We don't see many postcards of Odell. This C.S. Reeves image is a nice one. I think it dates from about 1920. With the opening of the Columbia River Highway and the Mt. Hood Loop Highway Reeves and several others filled the need for picture postcards so people on an auto holiday could share the sights with their friends back home.
Final warning: my "Sense of Place" lecture is this evening at Springhouse Cellars. Doors open at 6:30, lecture starts at 7:00. The title is "500 Yards: The Ghosts in Our Backyard." It consists entirely of photos taken within 500 yards of the lecture location. Details here.
That hotel on the left is still there, though altered over the years and is now apartments. That corner is still there and you have to pick your time to go across and hope for the best. Firehouse sits there just north of that corner now.
I think I vaguely see where the railroad goes through, down there by all the big buildings that are naturally sitting by the track for loading and off loading.
I am not certain if that is the Methodist Church on the other side of the hotel or not. Doesn't look much like a church, but things are altered over the years.
charlott on 8th January 2014 @ 7:07am
Two recognizable corners even 90 years later.
l.e. on 8th January 2014 @ 7:16am
Love seeing this photo. I wish I knew where my great-grandparents' house was in relation to it. I have photos of their house in Odell, the grade school circa 1905, a street scene, the parsonage, and the Methodist Church with its members about 1912. They lived in Odell from 1908 to 1914 (before that in Mt. Hood) and again after 1935. (In between, they lived in Hood River.) My great-grandfather, Ira Ulysses "Lyss" Lafferty, owned the Odell Cash Store (also apparently called the "stone store") with partner Clint Wood, until it burned down in 1945.
Nancy Trotic on 8th January 2014 @ 9:26am
Looks like the ubiquitous railroad crossing sign had made its appearance by then. At least that is what I think I am seeing on the right side of the road.
Longshot2 on 8th January 2014 @ 3:42pm
Do you have an idea where the "Odell Cash store was located? I don't recall ever hearing of it before............
Charlott on 9th January 2014 @ 7:13am
Charlott, I don't know where in Odell the store was located. I have a huge newspaper article of reminiscences about the store by Martha F. McKeown, written shortly after the store burned, as well as three shorter articles (two apparently part of an "Odell" column in the newspaper by W. N. Weber) mentioning the store or Lyss Lafferty, but none of them mentions the location of the store. The store had cold-storage lockers for customers to store their own food. The only hint as to location is one article in which Lyss is remembering his first visit to Odell in 1901 and is quoted as saying "There was a rural route with a mail box on the corner where the Stone store now stands." Another article mentions a "Red and White report" about the opening of the "new modern store building" and says Lafferty and Wood were "the pioneer Red and Whiters of Odell", but I have no idea what "Red and Whiters" refers to. Do you?
A few excerpts from the big 1945 article by Martha McKeown:
A short time ago there was a fire at Odell, in the Hood River valley. The chief casualty was the Odell Cash Store. It wasn’t just a store the blaze destroyed; it was an institution. It was a community center. It was a bit of old Oregon. . . . Space was always available there for church bake sales, water board elections, and heated political forums. . . .
A lot of child guidance was passed out over those counters along with the groceries. I once heard Clint Wood say to a fatherless lad: “Your mother’s not looking too well. I hope you are keeping the wood box filled.” . . .
Clint Wood has never married. For many years he cared for his widowed mother. Later he lived in a part of the store building. He loved to fish. In recent years the trips were all too few. Much of his fishing had to be done from behind the counter. The store was a Mecca for anglers. He always lent an attentive ear and passed on to others the news of good fishing holes.
Everyone calls Mr. Wood “Clint,” while we all say Mr. Lafferty. Of course Mr. Lafferty’s mother called him Ulysses, but it’s just too informal for the rest of us. It’s a relative matter of ages. Mr. Lafferty is 78; Clint is only 66. Louis Lafferty, the former’s son, who has helped out in recent years, seems like a mere lad, although he does admit that his birth date occurred in 1891.
The store cats always had personality, and there always were cats. Sometimes surplus kittens were given away with grocery orders. Clint Wood gave me my first puppy. . . .
For years Clint took care of the phone calls and made the deliveries. Each time he took down the receiver he proudly proclaimed, “Odell store.” Each item ordered was cheerfully recorded by one word: “All-righty.”
Before gas rationing made deliveries impossible Clint covered many a stormy mile delivering food to isolated homes, making special trips in cases of illness. Naturally he gained a clear knowledge of people and their needs. Soon he was serving as a local employment agent. If you needed apple pickers, thinners, etc., you just took down the receiver, called central and asked for 136. Clint would answer. You’d explain your needs and he’d say: “All-righty.” Then, soon, an old car would come rattling into the yard brim full of transient fruit help and children and puppies. A man would come to the door and say: “That feller at the store sent me over.” It was miraculous. No red tape, no priorities, no cards to fill out.
There was one amazing incongruity and that was the word cash in the name, “Odell Cash store.” In the depression many people just couldn’t pay their bills, but they were always “carried.” Never have I seen such tact as was shown in that store when someone was in need. Even in good times prosperity doesn’t come to all. Only one of a countless number whom they have befriended was the little old lady who told me that never once was her bill of three months standing mentioned last winter when her husband was sick and she had to “keep on charging.”
When the flames of the fire died down, the party lines were busy as the news was relayed that, while there was nothing left of the store itself, most of the food in the lockers could be salvaged if people moved it before it thawed, to the Hood River cold storage. Among the ruins of the store sat Clint Wood on a borrowed apple box, with Mr. Lafferty and his son by his side. As the neighbors, carrying their boxes of food, passed by and paused to shake their hands it developed into the most sincere reception I have ever attended. There isn’t one of us who grew up in Odell who isn’t a better person for having known those kindly men who kept our store.
[Nancy again:] I did find out on Ancestry.com that according to the 1917 Polk's Hood River County directory, Lyss was the secretary-treasurer of the Consolidated Mercantile Co. and his son Cecil was a clerk there. This would have been in Hood River itself. I found on this Web site (Historic Hood River) a photo of "Snowy Oak Street" in the 1910s for which you noted the sign saying "Consolidated Mercantile Company."
A great find; thank you! as I piece together the Lafferty family history.
I have scanned my great-grandmother Ida May Lafferty's photo album and put it up on Flickr. Please feel free to browse the album (at the link below) and let me know if anything looks familiar! Ida May did identify most of the photos, but I'd love to know more about any of the photos and Hood River/Odell people in them.
Nancy Trotic on 9th January 2014 @ 10:51am
P.S. Charlott (or anyone), I can send you a PDF or a transcription (in Word) of the whole article about the store if you like. Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com.
Nancy Trotic on 9th January 2014 @ 11:29am
Ok, last comment... I found this excerpt from a 1992 interview with my grandmother Vera Lafferty Plebuch (Lyss and May's daughter): Vera remembered that the family lived at a rented farm in Hood River for five years, “then Dad decided to go back into the grocery store business and moved to Odell . That's where he built the old Stone Store. He had a partner, Clint Wood. Also had stores at Hood River, Pine Grove, and East Side, but only the one in Odell was making money. He had a meat market; people rented lockers. He'd make deliveries once a week. We kids didn't spend time at the store. We would've gotten our heads knocked off for messing around in there. It was heated by a big stove in the back. Guys would go in there to smoke or talk. He kept his store his whole life.”
Here is a picture mentioning the Odell grade school and the Stone Store:
Nancy Trotic on 9th January 2014 @ 11:42am
Red and White, was a chain store, such as Safeway, etc. Bickford's at Pine Grove was a Red and White store.
Charlott on 10th January 2014 @ 7:05am
I am wondering about something. We called Webber's the "stone store corner." I wonder if that might have been the original grocery store, though some distance from downtown Odell. I don't for sure, but will find someone who was around at that time to help figure it out.
Charlott on 10th January 2014 @ 7:56am
Charlott, thanks VERY much for the information--I'm very glad to find out what "Red and White" was. And thanks a million for offering to help figure out where the store was. I don't recall hearing anything about Webber's, but who knows. My great-grandma Lafferty was great about writing down dates and photo IDs, but she did not give locations and addresses much.
Nancy Trotic on 10th January 2014 @ 11:25am
Nancy, thank you for sharing your photos. I really enjoyed looking through them. I noticed there were a few that corresponded to HHR photos.
l.e. on 11th January 2014 @ 12:20am
Very happy to share them, and also very happy to receive any comments on them regarding people, places, dates, events. etc. If you make a Flickr account (which is free), you can add your own comments on the pictures. I love finding out as much as I can about a photo. Unfortunately my grandmother (Vera May Lafferty Plebuch) passed away in 1996, before I caught the family-history bug in a big way, and there is no one left for me to ask about these pictures.
Nancy Trotic on 11th January 2014 @ 10:18am
Mystery solved. The Lafferty store was located where the present Mid-Valley Market it located. As to whether it was a total stone building I haven't found out. May have just had a stone front. After it burned down, it was rebuilt, again facing the main road. It again burnt down, and I do remember that event. This time when it was re-built the front faces north, towards the railroad track, with the parking lot in between.
According to what I was able to find out there was some sort of living quarters upstairs, but don't know who actually resided there. I was told that in the meat department it had the old sawdust floors.
Charlott on 13th January 2014 @ 7:07am
Thank you SO MUCH, Charlott! That's amazing! Now I've got to make a trip to Odell and see the spot. (I live in Portland.)
I didn't know it burned down a second time; do you remember what year it burned for the second time? Also, I wonder if anyone knows the cause of the fires? A cause wasn't mentioned in the McKeown article, or anywhere else that I could find. I was especially curious about this after reading in "Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence: Coming Home to Hood River" (by Linda Tamura, University of Washington Press, 2012) that "the owner of one Odell community store reportedly received threats of arson if he allowed Japanese to shop" (p. 175). Of course I have no idea which store that was. Then, on p. 193: "In 1946, within a year of their return, more businesses began to serve Nikkei. . . . Not surprisingly, Nikkei had long memories when it came to storekeepers who had once turned them away. A grocer in outlying Odell got this response when he solicited a Nisei: 'I heard my money wasn't any good at your store.'" I have no idea how the Laffertys felt towards the Japanese; my grandmother never mentioned it, one way or another, and I never thought to ask.
I have no idea who may have lived above the store, but it seems the Laffertys did have their own house in Odell, or rented one, not sure.
Did this picture ring a bell with you? Do you think that's the "stone store" at the right, in the distance? And I wonder what year this was--probably early, given the horse and buggy, although there appears to be some kind of truck there, too.
Thanks again, Charlott! If you happen to find out anything more, please pass it on! You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nancy Trotic on 14th January 2014 @ 8:29am
Yes the picture of the Odell grade School with stone store Store was called Weber bro's in 1948. I was in that little store most everyday when I was small, Ted was very young then, and he took care of the Candy counter, penny or two penny counter. Was a hardware/ farm store. Ted Weber is still living I do believe. In a home somewhere, the Adult center should be able to give you that information. 541-386-2060 Ted might be able to enlighten you , I think he knew everyone in Odell .
Doti Miles on 13th February 2014 @ 5:47am
Ted Weber just passed on May 8, 2014. Find out his Celebration of Life at Anderson's Tribute Center. Love his daughter
Cheryl Krieger on 10th May 2014 @ 1:40pm
I have been reading alot of the history of Odell bit nothing about the Indians that were there and what tribes..can anyone help
veronica webster on 18th August 2015 @ 11:18am
The Hood River Glacier, June 23, 1910
Last week T. W. Atkinson received his appointment as post master of the new post office known as Newtown to be established at Odell station on the Mt. Hood railroad in the place of business of Rev. Atkinson.
Jeffrey Bryant on 21st September 2015 @ 4:15am
The power poles remind me of this article:
The Hood River Glacier, December 15, 1910, Image 7
The fine store of the Connaway Mr. Co. is now electric lighted throughout and with its display of holiday goods in addition to the complete stock already carried it presents a very attractive appearance. The warehouse, blacksmith shop, meat market, church and I. O. O. F. Hall and the residences of O. L. Walter, Thos. Lacey, J. R. Crosby and E. T. Fouts are also lighted by electricity.
Jeffrey Bryant on 22nd November 2015 @ 3:15pm
The Hood River Glacier, February 23, 1911, page 7
A petition is being circulated asking that the name of the post office, Newtown, be changed to Odell.
Jeffrey Bryant on 5th December 2015 @ 8:46pm
The Hood River News, March 22, 1911
Change Newtown P. O. to Odell
The department has notified postmaster Atkinson at Newtown that the name of that office will be changed to Odell the first of April. The change in name is due to a recent visit of the inspector and petitions by residents asking for it.
Jeffrey Bryant on 13th December 2015 @ 5:07am
email@example.com is this still a good email? I had family in Odell years ago. William (Daddy Will) Kemp was my grandfather and my grandmother was Edith Lafferty. I knew a Dave Webber in the USMC from Odell and my dad said there was a Webbers store at one time.
Bill Anders on 4th December 2017 @ 9:17am