This steam powered sternwheeler is working its way through high water at the Hood River delta circa 1915. In this era before the completion of the Columbia River Highway most people traveled by train or boat to get to Portland. While it is tempting to romanticize riverboat travel, here's what one riverboat passenger wrote of his trip in 1909:
Am going down the Columbia River on a boat. It shakes so much it is a very difficult proposition to write. Guess I'll quit.
His writing is barely legible because his hand shook so much.
I wonder if this is the Charles R. Spencer. It was one of the first to make the Portland/The Dalles run. Captain E.W. Spencer built a beautiful home of hand hewn timbers at Spring Creek in Husum.
l.e. on 9th May 2011 @ 7:04am
Might be, as I don't think it is the Bailey Gatzer The first time my father recalled going to town was to take peaches to the Bailey, which docked out in the cotton grove trees. in 1911 No just pulling up into a port in those days. Depended largely he said where these big steamers docked was determined by the time of the year and where the water level was.
Charlott on 9th June 2011 @ 9:06pm
Charlott, do you have other reported memories of river traffic on the Hood River and in the delta from the early part of the 1900's? I'm studying the navigability of the Hood River and would be interested to hear.
Susan Crowley, 541-386-7729
Susan Crowley on 23rd August 2012 @ 12:18pm
The steamer in the photograph is the Bailey Gatzert.
Mychal on 24th December 2012 @ 2:18pm
[Ed. note] I've replaced this image with a *much* better scan. I'm replacing some of my favorite images from the early days of HHR with scans done on our better scanner. This is Scan-111215-0007.
Arthur on 19th September 2013 @ 1:20pm