This is quite an astonishing panorama with a little story behind it. I know you can't see much in this view, but I'll show you more shortly after I set it up.
The frame includes Hospital Hill, with signs of heavy grazing, Koberg Beach with a big barn, before the pavilion, Hood River with the mill at the mouth of the river, Bingen before it was Bingen, White Salmon with all the farms around it, the dock at the base of Dock Grade, and Wells Island, all in one view. There's a steamship to the left heading down the river, and Underwood mountain to the right, nudging right up against the river with no railroad or road along the Columbia. There are homesteads and nice farms all over the place. The amazing thing is the detail is reasonably crisp across much of the field, so I can zoom in to see all of this. I am having a little trouble handling the very large file on my computer (it's over 40,000 pixels wide), but I will share some great details in coming days. I'll start with White Salmon tomorrow. If there's something you would like to see, let me know. But for now, maybe you can see the steamer that's just passed Koberg Beach?
The date of this view is in the narrow window when the Lost Lake Lumber Company mill was running at the mouth of the Hood River. My research shows that as 1900-1906. I think this image is at the early end of that span, because the mill is a little smaller than some of the views we've seen. Maybe you can see Maltie Dukes and Harry DeWitt standing on a log in front of the mill?
The story of how we got this image is a bit muddled by the complete lack of punctuation, but here's what it says:
12-12-82 SM Absten Presented to H.R. Museum Julius Lather (Stanley Crimp) worked for SP at West Forks (Southern Oregon) This picture hung in the depot there
Got it? Hopefully Charlott will recognize some of these names and sort out the story for us. Stay tuned for some wonderful details, and let me know if there's something specific you would like to see.
Tags: Bingen Columbia_River Hood_River panorama White_Salmon
Absten went by the name of Sim as a nickname. He was born in 1899 and died in Hood River in 1991. When he first came to Hood River he worked as a laborer in the fruit industry and later became a school bus driver. He lived right there at Ruthton Point with his family and in his later years he was school bus driver. My Dad got to know him through the camera club along with his wife Juliette and their daughter Sylvia.
Stanley Crimp was Sim's father-in-law as he was Juliette's father.
I think that Sim was an avid photographer for many years prior to their being a camera club spear headed by Jack and Henny Wilson of Columbia Photo which was originally located next to the Hood River News on Oak St. just east of where the steps go up to the library.
Charlott on 14th December 2020 @ 7:23am
Another little note about the Absten's life in Hood River. Apparently when the new I-84 went through they had to leave their home there on the hillside at Ruthton. I remember going to where they lived and I think it was right in the vicinity where the road cut goes through. They moved into that big yellow house that sits on Rand Road right behind Little Bit Ranch Supply.
Charlott on 14th December 2020 @ 7:25am
I've long thought, incorrectly, that Wells Is. was separated from the mainland by the construction of the dams. This is an amazing panorama.
Will on 14th December 2020 @ 8:11am
Bingen or Warner’s Landing was across the River from Stanley Rock. Can you locate it?
I am on my iPhone. Can’t wait to get home to my desktop to view this.
L. E. on 14th December 2020 @ 8:48am
What is the size of this photo?
nails on 14th December 2020 @ 10:24am
I haven't actually seen this print (Roger scanned it) but based on the pixel count it should be about three feet wide.
ArthurB on 14th December 2020 @ 10:31am
L.E., there is very little sign of development in the Bingen area, but I can follow a road to what looks like a little point on the north shore of the Columbia about 1/2 mile east of directly across from Stanley Rock. Further north on that road is a wonderful farm with several great buildings.
ArthurB on 14th December 2020 @ 10:41am
most interesting......GREAT photo....why in the world would this giant photo be located and hung in a Oregon & California / Southern Pacific Railroad train station in this remote location? and how did the photo end of in Hood River?
Arlen L Sheldrake on 14th December 2020 @ 10:59am
@Arlen, I went into a local cowboy museum in Wyoming, and what is hanging over a doorway but a picture of the HR Valley in bloom, courtesy of the RR! Probably about 2 1/2 X 3'.
Told those people if they ever wanted to sell that picture that they should contact the HR County museum. Guess no one heard from them. Their major collection
was the different brands that were used in their county.
nails on 14th December 2020 @ 12:57pm
Trying to visualize how this photo was taken. Multiple shots pieced together or a slow roll of camera with the film doing likewise? Considering what kind of photo equipment they had in 1900.
nails on 14th December 2020 @ 2:18pm
Where does Alice Absten fit in this family? She was a student of
Fredova's there under the sidewalk.
Barbara Parsons on 14th December 2020 @ 2:26pm
Wasn't Mr. Absten's given name Sylvan? Imagine having a distinguished name like that and then calling yourself something else!
Barbara Parsons on 14th December 2020 @ 2:29pm
Alice Absten, b. 1937, was a daughter of Syvan Marion Absten and Juliette Crimp.
Jeffrey W Bryant on 14th December 2020 @ 3:17pm
Taken from Strawberry Mt?
Will on 14th December 2020 @ 3:19pm
I am home, looking at this photo on my big desk top computer and I can't see it any better than I could on my iphone, so looking forward to Arthur's bits and pieces.
I look forward to viewing Warner's Landing which Arthur has pointed out, and the Jewett Resort, which is on the road up to White Salmon. There was a large orchard east of the town of WS. I wonder if that is what we see on the right.
From a 1904 History Article:
"About 1868, as near as can be learned, the few settlers there obtained a postoffice, J.R. Warner becoming the first postmaster. He lived two and a half miles east of town, or at what is now Bingen Landing, then called Warner's Landing."
This is the lower landing that you can see where today's bridge exists.
"White Salmon landing was built eight years ago at a cost of two thousand dollars, subscribed in labor and money by the settlers on the Washington shore. In March, 1903, they gave the improvements to The Dalles, Portland & Astoria Navigation Company, with the understanding that the corporation was to maintain them. This company, better known as the Regular company, operates four passenger steamers, the Bailey Gatzert, Regulator, Dalles City and Sadie B., and three other freight and passenger boats, the Hercules, Tahoma and the Metlako, all of which call regularly at White Salmon, giving the town a daily service. The Charles R. Spencer also calls daily at White Salmon, besides which there is a ferry plying between there and Hood River."
L.E. on 14th December 2020 @ 4:22pm
Crimp worked for that railroad and that is why it hung in the office when he worked down there. Yes Absten's name was Sylvan, but always known as Sim Absten. Yes, also to Alice being his only child, going to Wy'east High School and tap dancing down under the Dragonette.
Charlott on 15th December 2020 @ 7:17am
@ will - great question - it’s my guess it was taken from the south facing spine itself of Hospital Hill - mid way up look for the notch with the flowering tree in the early spring.
Stever on 15th December 2020 @ 4:39pm
As Stever said, I believe this was taken at from the nose of the ridge on "Hospital hill" at about the 700 - 800 ft elevation level estimated by the alignment of Strawberry Mt to Underwood Mt. Joslyn house may be the structure low in the picture just to the right of the middle water smudge. I believe that Jewett creek is in the line of trees right of the Joslyn house that leads to a large grove of trees at the waters edge. I tried to confirm yesterday if Joslyn house would be obscured from the likely camera location by the cliff between White Salmon and Bingen but the clouds were too dense at the time. I don't know what to make of the linear clearing in the trees in Bingen as it doesn't line up with the road orientations. I think the roads are 30 to 45 degrees from that alignment. Oak street lines up pointing to Stanley rock. I don't see evidence of the railroad but I believe it was built in 1906-7.
Basaltgrouse on 16th December 2020 @ 8:16am
The linear clearing looks like it may fall on the section line between section 29 and 30 and may be related to early ownership before platting.
Basaltgrouse on 16th December 2020 @ 8:28am
Arlen.....I flew into Newark airport in April of 1965 to see Dick's mother who resided in New Jersey. I couldn't believe it, when I walked into that terminal and on the end was Mt. Hood and Lost Lake in a mural covering the entire wall. Still have trouble believing that...
Charlott on 16th December 2020 @ 1:00pm
Looking for more info on "Warner's Landing" and "White Salmon Landing",,,Does anyone know exactly where those were and what or if there is any relation to the pylons left at the River by Underwood and the ones at today's "Bingen Point"?
Kristi Avon on 10th April 2021 @ 6:14am