This image kicks of "Postcard Week" at Historic Hood River. It's a fine example of how postcards can be an important part of the historic record. This card has a nice view on the front and an intriguing message on the reverse.
The small triangle of land in front of the Mt. Hood Hotel was at various times a pen for animals and a garden, but here we see it as a kiosk for the Hood River Commercial Club. Apparently you could grab a box of local fruit here to bring back home on the train.
The message on this card will definitely be worth some research. It is addressed to Mrs. Earl Bartmess from "A.B." (likely Earl's sister Aldine Bartmess) and bears a return address of S.E. Bartmess Furniture, Paints, Oils & Building Material/ Undertaking. It is dated June 28, 1909
Dear Zella, That picture is beautiful honestly! I can't sleep till I see that little darling. Great excitement here in H.R. I suppose you saw in to-days Oregonian that murder case. It keeps Papa & I running with people to see her. Had trial here in our store this morning. A.B.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
As we have seen in past photos, Bartmess had his undertaking business above his other businesses right next to The Paris Fair.
I do recall a murder about that time, but don't know exactly where to go to find out the details, because the library is closed on Mondays.
It was naturally a woman and A.B. and her father, who was the undertaker were taking people in the funeral part of the building to see the body.
this gives up another nice view of the hotel.
charlott on 7th January 2013 @ 7:08am
Wondering if the Commercial Club was like the fore runner of the Chamber. Does anyone know?
charlott on 7th January 2013 @ 7:10am
The June 27, 1909 Sunday Oregonian reports a murder of housekeeper Emaline Casto on a farm in the Belmont district owned by William Robbins. She was robbed, beaten and strangled. The farmer's son George is a suspect.
To be continued. Hopefully by Arthur, if he knows the rest of the story.
l.e. on 7th January 2013 @ 9:05am
I sure agree Arthur, postcards provide a whole lot of history that isn't otherwise preserved. The Webfooters Post Card Club based in Portland is one example of serious postcard collectors. Mark Moore, President puts out an outstanding newsletter, some issues are available online like the 2012 issue highlighting postcards/history of Timberline Lodge. www.thewebfooters.com.
Hope the ribbon cutting went well yesterday.....not a good day for this Portlander to venture out into the Gorge. Arlen
Arlen Sheldrake on 7th January 2013 @ 9:30am
Zella was my grandmother and the baby referred to, was my Uncle Carrol. A.B. is Aldine Bartmess Small whose husband was the postmaster in his time.
mary bartmess kramer on 7th January 2013 @ 10:22am
More on the murder please! Super interested in the outcome.
AndrewB on 7th January 2013 @ 1:01pm
Andrew here is the Oregonian link about the murder. It is over in the far right hand column.
I haven't had much time to keep looking for the outcome. Lack of the Hood River papers being online limits our information.
As I understand, that is suppose to change, which will be a wonderful help to any historical research.
I have not found any record of the trial.
I have found that the sheriff arrested the son and brought him back to HR. I found a record of George Robbins in the penitentiary in September of 1909.
l.e. on 7th January 2013 @ 1:17pm
Yes, l.e., the History Museum has joined the library and some other institutions to apply for a grant to get our old regional newspapers online through the U of O. Keep your fingers crossed! If that happens I'll have to ask much harder questions for Mystery Monday-- like what color horse did George Robbins use for his getaway?
Mary, I hope you enjoy the postcards this week. Four of them are from or about members of the Bartmess clan, so I hope you get a more personal view of these relatives of yours-- nothing too personal, I promise!
Arthur on 7th January 2013 @ 1:34pm
I love it when members of local history are able to respond.
Here is a link to the Monday Oregonian, June 28, 1909. Along with a photo of constable Ganger, Robbins and deputy sheriff Morse.
Deputy Morse caught up with him in Portland. Robbins pales when Morse reads the warrant for his arrest. Maintained under questioning he knew nothing about the crime. Fearful that an attempt might be made to lynch him at HR, they returned on a late train. From page 1 you will have to move to page five to finish the story. As the article states, the case is shrouded in mystery.
Which works for Mystery Monday.
The Nesbitt case is also mentioned.
l.e. on 7th January 2013 @ 3:50pm
Back to postcards for a minute. Many families actually had post cards made of their families, farm life or such. I have some family photos that are actual post cards.
charlott on 7th January 2013 @ 4:50pm
charlott, you're a few days ahead of us. We have a discussion of "real photo postcards" coming up Thursday. Most photo processors would print your image postcard size on heavier stock so anyone with a camera could make their own postcard.
Arthur on 7th January 2013 @ 4:57pm
Some of the best photos of the Columbia River are old postcards.
The trial continues: June 29, 1909 left hand column.
Six witnesses testify and family disowns accused killer, but father says a neighbor had quarreled with the woman earlier over money. Accused continues to deny but contradicts his story.
l.e. on 7th January 2013 @ 7:49pm
I am Aldine Bartmess Small's daughter and am really excited to learn of this website. Heard about it from my cousin, Mary Bartmess Kramer. I grew up in Hood River but now live in Tigard, Ore...but I'm still very loyal to Hood River. I can assure you that I will be checking this site from now on. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Elda Marie Small McMillan on 7th January 2013 @ 7:56pm
Keep up informed on the grant to digitize the old Hood River newspapers. I'll be glad to contribute some time to help with matching costs.
Jeffrey Bryant on 8th January 2013 @ 3:36am
I couldn't resist. Here is the murder trial as told in headlines from the Oregonian:
June 27, Woman is Slain; Money Missing. Hood River Tragedy Mystifies
June 28, Murder Suspect is Caught Here. George Robbins Denies Killing Mrs. Casto
June 30, Family Spurns Accused Slayer. Testimony is Dark for Young Robbins
July 7 Phone Clinches Clews to Murder. Grand Jury Indicts Young Robbins for Ghastly Hood River Crime
August 20, Robbins Breaks Jail. Murderer Suspect Caught after Two Hours
September 8, Jury Hard to Select. Opinions Formed in Robbins Murder Case
September 9, Promise is Made of New Evidence. Prosecutor Springs Surprise in Robbins Murder Trial
September 10, Defense Accuses Father of Crime. Sensational Turn is Given Murder Trial in Hood River
September 11, Robbins Guilty in Second Degree. Hood River Jury Returns Verdict after Deliberating Four Hours
Arthur on 9th January 2013 @ 9:43pm
Thanks Arthur for finishing the links. I couldn't find any stories for a few days after June 30th and haven't had time to continue looking.
Now, I can read "the rest of the story."
l.e. on 10th January 2013 @ 7:52pm