Here's fine Joe Kollas portrait of Mark Nichols. I'll let his grandson, Rodger Nichols tell the story,
"That is my grandfather, George Mark Nichols (he never used his first name but went by Mark), who founded the Boat Works in 1941 with his brother Luke. Luke soon left for other pursuits and over the years, my father and his three brothers worked there at various times. The other brothers left, and when Grandpa died in 1968, my father, Richard Nichols, who was the only one still working there, bought out the other family members. He was partnered for a number of years with John Hounsell, and when Dad had a serious stroke in 1985, my youngest brother Bob Nichols took over operations and ran it until the business had to close for lack of work in 1998. This photo of Grandpa was a family favorite, and was used in The Oregonian for his obituary."
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
Oh yes......"Dick the Boatman." My daughter was between 2 and 3 when they started construction of the Columbia Gorge. We stopped after they had layed the keel and she didn't really want to leave and dubbed that "her boat." Every time we came to Hood River she insisted we stop so she could see "her boat." My mother was a very close friend of Kathleen Nichols and finally told her about that.........Time went on and the same thing. Always stop to marvel at the boat. Apparently Kathleen told Dick and he said as it neared completion that the next time she came up he would take her personally on it. The time came and talk about excitement as Grammy took her to the boat works and she was carried on the "royal" tour by none other than Dick himself. They had just attached the bell and she was the first person other than the actual work crew to get to ring it. Oh what a day.......Home she came to tell Mom and Dad about her trip to "her boat." Next thing she wanted to write a letter of thank you to him.......She wrote a bunch of jibberish on a paper and then I wrote under what it said. However, when it came to mailing it......nothing doing, but addressing it to:
Dick the Boatman
Hood River, Oregon
Sent the post office into a tail pin. They thought and thought and finally figured out boat and Dick Nichols.
He kept that letter and after he passed away Kathleen gave it back to my daughter.
Ofcourse, once that boat was sailing ,the first trip she made right up to the wheelhouse she marched to inform the captain her story about the boat. Oh yes, talk about a smile a mile wide when she sat in the captains chair and steered and upon leaving once more rang the bell.
Charlott on 11th January 2018 @ 7:17am
"Old" Hood River had its charms.....too.
Buzz on 11th January 2018 @ 7:44am
What a special honor, to be an old craftsman and make history, in a charming old town, so the post office can find you by description.
Now days, we often don't like to pay for the talent and time of a craftsman.
L.E. on 11th January 2018 @ 8:12am
WOW, what a story Charlott!!!!......a story enjoyed by this current reader and now preserved for future generations. The story of building a boat works in HR in 1941 would be most interesting.....Charlott, your story might/should be of interest to the boat's owners...maybe even put it in their newsletter.....shoot it off to the Port manager.
Arlen Sheldrake on 11th January 2018 @ 8:38am
Indeed, Charlotte, that was great!
Kyle on 11th January 2018 @ 11:29am
Kathleen Nichols, what a jewel!
Judy on 11th January 2018 @ 4:46pm
I just admire the entrepreneurial belief of a man to build a boat yard in Hood River in 1941. The small business man is the hero of all small towns, and Mr. N
Nichols is a prime example.
nels on 11th January 2018 @ 5:52pm