Yum. Trout Ice Cream.
You've passed over Lindsey Creek every time you've headed west on I-84, but probably never noticed it. In fact, you've passed right through the site of this inn, which was in the eastbound travel lanes immediately east of the creek. Nothing remains of the inn, gas station, or auto camp that was there.
Lindsey Creek is where the trail segment west from Starvation Creek currently ends, and the construction zone for the next segment begins. Remember all the blasting last year? That was for the section of trail which rises to the west of the Lindsey Creek crossing. The new trail segment from Lindsey Creek to Wyeth will be open in just a few months, so you'll get to see what all this work has been about. While you're waiting for the grand opening, you can explore the very recent Google Street view below. You can even see some of the stone masons working on the trail west of the creek.
Bob Hadlow, ODOT Senior Historian shared this great description of this photograph:
This photograph of the Lindsey Inn is a wonderful window into what life was like along the Columbia River Highway during the mid-1930s. The Lindsey Inn faced the Columbia River just east of Lindsey Creek, fifty-six miles east of Portland and twelve miles west of Hood River. A 1916 advertisement pitched it as a “Summer Camp for the Outing Season,” and a place where one could find meals, soft drinks, and cigars. A nearby service station could meet travelers’ needs with tires, oil, and gasoline and could make repairs. Harrison’s Auto Camp, just east of Lindsey Creek offered travelers lodging.
We know from other photos that the Lindsey Inn started out as a one-story restaurant. Business must have grown in the 1920s and the inn expanded. Here, we see a two-story vernacular building with some Craftsman and Rustic-style elements. Lindsey Inn must have been a very inviting place for the weary traveler. The wood smoke wafting from the fireplace chimneys on fall days drew visitors into an inviting space where they could dine on country dinners of trout, salmon, game, or fried chicken, topped off with ice cream for dessert. These meals must have just hit the spot for motorists on long trips or for those on Sunday drives from Portland or Hood River or The Dalles.
There are a few clues that help date this photograph to the mid-1930s. The rear body lines, trunk latches, and double rear bumper suggest that the automobile at the left side of the photo is a big 1931 Nash Eight sedan. The cardboard cutout in front of the inn depicts Johnny Roventini, a bell boy from the New Yorker Hotel. In 1933, Roventini began a career of announcing a “Call for Philip Morris [cigarettes]” in radio commercials and appearing in print ads in magazines and in ad displays like this one.
The Lindsey Inn, adjoining service station, and auto camp served travelers until 1943, when the State of Oregon purchased the property for part of an anticipated realignment of the Columbia River Highway through the Columbia Gorge. That work eventually took place during the late 1940s and early 1950s. Today, the Oregon Department of Transportation and its partner agencies are completing a reconnection project along the former Columbia River Highway alignment near Lindsey Creek. Once completed this fall, this latest segment of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail will offer bicyclists and pedestrians an excellent opportunity to explore Lindsey Creek and the highway segment to the east.
This image courtesy our friends at ODOT.
Often seen remains of a stone chimney at Lindsey, possibly part of this building. I hope the present construction allows it to remain.
Kenn on 15th March 2019 @ 8:18am
I was fortunate to be able to travel into the interior of British Columbia in the early 1960's where horses and wagons were still used. You slowly traveled through every little creek, around the edge of every swamp, around a rock bluff and saw how rivers could become a dangerous barrier.
Now, a two lane, paved highway travels the area. What took two days, now takes two hours.
I feel fortunate to know how much landscape is missed by today's traveler. Each time the highway is improved, more of the original trail is lost. Creeks are rapidly crossed without even realizing there is a creek there. Raised road beds travel through the middle of a swamp. Straight roads eliminate the reason for a big bend in the trail.
I hope a bicycle/walking path, brings back some appreciation for early day travel.
L.E. on 15th March 2019 @ 9:11am
Amen, L.E. Cannot wait for slow, thoughtful travel to return to the Gorge.
Kyle on 15th March 2019 @ 9:46am
Agreed Kyle......that is one of the reasons the wife and I enjoy Volkswalks in various communities.....one sees MUCH more at a slower pace.
Departed brother John W,, a long-time ODOT staffer and strong advocate for ODOT preserving history, would greatly appreciate Bob and his contributions as I do also.
Arlen Sheldrake on 15th March 2019 @ 10:11am
Even on foot or bike it's easy to miss features like Lindsey Creek. I walked through here on Wednesday and almost forgot to look around with this image in my thoughts.
Arthur on 15th March 2019 @ 10:52am