Who is this esteemed visitor to Hood River? He is accompanied some of the city's luminaries, including its mayor and prominent businessmen. This is a hard one, so I'll add clues through the day.
Clue #1: the visit was in March of 1913
Clue #2: Teddy Roosevelt invited him to dine at the White House, to the consternation of some.
Yes, it's Booker T. Washington along with Mayor Blanchar and R.E. Scott. Here's the story that was passed down:
March 25th, 1913, A bright sunny day. Hood River got word that Booker T. Washington on a trip round the country was in Portland and would like to see Hood River. So arrangements were made for a meeting at Asbury church. E.O. Blanchar with his car and R.E.Scott met the distinguished visitor and took him to the church where a overflowing crowd awaited.
Just at this time Pacific Power and Light Co. had opened office in Hood River and had intended to build a power plant which was called off for some reason but later came to life. Mr. Blanchar took the visitor round the loop after the meeting-- the Odell Loop.While the crowd waited some one got on his feet and told that a large family had come to Hood River to get work on the Dam (Condit Dam) and were in need of assistance until work started. Suggested a collection which was taken up and money some $80 turned over to a committee.
Before the Committee got to work another family headed by a brother of the first announced they also needed help-- just how the money was distributed is now forgotten.
But the incident proves the willingness of man to always help.
Also, a small advertisement: I'll be giving a lecture based on the Museum's photo collection Tuesday, March 19th, at 6:30 PM at Springhouse Cellars (by the train station). Doors open at 6:00. It's the final lecture in this year's "Sense of Place" lectures sponsored by the Columbia Gorge Earth Center.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
It appears that this photo was taken in front of Asbury Methodist Church on State Street. Well, it has to be Jack Johnson the heavy weight boxer....
charlott on 18th March 2013 @ 7:05am
Gosh Charlott, I bet you are right. My husband is always telling me stories about Jack Johnson and his fearless but brazen personality.
He will be impressed when I tell him he visited Hood River.
Now, why was he here in HR? Visiting the mountain? The Columbia River Highway wasn't completed.
l.e. on 18th March 2013 @ 7:43am
Hmmm. Doesn't look like Jack Johnson. Doesn't even look African American. Jack Johnson had been arrested and was awaiting trial in March, 1913 so I don't think he'd be out touring Oregon.
Jim F. on 18th March 2013 @ 8:05am
Well, I possibly am wrong but I still say Johnson, sitting in the back seat. Definitely a black man and Johnson could have been out on bail as he didn't go to trial until later that year and then took off.
charlott on 18th March 2013 @ 9:05am
Nope, not Jack Johnson (boxer or musician). Clue #2: Teddy Roosevelt invited him to dine at the White House, to the consternation of some.
Arthur on 18th March 2013 @ 9:12am
Well then, it has to be Booker T Washington.
Johnson was in just enough social disgrace at the time that probably the mayor of HR would not be so excited to have him visit his town.
The mayor of HR in 1913 was E. O. Blanchar???
l.e. on 18th March 2013 @ 9:19am
Alright I will agree that it is Washington. Could have fooled me initially as I saw such a resemblence in Johnson. Does look like a much younger Washington than one would have thought by 1913, as he died in 1915.
Do we know who the locals are in the photo?
charlott on 18th March 2013 @ 9:44am
Sure looks like Booker T.
AndrewB on 18th March 2013 @ 11:35am
Not sure how you got from Jack Johnson to Booker T. Washington, but that is the correct answer. I've updated the post with a contemporary account.
Arthur on 18th March 2013 @ 11:43am
Tends to make it more interesting doesn't it? (Ha) At least I got the building correct.....
charlott on 18th March 2013 @ 1:37pm
Yes, Charlott, you got the building correct and according to the building history it sounds like Mr. Washington spoke at the pulpit in the building.
Probably not Jack Johnson's sort of building.
l.e. on 18th March 2013 @ 9:11pm