These cars are zooming past Tooth Rock on the shiny new viaduct in this Albert Kollas photo, circa 1916. In an era when most driving was on rough dirt roads with extreme grades, this must have felt like an extreme luxury.
Traveled this area yesterday and stopped at the Bonneville Fish Hatchery. What a treasure, and already crowded with visitors.
I enjoy being able to once again see the old rock work of the Columbia River Highway.
I wonder if anyone during the era of building this highway, was against the project and if they were, what were their reasons?
It would seem like a smooth, open route between Portland and Hood River would be welcomed by everyone.
L.E. on 13th June 2018 @ 7:59am
LE, if I've learned anything, it's that someone, somewhere, opposes everything... doesn't matter what it is, someone's against it. (See also: the derisive nickname for the Vista House.)
As to this photo, I find it interesting that it's peeking between two trees, and especially that it's not level. In 1916, photographs weren't all that casual or easy to take, so most of them show more care. This one almost certainly wasn't hand-held, given the long shutter time (blurry cars), and yet they couldn't quite get it level... like I said, interesting.
Kyle on 13th June 2018 @ 8:43am
My grandparents despised the Vista House, and they were vocal about it. I wish I would have paid more attention to their reasoning, when I was a little kid.
L.E. on 13th June 2018 @ 8:47am
I wouldn't even qualify as an amateur photographer. Please help me understand how you can tell this photo isn't level. My dad also ridiculed the Vista House. Guess he was afraid this country could someday end up 21 trillion dollars in debt.
Buzz on 13th June 2018 @ 9:49am
This past week I took my grand niece from Tennessee up to the Vista House and she loved it.
Bill Seaton on 13th June 2018 @ 1:54pm
(Level or not) The distant telephone pole, most of the viaduct supports, and both of the foreground trunks all lean left by more than a few degrees. I'm guessing the photographer placed the camera on a railing, to keep it still, but the result wasn't a level camera. Oh well.
(Vista House) It's a beautiful facility still in use after ~100 years... if all of our investments turned out so well, we'd be a rich country indeed.
Kyle on 13th June 2018 @ 2:07pm
You may be right Kyle. But it looked to me like the viaduct runs uphill, the telephone pole looked straight if I cover the tree on the left, and many trees lean. The tree on the left appears to lean more than the one on the right. But you are right-oh well. The Vista House has a great view and is nice, but many who lived through the depression thought it was a bit extravagant.
Buzz on 13th June 2018 @ 4:08pm
The viaduct is upgrade from east to west but this does make it appear even more so. This is the section that collapsed about a decade ago, thank God it was repaired. The second car is over what is now the east portal of the tunnel with the view point with bench just in front of it.
Kenn on 14th June 2018 @ 8:28am
My two cents worth- it looks like the camera my be sitting at an angle, and I would think think the cars would be a bit blurry because they would be moving.
mb on 14th June 2018 @ 12:31pm
OK, so here's the story on "tilt-gate": A surprisingly large number of the negatives and prints in our collection were taken by cameras which were not properly leveled. I often straighten when I crop. In this case, I would have used the middle support for the viaduct as a vertical, since center of field has minimal lens distortion.
I like the motion blur in this image. Too many period images show parked cars in the roadway. I like the fact you see actual traffic moving on the highway-- a rare sight in old photos. Primitive cars zipping along on the pristine asphalt coughing out exhaust-- that's what you would see/ smell/ hear standing at the roadside in 1916. An the way those cars leaked fluids I'm sure the asphalt didn't stay pristine very long.
Arthur on 14th June 2018 @ 3:39pm