If you look at any of the early fire insurance maps of Hood River you'll see the abbreviation "BLSM" distributed about the map. Blacksmiths were as common 100 years ago as coffee shops are today. The ability to fabricate and repair machinery was crucial to agriculture and all other industry in town.
Claude Cuddeford's blacksmith shop was located on the north side of Oak Street between Front and First, I believe where the Kayak Shed is now. He arrived in Hood River with his wife Flora about 1905. Notes on the photo indicate it was taken between 1900 and 1910. During that decade there was an itinerant photographer who took photos of the interiors of many downtown businesses. Perhaps this is part of his series.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
He came to Oregon from Iowa with Flora, his wife. He lived on E. State St. so was probably in walking distance to his shop. He didn't live to be an old man as he died in 1930. He did have one son named Ted.
It certainly was not a clean job was it?
Charlott on 5th April 2012 @ 7:12am
He is young isn't he? And not big and burly like I picture blacksmiths.
Not only was the job dirty, but it seems like photos of blacksmith shops are always dark and dreary.
At least he has an electric light bulb.
When I was little, we had a big vice just like that one on the tool bench.
l.e. on 5th April 2012 @ 8:03am
Interesting lack of wood or coal for fuel....and what is that metal rim in the foreground?
Rick on 5th April 2012 @ 9:17am
This was also the site of another type of metal Fab company later on. I believe Schlosser's Machine shop was there until the late 80's.
Russ on 5th April 2012 @ 10:02am
I believed most blacksmiths used coke [not the soda kind] to fuel their furnaces, the rim looks like the inside rim of a truck or farm equipment,, the location was involved in metal work for several different owners including the Schlossers until it was remodeled for the ''windsurfing craze that hit our small town.
Jim Gray on 5th April 2012 @ 6:59pm
At one time English and Huitt operated in that location.
Charlott on 6th April 2012 @ 7:05am
I shall correct myself. It was Engle, not English...
Charlott on 19th April 2012 @ 7:08am
In the "Oregon Inventory of Historic Properties for Hood River County" the Cuddeford Home is listed at 409 E. Second. Claude passed away in 1930. The home was built in 1935 so must have been the home of his wife Flora.
The paper also states:
Claude Cuddeford was co-owner of the earliest blacksmith shop in Hood River, Cuddeford & Howell. The land for the shop was purchased from Henry C. Coe on April 18, 1882. Cuddeford originally owned the shop with Willis Snow before going into partnership with Arthur F. Howell sometime before 1908. The shop handled a majority of the blacksmithing in the Hood River Valley. Around 1920, Cuddeford sold the shop to Hector Unger who changed the shop into a machine shop. The shop was eventually sold to John and Frances Schlosser.
l.e. on 14th June 2012 @ 10:18am
The smith usually had a much larger tub of water nearby. His, to left of the forge is small. They kept coal in a gunnysack in the tub, wet. When they added fuel they packed the wet coal around the edge of the fire. The heat of the fire would cook the gas out of the coal, the water would keep the coal from burning until it dried. Then when the smith was ready for more fuel he raked in fresh, clean coke which burned much hotter than straight coal and had lost most of the impurity carried with the coal. The last forge in HR, I believe, was the one Carl Engle and Roy DeHart used occasionally in their Columbia St. shop.
Jack Sheppard on 11th February 2017 @ 11:20pm
I'm not sure how to reconcile the inventory's claim Cuddeford was a blacksmith back in 1882 with the biography that has him coming to Oregon about 1905. It also seems at odds with the Sanborn maps which first show a blacksmith at this location in the 1909 map (previous map was 1905). We have photos of Mr. Snow's shop on 4rd Street, as well as when he partnered in Upson and Snow at that location. We also know of Mullin and Luckey Blacksmiths in the same era. There were always several blacksmiths in town.
All the primary documents I have seen seem consistent with Mr. Cuddeford arriving about 1905. I should add the first mention of him in the Glacier is in 1908, though the Oregonian mentions a C.C. Cuddeford of Troutdale in 1904.
Arthur on 12th February 2017 @ 12:04pm