This entry has demonstrated the power of this format for getting into the history of a photo. The Museum database described this image as a "dude ranch near Mt. Adams." This didn't look like any of the popular views of Mt. Adams to me. I explored the entire mountain with Google Earth and still couldn't find this profile, so I forwarded the image to the Friends of Mt. Adams. I quickly got a response from renowned local photographer Darryl Lloyd: that's Mt. Hood from Government Camp. Darryl has spent more time staring at both Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood than just about anyone, so of course he was right.
So the post went up with a query as to the history of this dude ranch near Government Camp. Readers confirmed the location at Government Camp and provided the additional information about the cabins in the foreground (see Comments section). Now we have the rest of this story courtesy of Jeff Thomas, Photo Archivist for Mazama Library and Archives:
The photo was taken Aug. 14, 1915 in front of the Government Camp Hotel. It appeared the next day in the Aug. 15, 1915 Oregon Journal. The group was part of the second survey by Government officials in the Summer of 1915 to determine the feasibility of building the loop highway. A full album of photos taken during this second trip can be found in the collections of the Oregon Historical Society. It is probable that the photo was taken by Homer Rogers since his daughter - Kate McCarthey has the original negative. Homer is the one standing to the right of the automobile on the left, license plate 11672 with his hand on the door. The photo was taken at the end of the trip since it started at Homer's Mt. Hood Lodge on the North side of the Mountain. For more on the names of the men in the cars see Grauer's Mt. Hood a Complete History. And for the record please change the title. It couldn't be further from the truth.
So there you have it. No Mt. Adams, no dude ranch. But the real story is far more interesting. The post is updated, and will hopefully hold up a little better to the scrutiny of experts.
In 1957 Ivan M. Wolley, an MD from Portland published his book "Off to Mt Hood". He was a medical student, and in summers from 1914 to 1918, he drove a 1907 Pierce Arrow touring car from Portland to Government Camp. A trip that took three days.
l.e. on 6th June 2011 @ 1:27pm
Could this be Summit Meadows?
Henry Wemme, a Portland businessman, and automobile enthusiast, supposedly bought the first automobile in Oregon and purchased the Barlow toll road in 1911 or 1912, with the intentions of promoting travel to the mountain and Summit Meadows.
l.e. on 6th June 2011 @ 2:20pm
I am going to take a shot at the vehicles, the radiators appear to have screens covering the radiator, but look like early teens Oldsmobile's, 1912/1911? Fenders are a little different, maybe one is a little older than the other or a different model. Cadillacs would be my next guess.
Jim Gray on 7th June 2011 @ 12:35pm
Doubtful that it is Summit Meadows. The angle is too wrong, plus Summit Meadows would be closer to the mountain.
Charlott on 8th June 2011 @ 2:26pm
To me this looks a whole lot farther south than Govy. It reminds me of some scenes shot in Bend of the River film. it looks half-way to Warm Springs to me. Gov't Camp seems on the actual slope of hood, whereas this seems much farther out. Whaddaya think Darryl?
Scott Cook on 8th June 2011 @ 3:02pm
I have spoken with a person who is probably the most knowledgeable person alive where Government Camp is concerned. This is taken at Government Camp, but doesn't necessarily seem so, due to the angle it is shot from.
The photo is of the Little Homestead on the left and the cabin on the right of the picture belonged to a Dr. Kelley and was built in 1906.
Charlott on 9th June 2011 @ 5:09am
Charlott, I have enjoyed reading your comments on the photos. Please keep it up.
Each comment gives new things to look up.
l.e. on 9th June 2011 @ 8:32am
There is a website that deals with mt hood bear cabins. Under the reference to Government Camp there is a photo that I think you can see one of the cabins.
It also mentions Francis C Little who Charlott comments about.
l.e. on 9th June 2011 @ 8:45am
I e-mailed Gary Randall of Brightwood, Oregon who has a great website on the history of Mount Hood.
This is his reply:
"There is no doubt that the photo was in fact taken at Government Camp of the old Reliance Mt Hood Stages. Both the Little and Kelly cabins are shown, with the Kelly Cabin still in existence as the oldest building in Government Camp.
What throws many people off is the fact that the trees are sparse and small. At one time fires would ravage what is now the Mt Hood National Forest including the Government Camp area.
I have several shots that are very similar to this familiar scene."
l.e. on 9th June 2011 @ 6:36pm
I have learned that this photo was taken in the parking lot of one of the hotels that was there at the time. Dr. Kelly and some of his friends owned the entire block that later housed the Battle Ax Inn.
Mrs. Kelly with the children would come to Governement Camp in a one horse wagon. Dr. Kelly would ride up for the week end and spent his month's vacation at their cabin. This cabin is still owned by descendents according to what I have been told.
Charlott on 10th June 2011 @ 7:22am
The photo was taken Aug. 14, 1915 in front of the Government Camp Hotel. It appeared the next day in the Aug. 15, 1915 Oregon Journal. The group was part of the second survey by Government officials in the Summer of 1915 to determine the feasibility of building the loop highway. A full album of photos taken during this second trip can be found in the collections of the Oregon Historical Society. It is probable that the photo was taken by Homer Rogers since his daughter - Kate McCarthey has the original negative. Homer is the one standing to the right of the automobile on the left, license plate 11672 with his hand on the door. The photo was taken at the end of the trip since it started at Homer's Mt. Hood Lodge on the North side of the Mountain. For more on the names of the men in the cars see Grauer's Mt. Hood a Complete History. And for the record please change the title. It couldn't be further from the truth. Jeff Thomas - Photo Archivist - Mazama Library and Archives
Jeff Thomas on 19th June 2011 @ 9:29am
This can not be Government Camp, not unless they moved it Government Camp is on the flanks of the Mount Hood This clearly is some distance away from the mountain
Ellen Dittebrandt on 24th September 2011 @ 3:55pm
whoops wrong again Government Camp
Ellen Dittebrandt on 24th September 2011 @ 4:06pm
This is 'off topic' but will try anyway. Is Grauer's Mt. Hood available for reading at the Mazama library in Portland? I'll be visiting from NH in July and would like to read about a Mazama climb I made in the fifties when there was an accident descending the north side of Mt. Hood. Our leader & his son fell onto the glacier and we ran down to call for help. Eventually a plane dropped supplies & a stretcher. I would love to read the reports of some of our adventures, now that I've learned about J. Thomas and his role as archivist. Thank you so much for any information. S.R.G.
Kate (Shirley Robertson) Glanz on 15th June 2012 @ 4:49pm
There is some history about Yale graduate Homer Rogers and his Mount Hood Lodge at the summit of China Hill in the July 06, 1916 HR Glacier. Page 1.
L.E. on 5th December 2015 @ 6:30pm