[Ed. note: This posting was updated to correct the misidentification of this as Maryhill.]
Alva Day took this shot of the Columbus townsite in December 1939. You can see the Stonehenge monument up on the hill (it's the thing on the ridge that looks like a UFO), with the Maryhill townsite next to it.
I can't explain the strange gridlines in the sky.
This is what was known for many years as Columbus, or Columbus Landing by some. It was there long before Sam Hill came into the picture. The up above where Stonehenge was built after WWI was known as the original Maryhill.
I am really excited about seeing this photo of the school house, as the only ones I have ever seen prior were just a little blot from one taken from the Stonehenge looking down. That building is where my families children went to school. The road used by the citizens was located what would be the behind of the school. The railroad track was relocated up the hill due to the water level rise after the dams were put in. You figure land was lost a little bit from Bonneville and then a whole lot of farm land went under with the coming of The Dalles dam.
To the right of the school you see two steeples. The first one is the Methodist Church (where my great-great and great grandmother played the organ) and the far right one is the Advent Church, which still stands.
To the left of Stonehenge you see a row of basically 5 buildings. That is actually Maryhill. The first building is the Meadowlark Inn, then the Annex, then the Kidder House and then the Maryhill Land Office. The last one is debatable, due to the location in the photo. I really think it might be the Friend's Church that Hill built for his "folly of a community". That church only had one service ever held in it, a dedication. I still chuckle at the time I went up to where the church and Mary's Cottage were located. All that was left of the church was the deep basement with a cow skull and a beer can in it. Go figure that one out....Drunken cow..................
My great-grandparents had 140 acres across that hillside just below and
to the west of Stonehenge. Located actually just above long the top of the big tree in the center. One might wonder how you could farm. It was all terraced with trees and truck garden.
I can't be certain, but I never heard that water was an issue. Sand Canyon came down through my families land and the spring was there and it ran down to town from that location. Peaches and apricots, which were the main two crops raised by the farmers along the bench there didn't require that much water. I know on the terraced garden land they probably hauled water to water plants, but can't say for certain.....They could have had some sort of rill system figured out from the spring. Know the kitchen portion of the house was built over the spring with a trap door so they could lower buckets with perishable things in them to keep them cool and also dip water for household use....Pioneers had a great ability to figure things out without all the modern day equipment that is for certain......
Hill built a big resievor up above the area and it broke loose and the water came roaring down....thankfully the town of Columbus was a little ways downriver from where his flood went through.
Charlott on 6th April 2018 @ 7:28am
Thanks for the correction and great history, Charlott.
ArthurB on 6th April 2018 @ 7:31am
Thanks Charlott for a birds eye personal view of Columbus. A community that existed long before a man with a lot of money moved in to create a utopia.
If you take Highway 97 up the hill to Goldendale, you can pull off to the side and look down into the canyon where Sam Hill built his dam.
L.E. on 6th April 2018 @ 7:47am
Charlotte is such an amazing source of historical information, I thought I knew Columbus but not like this ~
Kenn on 6th April 2018 @ 8:58am
I know Columbus /Maryhill from two time frames. My family from 1873 to the early 1900's and from the 1950's when good friends lived in the Kidder house and ran a rock shop in what had been the Maryhill Land Office. I knew the two house keepers that Sam Hill had at The Meadow Lark Inn. Both delightful little old English spinsters with a beautiful English garden on the side. I wish I had of known at the time that Clara and Lucy were in fact involved with him, as I can just imagine what I could have gleaned from the two of them....Sam Hill did not have any great wonderful feelings for anyone, which included his wife and two children, but he had great affection for these two, as they were given through his will the use of Meadow Lark Inn for the remainder of their lives.
Charlott on 6th April 2018 @ 9:20am
Some early history of the Goodenoe Hills, which is just eat of Columbus. Told by Fred Gerling.
He mentions the rattle snakes which plagued the area. Pigs were used to eat the snakes. Snake bites don't bother hogs.
L.E. on 6th April 2018 @ 10:49am
I don't know about the rattle snakes, but know of the Indian scares, especially one when it was thought that the Yakimas were on the war path and going to come raid Columbus. They took a barge like boat, put all the women and children in it, took them out in the middle of the river where they spent a very scary night. Naturally there were a couple of men on the boat. Plan was if indians attacked the men that were fortified on the shore, they would cut the ropes holding them and off they would go down the river, attempting to land on the Oregon shore (hopefully before they got to Celilo) As it turned out this was only a rumor that had been circulated down to Columbus from the Goldendale area and all went peacefully and gladly home the next day. My own great-grandmother related this story.
Charlott on 6th April 2018 @ 1:43pm
on my 2018 jaunt list is the Maryhill Museum and a good bottle of local brew sitting on the relatively new deck watching trains.......lots of amazing history for our young area......if not for the bad research (booze) by the Hill folk, the utopia would have been located in the white salmon area if I remember correctly
Arlen Sheldrake on 6th April 2018 @ 3:00pm
Arlen, you are correct. Hill was so impressed with White Salmon that he offered to buy that land but was refused with great anger when it was found he approved and partook of liquor.
nels on 8th April 2018 @ 8:02pm
ah....the demon rum.........probably the WCTU or at least the TU strikes again......
Arlen Sheldrake on 9th April 2018 @ 3:17pm