With the recent weather events wreaking havoc on our transportation systems, it's good to remember how much easier we have it. This image of a Columbia River freeze was captured on January 17, 1907. The steamships Joseph Kellogg and Capital City, along with the tug Maja were frozen in the shelter of Stanley Rock near Koberg Beach. This was an era when much of the area commerce was conducted by river boats, so you can be pretty sure everything ground to a halt.
What a fantastic photo of the boats. Gives a good overall view of what they really looked like. Wonder how long they were trapped there, as there definitely wasn't any ice breaking equipment that early on. I can't remember what year it was between 1954 and 1958 that the Columbia froze over and my husband, a gutsy teen ager at the time and a friend actually walked across to White Salmon. Maybe Arlen knows what year that was as he would have been in school with my husband.
Hey, Arthur, give us a picture of flowers, so we can not forget what they look like. (Hee-hee)
Charlott on 24th January 2012 @ 7:06am
If you were out of coffee and flour, it was probably going to be a while before the next shipment.
I wish my mother in law could see this. She loved the sternwheelers and she had seen the Columbia frozen more than once.
In one of Keith McCoy's books there is a photo of the Columbia almost frozen across at the bridge, winter of 1948-49. He says that the next week it was frozen solid. It was almost as severe the next winter.
l.e. on 24th January 2012 @ 7:29am
I see they have their steam up, but couldn't do that for very long without wood to keep the fire going. Bet they got mighty cold before it was all over. Wonder which side of Stanley Rock they are tucked in on. Kobert Beach side or upriver side. They would be more protected above the rock, I would think.
Charlott on 24th January 2012 @ 8:14am
Arthur - thanks for posting this image. It is one of my all time favorites in the museum collection!!
Connie on 24th January 2012 @ 8:22am
Connie...it doesn't look like the east wind is blowing, but I bet that would have an affect on where they tied up.
l.e. on 24th January 2012 @ 10:28am
WOW, this is fantastic history. While I never walked on the river, my father John L. talked many a time about driving on the river before the Bonneville Dam was built. I didn't realize that the river froze over enough to walk on after the dam was built.
What an amazing collection. Again, I very much appreciate these daiily postings Arthur.
ps: Charlott, your husband's name is?? Arlen HRHS '59
Arlen Sheldrake on 24th January 2012 @ 4:49pm
Dick Jones, "58 (deceased)
Charlott on 25th January 2012 @ 5:27am
Arlen: It was Tom Barney that went on that walk across the river. The big boats had cut a channel, but it had frozen over again and they said, heard the story from both of them) that that channel though frozen over, they could see the water rushing under there, so there wasn't too deep of ice in that part of the river. After they got to the Washington side, they weren't all that confident about walking back across, so they walked back across the bridge, I guess paying as "foot traffic" at the toll house. It was many years ater, naturally, before their parents heard of their daring deed.
Charlott on 25th January 2012 @ 5:30am
Thanks Charlott.........Tom Barney and Dick Jones are most definitely HRHS classmates that are not forgotten. Tom is responsible for the nick name stuck with me for many years......Dick was one hell of a football player and wiped me out multiple times. Good guys, good memories. Arlen
Arlen Sheldrake on 25th January 2012 @ 10:22am
It is the steamer Joseph Kellog, not the JN Teal, that is tied up next to the Maja in this photo.
Mike on 23rd August 2015 @ 12:17am
We have another photo of this group of ships from the other side, and Mike is correct that it is the Joseph Kellogg, despite notes on the reverse indicating the JN Teal. It's not uncommon we find incorrect information on our photos-- sometimes people are just guessing, or their memory is not perfect. I'll correct the notes section. Thanks, Mike.
Arthur on 23rd August 2015 @ 8:49am