The Masons set about clearing land for their apple orchard. I know I've already shared several images of fields full of stumps, but for decades clearing land was the major enterprise of the Hood River Valley. The caption in the album reads, "An Ideal Stump (tree cut 12 cords of wood)." Firewood kept the family warm, and perhaps some of it made the trip down to the Hood River to fuel the steam locomotives or sternwheelers.
I see a building over in the trees, probably their house. If that is their house this picture would be to the north east, looking somewhat to the southwest.
What is amazing about this photo is that it give one a good perspective of the digging out it took around those huge stumps to get ready to blast them. I don't think even the best working team around would have been used to pull them out.
Quite possible some wood was sold to fuel steam ships. Also, wood was being shipped to places that were somewhat treeless. My great-grandfather bought fire wood for re-sale to the farmers in Sherman County. That is how he ended up in H.R., coming down to look at wood, fell in love with this valley and ended up here.
Charlott on 24th April 2012 @ 7:09am
Goodbye to the big trees and the lupine.
I wonder if they planted their fruit trees amongst the debris and then cleaned up around them. It would have taken such a long time to clear the large stumps from the fields.
You can see that they have dug a hole down around this stump. Either so they could blow it or cut off all of the roots.
l.e. on 24th April 2012 @ 7:14am
Nope, they would have cleaned the debris out, pushing it into big burn piles, as after the trees were planted one would have to be able to get between rows to maintain them, such as spraying when that came into being, then when trees were mature they would have to be able to get wagons, ladders, etc.t hrough their orchards. Not an easy life to say the least.
One big weiner roast when those huge old piles were burnt.
Charlott on 24th April 2012 @ 8:00am
In one of the biographies of Albert Mason, is described what would have been a huge setback.
"Owing to a fraudulent nurseryman who sold him trees different from the kind he ordered, Mr. Mason has been set back some in the fruit industry and was compelled to cut down a great many acres and graft them to the proper varieties otherwise he would have a great many more trees bearing."
l.e. on 24th April 2012 @ 8:18am