According to the caption and notes on the reverse, this is Leslie Butler driving the last spike in the Hood River- White Salmon Interstate Bridge on December 6, 1924. Mr. Butler was the senior member of the Butler Bank Company. It must have been a special year for him, as he also got to open the Butler Bank Building on Oak Street that same year. Bad times were just a few years ahead, as the bank succumbed to the Great Depression in 1932.
Noticed immediately the decking. Bet that was fun when it was icy.
Looks like some sort of officer there for "crowd control."
Wonder what gave Butler the honor of driving the last spike? No doubt had something to do with money and his bank.
Charlott on 26th June 2012 @ 7:13am
Leslie Butler was born in Randolph, Indiana in 1847. Came first to The Dalles. He died here in 1944. His wife was Carrie Bixler and they were the parents to Truman who was in the banking business in H. R. with his father.
Charlott on 26th June 2012 @ 7:22am
Just yesterday I was reading about the Great Stock Market crash of October 1929. The 1920's were good years for the U.S. Peaceful and economically abundant.
They were definitely good years for the White Salmon/Hood River people when this bridge was completed.
I am surprised the word Interstate is used, since it was a privately owned bridge. There were people here in Glenwood who owned stocks in the bridge.
Are they in the center of the bridge? Are people from both sides standing behind him?
Notice the suits, overcoats, fur coats and work coveralls.
l.e. on 26th June 2012 @ 7:45am
They are probably standing in the middle of the bridge where the lift span is today. The original bridge deck had to be raised and the lift span added when Bonneville Dam went in during the 1930's raising the water level.
Butler looks pretty old and frail in that picture, it is amazing he made it another 20 years.
Longshot on 26th June 2012 @ 8:40am
Isn't the bridge now called the Button Bridge? If so, when did the name change?
db on 26th June 2012 @ 9:12am
buttons owned the property around what is now the hwy 35/hwy 30 junction, china gorge area. button bridge was a wooden bridge over the railroad, and is now the curving overpass over the railroad from china gorge/tum a lum to the freeway.
spinsur on 26th June 2012 @ 9:24am
Ah, now that makes sense, although I'm afraid the spam immediately above doesn't.
db on 26th June 2012 @ 9:48am
Parts of the old Button Bridge live on. My Dad, Bob Bryant, salvaged some of the beams and used them when he built Hood River Nursery on Tucker Road in the early 1970's.
Jeffrey Bryant on 26th June 2012 @ 6:17pm
Jeffrey-- We have a nice image of the old Button Bridge coming up soon.
Arthur on 26th June 2012 @ 9:54pm
That frail looking little guy lived to be 97 years old.
Jeffrey.....I see that one of Buttler's daughters married a Vaughn. Any relation to your family, or is that the wrong spelling?
An interesting biography of Leslie Butler.
l.e. on 26th June 2012 @ 11:05pm
Hood River News articles about the Interstate Bridge can be found at:
Leslie Butler, was chairman of the board of directors of the bridge
Jeffrey Bryant on 27th June 2012 @ 3:48am
Carrie Butler married Carlton Hamilton Vaughan, who was a banker for the Butler Banking Company. I am not related to him.
Jeffrey Bryant on 27th June 2012 @ 3:51am
You must keep in mind that the Hood River-White Salmon Bridge has been greatly altered over the years. This is definitely that bridge and not what you are referring to as the Button Bridge. There are photos already posted for you to see what the bridge looked like over the Hood River near where the Button farm was.
Charlott on 27th June 2012 @ 7:09am