This winter has been mild so far, but this is a reminder that it can get much colder. We have many images from the winter of 1928-29 that suggest it was especially severe. Alva Day documented this ship frozen at a Columbia River landing on February 9, 1929.
I understand way back when, it was quite common for the Columbia to freeze over. I can't get a fix on exactlly where it might be, but under the conditions I doubt if Alva Day could go very far from town to take a photo such as this. Right in the middle of the photo could that be Stanley Rock at Koberg's? If so that would put this right at Hood River.
I know the river froze over in either 1956, 1957 or 1958, because my "daring" husband and his friend Tom Barney walked across the river...........Dumb stunt and I told him that years later.
charlott on 6th December 2012 @ 7:41am
Interesting, no sternwheel on the sternwheeler! Can you imagine, cold enough to freeze the Columbia, and suddenly the light is just right - grab your huge camera, tripod, and drive? (antifreeze?) horse? walk? to the river for a picture?
spinsur on 6th December 2012 @ 8:29am
I assume it is taken east of the mouth of the Hood River?
This view gives a good idea as to why the highway had to go up and around. The railroad took up what little room there was along the bank.
l.e. on 6th December 2012 @ 8:43am
Alva Day took many pictures during that cold snap, including several looking down at the river from the highway east of town. It doesn't seem like the cold weather stopped him from getting around.
Arthur on 6th December 2012 @ 9:04am
Looks like this might have been taken from the recently opened Hood River-White Salmon bridge approach.
spinsur on 6th December 2012 @ 9:27am
I wonder if the stern paddlewheel was removed to protect it from the ice. It looks like mounts for the wheel on the stern of the boat.
db on 6th December 2012 @ 10:16am
Golly -- that's COLD! A house we lived in in Portland, across from Millwaukie, was built during that same cold snap. The carpenters walked across the frozen Willamette River to work on the house for several days.
Jill Stanford on 6th December 2012 @ 12:17pm
I think it was taken from the deck of the bridge, to our right would be the hotel now a days. Amazing shot!
AndrewB on 6th December 2012 @ 3:00pm
For those who knew Dick Jones and Tom Barney, their walking across a frozen Columbia in the 1950s is not beyond believing.......both were in the Explorer Scout troop Bill and I belonged to......so many stories......
One of father John L.'s favorite stories was driving on the Columbia with a model T.....before Bonneville Dam warmed up the river.
I would guess the paddle wheel was removed to save it from being broken up by the ice. Arthur, you just keep posting treasures....another amazing picture. Arlen
Arlen Sheldrake on 6th December 2012 @ 4:42pm
Arlen, I'm glad you're enjoying the images. When we started this I was worried about running out of good ones too fast, but I outgrew that fear long ago. There is a huge backlog of great ones I can't wait to get out there. Matt just passed the 10,000 scan mark yesterday, and virtually every day still holds a pleasant surprise. And every time I go back to older scans I see something I missed the first time.
Arthur on 6th December 2012 @ 7:31pm
I have seen photos of my mother in law's family coming across the ice in the Vancouver area. But the ice isn't smooth like this. It is in huge jagged chunks. Looked like a lot of work to get across.
There is a story about one of the early settlers here in Glenwood traveling to White Salmon and then crossing the ice to Hood River to get a doctor for his wife.
We sometimes grumble about that big green bridge, but what a blessing to the residents.
l.e. on 6th December 2012 @ 8:39pm
From: The Klickitat County Agriculturist, Goldendale, WA., February 22, 1929
CROSSING COLUMBIA RIVER ON THE ICE:
The first time since 1910, according to the weather man, the Columbia river is frozen over from shore to shore, and people and teams are able to cross over on the ice.
Roosevelt residents have been crossing over to Arlington frequently. The ice is said to be of considerable thickness.
All of the ferries plying across the Columbia have been tied up for some time and at present no certain date can be given as to when they will resume operations.....
Old timers will tell you it is the longest cold spell since '93.".... From Bingen we are informed where a complete record is kept, it is said to be the longest and coldest winter now in the northwest. This is disclosed by a weather chart recorded by E.S. Joslyn,
l.e. on 6th December 2012 @ 9:17pm
The March 13, 1910 Oregonian has an article about boats landing at Hood River. It says the steam boat landing is useable during both high and low water. It is about a mile to a mile and a half above the train depot.
l.e. on 20th December 2012 @ 8:15pm
I remember my mother telling me about the river freezing and people driving across it in the 30`s. Her name Edith Dawn Clymer then Polson. Her parents were Charles and Bertha Clymer of Pine Grove.
Chuck Polson on 23rd December 2013 @ 7:47pm