As I've been staring at the details of the Gorge panorama I've been wondering about the smudges of light gray dirt in three bands across the image. The dirt looked like the masking we've seen on some images which were being touched up for reproduction in the newspaper. Thinking about these touch-ups reminded me that many, many years ago I used to watch my father touch up black and white photographs with a tiny paint brush, a gray compound and saliva. He could quickly hide defects in the image, blending the compound to the proper tone by diluting it touching the brush to his tongue. I wondered if this "dirt" might be this touch-up compound after 115 years.
I'm very cautious about doing anything non-reversible to an original photo, so I very carefully experimented with distilled water and a cotton swap on the margin of the image. After an hour or so I was convinced the "dirt" was reasonably water soluble and the photograph could stand a careful application of distilled water, so I became more daring, and after an hour or so I had the image mostly cleaned. What I learned was the photographer was attempting to hide the "seams" between exposures of the panoramic camera with this touch-up compound. After a century the compound had become an opaque haze obscuring image detail. While it's interesting to know the photographer put all this effort into cleaning up his or her image, it is more interesting to history to see the original photographic image.
In the clip above you can see the touch-up was obscuring a farm building at the bottom edge of the frame, a fence line and fields. You can also clearly see the seam between exposures near the left edge of the frame. The difference in exposure is obvious. If you look near the top, you can see the large puddle of water has been double exposed at the seam. You can see how the edge of the lens distorts the shape of the puddle. The photographer blended the two versions of the puddle together into one. We can really interpret the details of this image better now that has been cleaned.
I need to rework the remaining clips now that we have a much cleaner scan. This particular clip shows the road heading out towards Bingen point, which L.E. tells us was known as "Warner's Landing". I wonder if this is J.R. Warner's home? You can see shortly after the bend at the top of the frame, the road disappears behind a rise right at the river's edge. There is no landing visible, but the road must go somewhere.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
Arthur....we are so fortunate to have you!
In this pre 1937----pre Bonneville Dam photo you can see the road that wound its way down to the river. I wonder if the house we see is the same one.
The railroad should be just north of this house. We are looking at the area that became Dickey Farms. Hopefully Ralph Brown will chime in here and let us know whose home we are looking at. Perhaps Byrkett or Henderson?
I don't know if the Warner home was right on the river.
It all seems very susceptible to flooding.
L.E. on 17th December 2020 @ 8:04am
Well done Arthur. So much more to see.
Marilyn on 17th December 2020 @ 8:08am
This pano, and its details, are the best "time machine" we've had here yet, I think.
Kyle on 17th December 2020 @ 8:18am
Looking closer....that building appears to have the false front of a hotel or store.
L.E. on 17th December 2020 @ 8:36am
Thank you for your careful work on this Arthur.
Will on 17th December 2020 @ 8:57am
Thanks so much Arthur. Which explains how this huge panorama was made, by piecing shots together and then smudging the joining lines. Thank you for your patience and caring.
nails on 17th December 2020 @ 9:34am
There were many different types of panoramic cameras. Some would rotate on a tripod as they exposed a narrow slit of film. As the camera rotated the exposure would advance along the film. This one looks like it was exposed in 4 discrete exposures, with the camera rotated between them. It's possible the photographer used a standard camera with a wide angel lens and measured the angles carefully, or it could have been a specialized panoramic setup. The overlapping edges suggest a special setup. What we do know is the photographer took great care to chose the vantage point, level the tripod, and use a high quality lens. It's unusual to see such sharpness across the entire field for a photo of this vintage. Usually the edges are softer focus and distorted.
ArthurB on 17th December 2020 @ 10:29am
OK, so which one of you is going to climb up the hill to shoot a panorama with you're smartphone?
ArthurB on 17th December 2020 @ 11:35am
The cleanup of a century's worth of smoke and dust particles is remarkable and is going to uncover some never seen before images. This one is incredible, but at the same time is baffling. I do not think that the road seen is going to Warner's Landing. I think that Warner's Landing is east of that body of water. The structure appears to be a 2 story barn and I have a vague memory of one being built, but will require some time to research that out. The Gidding Hotel, I believe was East, but that was in the 1880s and the Maple Hotel had maple trees around it and was to the SW of this structure.
Ralph Brown on 17th December 2020 @ 11:56am
In August 1904, the following info was part of a larger newspaper article on the Glades Ranch owned by Judge Byrkett. . Based on it, I believe the barn in the picture was the 150 ft by 54 ft barn. Hopefully someone else will chime in here and be able to confirm the dimensions by the window placement etc. There are three barns on the place, the largest one of which cost $8000. This one is 140x54 feet in extent and 16 feet to the square. Then main floor of the barn is cemented and contains stalls for 98 head of cattle. In addition to this there are large calf pens. On the farm are two barns, one 40x70, the other 30x30.
Ralph Brown on 17th December 2020 @ 12:51pm
Arthur, can you tell where Stanley Rock is, in relationship to this road and building?
L.E. on 17th December 2020 @ 6:56pm
LE, we're east of Stanley rock. That fenceline that points at the house points to the middle of Stanley Rock.
ArthurB on 18th December 2020 @ 12:21am
Having a chance to look at the entire pano in greater detail and in referencing my research documents, this is definetely the Maple Hotel. The drone that took this pano is hovering at about 100ft above the Lutheran Church, and the road from the river to the Motel and going north is the road to White Salmon. I have a problem with the road going south to the river from the Motel as it seem to be headed for a Landing. Somewhere in my research I have run across a "Middle Landing" I thought it was the Warmer Landing, as there is a Strait Landing east of Bingen. According to the 1874 map, the Warner landing is east of the bodies of water, therefore not seen in the pano. So, for the time being I am going to suggest we have discovered the middle landing and it is bareley seen at the end of the road.
Ralph Allen Brown on 19th December 2020 @ 9:17am