The Museum has an extensive collection of photos taken by Benjamin Gifford documenting all aspects of the local orchard industry. Most of them haven't been scanned yet, but this one offers a nice overview of fruit packing and inspecting sometime before 1920.
It appears that they are not actually packing them, just sorting them back there where the men amd women are all lined up. Notice the woman in her nice hat..... My guess is that the sled with the horses is bringing them from the orchard and the ones on the wagon are the finished product. They must not be lidding them, or would think that would be done individually prior to loading. My guess is that they are going say to Portland, as without refrigeration they would not hold up very long. It does appear that they have nice weather for this harvesting and packing, because all are without coats.
Would be nice to know on whos farm this is taking place.
Charlott on 12th October 2011 @ 7:09am
I know that the mill at Klickitat was a pine box mill. I wonder if these packing boxes came from there or did the HR valley have its own box mill?
Does the name H.I. Mason, at the bottom of the picture give any indication of where the picture was taken?
B. Gifford was a talented photographer. His photos seem to always have enough detail to draw you into studying them. I have wondered if his son was the photographer of the HR to Eastern Oregon tour photos that Arthur showed a while back.
l.e. on 12th October 2011 @ 7:29am
There was a box factory at the site of the Elks parking lot for many years.
Arthur on 12th October 2011 @ 7:54am
Any chance that is A. I. Mason at the bottom, who lived in the Pine Grove area?
"ALBERT I. MASON, a leading horticulturist of the Hood River valley, lives about four miles south from town. He has a good place and has bestowed much labor in improving the same....In 1896, he purchased eighty acres in the Hood River country...Mrs. Mason took charge of the improvements of the farm while her husband was away and wisely expended the money in getting a nice orchard started and had a three years orchard growing when he arrived. They now have five hundred bearing trees and sixteen acres that will soon be bearing."
It also says under his name..
"Invented, "Box Press," U.S. Patent No. 1,015,237, patented Jan. 16, 1912."
l.e. on 12th October 2011 @ 2:03pm
There was also a large box shook factory in Odell. Many small mills were on Fir Mountain that supplied the lumber to this. I have an invoice where my great-grandfather bought shook there. If I knew where it was I could tell you the name of the one that was located either on or near Mud Alley.
It might be Mason's but looking at the hills behind it, the hill would be too close and too low for the hills behind Pine Grove.
Mason's is where the present Walter Wells and Sons packing house is on Mason Road in Pine Grove.
Charlott on 12th October 2011 @ 4:33pm