We have a double mystery today. Meet the Kemp Family. This wonderfully sharp image shows many members of this farming family decorated with garlands of our first mystery. It's a crop I haven't seen growing in the Hood River Valley, though I suspect many of you are familiar with it. I've enlarged it in the inset to give you a little help.
The second mystery is: Who are the Kemps? I'm not familiar with this family name, though I suspect we'll all know a lot more about them soon. The name "Nettie Kemp" appears on the back of the image, but without additional information.
The crop is hops. I imagine that many of the old German pioneers around Hood River grew them for their own beer. They are a beautiful vine when growing. Yes, I have one........for the plant itself and nothing more.
Charlott on 11th June 2012 @ 7:03am
Charlott is right.
Here in Glenwood, we have old hop plants left over from the first German pioneers.
And they are a beautiful vining plant along the side of a house or shed or the Logs Tavern in BZ Corner before the remodel.
Beautifully clear photo.
The crop looks large enough, I wonder if it is for the brewery in The Dalles.
l.e. on 11th June 2012 @ 7:14am
Kemp's were a family that resided in the Odell area and some of their children married into other local pioneer families. Their daughter Lela married C.P. Odell and another daughter, Alice married O. H. Rhodes.
Kemp came from Iowa, where he worked and learned the blacksmith trade. He went to Texas, but the Indians ran them out and ended up coming overland to Marion County, where he established a small farm and blacksmith shop. In 1880 he proceeded to The Dalles, where he worked for the O.R. and N. Co, finally establilshing his farm in the wilderness of the Odell area of Hood River Valley.
His wife was from The Dalles, Katherine Davenport.
He had 9 children of which I would imagine a number of these in the pictures are.
If you are familiar with Odell you will see at what is still known as "Stone Store Corner," where the old Webber Bros. was, on the opposite corner the I.O.O.F. Kemp Lodge. Kemp was a charter member of this and it was named after him.
Charlott on 11th June 2012 @ 7:16am
Never thought of that. They could have very well grown them commercially, as I know they grow here very well.....Wish we could find a list of those who sold to the brewery in The Dalles. They had to purchase their hops from somewhere.........Maybe many people grew them......
Charlott on 11th June 2012 @ 7:18am
Point about hops. Hops attract aphids, but the aphids attract lady bugs. Each year I have a lady bug hatch on my hop vine and what a sight to see. First little sort of blackish orange spots appear. First time I saw it thought it was infested with something I didn't know about, so started picking them off..........but then they started to wiggle, attached to the vine, then they crawl around and low and behold finally a real lady bug.
Charlott on 11th June 2012 @ 7:25am
Are hops a thorny plant? I see many have heavy gloves and man in the upper left is sporting some type of finger protector. Any one know?
Ralph on 11th June 2012 @ 7:53am
I should have said upper right in picture, not left.
Ralph on 11th June 2012 @ 7:54am
No they don't have thorns on them, but tend to be a grippy plant. By that I mean if you have cotton gloves on when you are cutting them down they tend to stick to the gloves.
The thing on his hand could be a cutter. Those hops grew up the poles you see in the upper left hand corner and would have to have been cut off.
Charlott on 11th June 2012 @ 8:15am
From a July 25, 1908 "Spokesman Review" article: I assume the valley they mention is the Willamette Valley where there were a lot of hop fields.
EXPERIMENT WITH HOPS IN WASCO COUNTY:
HOOD RIVER, ORE. Who knows but what hops may soon be one of the leading products of the Hood River valley? says the Glacier.....A valley hop buyer .....was in the valley last week to see how the experiment was working, and so satisfied is he with results so far that he is anxious to plant 150 acres here, and to contract for the product for five years at 15 cents a pound......
The hop dealer who was here....believes the climate here, being dryer than the valley, would be even better for hop growing...."
l.e. on 11th June 2012 @ 9:09am
I lived in the Willamette Valley -- Aurora/Hubbard area for many years. That, too, was a largely German settlement and hops were grown everywhere. They still are. As Charlott points out, in the back of the photo you can see the poles the hops climb up -- and I believe this is harvest time. The Old Aurora ox Barn Museum has several photos much like this one.
Jill Stanford on 11th June 2012 @ 10:25am
Nettie Kemp was one of the children of the family Charlott mentions, but there were also other Nettie Kemps in Oregon.
I am curious where the hop drying shed was located? They were large buildings.
l.e. on 11th June 2012 @ 11:13am
I love the multi-generational aspect of this image. Especially in relation to that fact that is was a working group. Hard work didn't seem to hurt this group.
Connie on 11th June 2012 @ 2:14pm
Outdoor Oregon had a video on TV showing how they decide when to harvest, how they harvest, then dry, and so on. Very interesting, intense, and fascinating harvest process. Still going on over in the Willamette valley, growing on wires strung between telephone post high wires and using specialized equipment.
nels on 11th June 2012 @ 3:10pm
It is now sold as an ornamental vine that grows very fast, nice lime green color, and very rough stems. Mine are now 9 feet tall and growing fast. Likes sun and LOTS of water - sold at the local garden center. I really enjoy seeing a whole family working together to bring in the harvest.
nels on 11th June 2012 @ 3:14pm
When my family first moved West from Michigan, we rented a farm house near Mabton WA. We looked down the road from the house and thought we were seeing pole beans.....but on a closer inspection lo and behold they were HOPS. We had never seen them before.
juy on 11th June 2012 @ 7:19pm
The following is from the obituary of Jonathan Vaughan, brother of Cyrus Vaughan of Hood River:
AURORA, Or., April 20 --
Jonathan Steven Vaughan, a pioneer of 1852, died at his home in Clackamas County, at the old Graham Ferry home, near Butteville yesterday. He was born December 9, 1829, in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1852 he came across the plains with his parents.
In 1882 he moved to the old Graham Ferry home and also engaged in the hop business, becoming the third grower in Oregon.
Jeffrey Bryant on 11th June 2012 @ 9:14pm
Frederick Kemp (1839-1895) and his wife Alice (1846-1918) are buried in the Pine Grove Butte Cemetery. Their son, Robert Harry Kemp married Katherine Davenport. Her father, John Lewis Davenport, moved to Mosier in 1882.
Jeffrey Bryant on 11th June 2012 @ 9:24pm
Lots of hop fields around St. Paul. I am curious about the vines themselves after harvest. I would guess that now they just till those in for mulch in the fields?
With all these little breweries around here, I am surprised someone doesn't raise hops instead of grapes.........
Charlott on 13th June 2012 @ 4:39am
Hops are grown primarily in the Yakima Valley..... acres and acres of them! If you want to plant some hops, make sure you put in a "hop barrier" in the ground so that the hop plant stays contained. It is a very aggressive grower and will send roots anywhere it wants to. Beautiful though!
Terry on 13th June 2012 @ 10:26am