When the good folks at The Hood River News moved into smaller quarters last month, the museum jumped at the chance to provide a new home for their archives. Lester's Moving and Storage transferred the materials into the closed but now jam-packed museum a few weeks ago, and I finally got a chance to take a quick look last week.
There is certainly a wealth of material which will take years to sort through. Roger has bravely jumped in to start the process of organizing everything. I randomly sampled the collection and came up with a few images to share this week.
Exhibit #1: a view down Oak Street, probably late 1960s.
I think this view really shows some of the positive side of changes over the past five decades. Hood River looks pretty shabby in this view, in my opinion. Crumbling sidewalks, lots of projecting signs and billboards, no trees, overhead powerlines-- we've come a long way. Downtown is certainly more visually attractive. The urban renewal program started in the 1990s replaced streets, sidewalk, and crumpling utilities beneath the street. It also added street trees and moved power and telecom wires underground. A sign ordinance reduced visual blight, and an historic district with a landmarks review process encouraged preserving and restoring historic buildings. But none of that would matter without building owners investing heavily. It's hard to find a building on this view that hasn't been significantly improved by its owners.
Clearly the character of downtown has changed, with more tourist services with their seasonal congestion, and fewer storefronts serving permanent residents. We certainly have far more dining choices now. On the other hand, you can't buy gasoline on Oak Street today... and get free glasses.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
This is Oak street as I remember it when growing up.
Jeff Bryant on 24th August 2020 @ 7:24am
I always remember the parking meters. I had a friend who was leapfrogging over them when he slipped and broke a tooth on one of them.
Bill Seaton on 24th August 2020 @ 9:19am
totally agree Arthur, downtown HR has vastly improved....back then on a Sunday is was really quiet....
Bill, how about naming your friend??? yes, pretty common for some of the football players to do the leapfrogging after coming down the stairs during the August shapeup.....and yes, one did NOT want to slip.
Arlen L Sheldrake on 24th August 2020 @ 9:50am
"I get ALL my fine glass stemware at the gas station..."
Kyle on 24th August 2020 @ 10:27am
Oh yes, I have heard all about Dennis leap frogging the parking meters to try and impress the Rainbow girls I think it was. Yes, that is one thing he has always remembered very well, I assure you.
Charlott on 24th August 2020 @ 10:35am
Charlott, who are the "Rainbow girls"?
ArthurB on 24th August 2020 @ 11:29am
Rainbow girls I believe were an offshoot of The Masonic lodge. I recall knowing some girls who were in them, robes and stuff...but I have no first hand knowladge -( and those what do may have been sworn to secrecy :) )
another Hukari on 24th August 2020 @ 12:55pm
International Order of Rainbow Girls was a service group of girls with the Mason's. The boys order was called DeMolay. If I recall there was a group in town and another chapter in Parkdale. I am not totally certain, but think in order to be in either your father had to be a Mason.
Charlott on 24th August 2020 @ 2:10pm
Can't believe someone hasn't corrected the "Glasses" comment. That's a window display at Paris Fair.
OrMtnMaid on 24th August 2020 @ 4:23pm
The free glasses offer is advertised on the Mobil gasoline banner.....purchase a minimum number of gallons gas and receive a free glass. Nothing to do with the Paris Fair building behind the banner.
Years ago, one of the gas sales tactics was Blue and Gold trading stamps you received when buying gas....paste them into a book and exchange the book for a variety of "premium items" shown in a colorful catalog.......
Dale Nicol on 25th August 2020 @ 7:13am
I grew up drinking my milk out of glasses from our neighborhood Mobil gas station. That’s where we got our steak knives too.
ArthurB on 25th August 2020 @ 7:27am
I got my first set of china from Bowlsby's service station on the eastern corner of Oak Street. Every time my Dad got a fill up he got a piece of china.
Charlott on 25th August 2020 @ 7:48am
We used to trade coins with Jerry Kramer at the Mobil station in the mid 1960’s. We would get a roll of quarters at 1st National bank, find the silver ones, then dimes, nickels and pennies. Kramer would buy the duplicates from us, and we would start again.
Jeff Bryant on 25th August 2020 @ 11:50am
Lottie Farra’s thrift shop was on the end. She lived on the corner to the west. We got two Siamese cats from her when we lived on State street.
Jeff Bryant on 25th August 2020 @ 11:52am
The Whistlepunk and Hood River News newspapers were between the Thrift Shop and gas station.
Jeff Bryant on 25th August 2020 @ 11:54am
The Rialto theater used to be across the street where the empty lot was located.
Jeff Bryant on 25th August 2020 @ 11:56am
Looks like this picture was taken shortly after the Rialto was demolished. Still barriers up along the sidewalk.
Scott Hamada on 25th August 2020 @ 1:08pm
I'd sure like to see the Heights receive the same UR treatment!
Susan Baldwin on 28th August 2020 @ 10:00am