Back in 2013 we spent two weeks learning all about the late 19th century Oregon Lumber Company operation which included the Chenowith Mill on the Little White Salmon and another at Viento. You can refresh your memory of that operation starting with this post.
I also shared a file with the text of that Oregon Lumber Company brochure describing the full operation. That text describes how in order for the flume which carried rough lumber from the Chenowith Mill to get to Drano Lake "it has been necessary in one place to cut a tunnel through the side of the mountain." I believe this is a photo of that section of the flume. This photo was likely separated from the brochure. The staple pattern on the paper convinces me this was indeed part of the original brochure.
Even Scott Cook has not been able to find this tunnel, so I trust it is so overgrown you wouldn't notice it even if you were right on top of it. But it's fun to know this 120 year old tunnel is hiding somewhere above the Little White Salmon River.
Lumber which traveled in this flume would be taken across the Columbia River by the tugboat "Pearl". At the Viento Mill it would be finished and put on trains to take it to market.
Great photo, I had imagined the tunnel being on the east side of the river and on the cliff. This may be a good lead for Scott, our premier explorer ~
Kenn on 19th February 2019 @ 7:11am
The bracing on this structure surprises me. Appears to me to be somewhat haphazardly placed. Nice picture though.
Buzz on 19th February 2019 @ 7:30am
Ia that a circle of a human on the left of the picture or just a watermark?
nels on 19th February 2019 @ 7:48am
Arthur, still looking for your explanation on yesterday's photo!
nels on 19th February 2019 @ 7:56am
@nels, the circle seems to be a defect in the negative. I don't see any humans in this image.
I've added some comments to help resolve yesterday's mystery.
Arthur on 19th February 2019 @ 8:58am
Oh this is SO cool. I feel like, if I knew where the mill was, I could lok at topo maps and guess where the smart place might've been to cut through a ridge to make a line to the river.
Kyle on 19th February 2019 @ 9:16am
Kyle, the brochure linked in the notes tells you where the mill was and gives the profile of the flume. I haven't looked recently but I recall there is a road with a name like "Chenowith Mill Road" which is a pretty good hint about the mill location.
Arthur on 19th February 2019 @ 10:16am
I believe this flume started at Mill A, a site and settlement well marked at the intersection of Cook-Underwood Road at Jessup Rd.
Kenn on 19th February 2019 @ 5:48pm
I think Mill A was on the west side of the Little White Salmon and Mill B, which was built at Chenowith Flats was on the east side of the LWS. I think both mills had a flume down to Chenowith Landing/Drano.
But, I am not sure about that.
If the tunnel still exists, I bet it is full of rattle snakes.
L.E. on 19th February 2019 @ 9:07pm
I believe the Chenowith mill was on Chenowith road on the newer flume down to Underwood where the dock and emergency drop gate remains. This is an almost vertical drop down to Drano while Mill A is on an easier descent following a water course. Surprised to see the tunnel on the west side as the flume trestle at Spirit Falls is on the east side.
Kenn on 21st February 2019 @ 7:38am
Kenn, I'm never 100% sure a photo has been properly printed. It's possible the negative was flipped when they prepared the booklet. Don't rule that out when you search for the tunnel!
Arthur on 21st February 2019 @ 8:24am
That account from 1897 is great.
Kyle on 21st February 2019 @ 4:28pm
And I see a great spot to cut through... a perfect, pronounced ridge in the way, with a good spot to photograph it from across the other side of the Little White Salmon. I wonder...
Kyle on 21st February 2019 @ 4:31pm
Bring us a photograph as proof, Kyle.
Arthur on 21st February 2019 @ 6:59pm
In the September 1902 Oregonian is an add For A Colony of Homeseekers:
1500 acres good strawberry and apple land, east side Little White Salmon River,.....1000 acres in one body of nearly level A No. 1 agricultural land: 300 acres timber; 5 to 10 acres in cultivation; 7 miles flume; 20 acres and store building on Columbia River, at Drain Landing; 900 inches water perpetual right already acquired; good timothy and clover land......Price including water rights and flume, $15 per acre cash.....Inquire of John Leland Henderson and J.H. Short, Hood River....or J. D. Casey, Hilgard, Or., sole owners.
I chuckle at the wording, "nearly level".
L.E. on 22nd February 2019 @ 7:21pm
Kyle, are you thinking the sharp point below Spirit Falls? If so I';m on my way ~
Kenn on 23rd February 2019 @ 2:03pm
Kenn - Yes. That's the one that makes sense, looking at the topo maps. Like a knife ridge, sticking out from the west bank, just before Drano.
Kyle on 28th February 2019 @ 12:14pm