around the Mt Hood chunk of the photo... does indeed look like a slice/paste job. And man, that handwriting... gorgeous.
Kyle on 19th September 2017 @ 8:53am
Not sure how well this translates, but here's a quick n dirty google maps view:
spinsur on 19th September 2017 @ 9:12am
I have always understood that the Bonneville Slide came from the Washington side, but looking at the face of that hillslide, it looks like the front half of it dropped off to the river below.
When Lewis and Clark went through this area, it was rough going with large boulders.
L.E. on 19th September 2017 @ 9:21am
Mona's mansion on Bonneville Rock is off to the right of this photo.
The slide is from Table Mtn in WA and caused the big jog in the river that puts the Bridge of the Gods almost on an east-west alignment. Walking trail 400 west from Cascade Locks you are on part of what was WA that is now south of I-84.
Kenn on 19th September 2017 @ 3:50pm
I've examined the original carefully. I don't see any evidence this is multiple images stitched together. It looks like someone added two lines to help delineate the ridge lines. There are a few places where the line lifts above the ridge slightly. If that was a seam the background wouldn't match, but it does. Even the clouds seem to be legit, though it was common with postcards to add a different cloud field.
Arthur on 20th September 2017 @ 12:23am
Thanks for re-examining Arthur. Last night I played around with Spinsur's google link, and came to the conclusion the photo might possibly be an original.
Looking at the google map also helped me realize the terrain my dad hiked through when he helped clear the right of way for the power lines.
L.E. on 20th September 2017 @ 8:45am
I had no idea Mt Hood would have been this close as seen from above if this photo/postcard is real. Lancaster might have been a brilliant person, with a beautiful "hand" in creating this postcard, but he misspelled his profession. Or, he realized he was just about to run out of room!
Jill Stanford on 20th September 2017 @ 11:58am
I just talked to a photographer friend who used to work at the dam and lived in N. Bonneville.. he is looking for a photo he took 6-7 years ago that is very similar, which confirms Kenn's comment above that this is one image. When I get my friends pic I can share a link to it here
Darlisa on 20th September 2017 @ 12:53pm
Scott Cook sent an almost identical image he took of this same view, verifying the mountain is in the proper place/ proportion for a single exposure.
Arthur on 22nd September 2017 @ 3:42pm
Quite the patchwork of old fire scars to the seen in this photo.
Longshot on 28th September 2017 @ 9:06pm
Mt Hood looks out of perspective, being much too large. There is also a whole bunch of mountains to the east of Eagle Creek that have mysteriously disappeared. This is cut and paste in my mind.
Longshot on 28th September 2017 @ 9:23pm