Dr. W.L. Adams was one of the pioneering residents of Hood River, arriving here in 1876. This house, the centerpiece of "Paradise Farms," was featured in an 1887 article in "The West Shore." It is believed to have been constructed in 1887. The house still survives, though somewhat transformed, at 13th and State Street. That may be Dr. Adams himself on the second story porch.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
Such a lot of character to this particular photo. Note the water wheel on the far left, so that is no doubt where the creek was. What exactly is that large thing in the left opposite the fountain? It appears there is a matching one further back? Do we know if that is another house or part of the one where all the people are located?
Charlott on 26th June 2013 @ 7:09am
What is that contraption on the left that looks like a guillotine? It appears there is another in the distance behind the water wheel.
Rawhyde on 26th June 2013 @ 7:17am
Wow! Very elegant.
Guillotine is what I thought.
I just happen to have the "The West Shore" book marked. Very accurate description of what we are looking at. Minus the Guillotine.
l.e. on 26th June 2013 @ 7:24am
Here is the Historic Resource Survey Report:
Sorry for such long links.
l.e. on 26th June 2013 @ 7:27am
In 1909 Sue Adams, a "widowed and single woman", split about fifty or so acres in this area of the Jenkins Donation Land Claim, into Adams Paradise Acres, tracts of between 3 and 17 acres, that encompasses the farm above, and much of the area from Oak to May, 12th to Rand. Many current deeds still refer to this early subdivision.
spinsur on 26th June 2013 @ 7:38am
Charlott, the second building was a medical facility (sanitorium) which was built in 1881.
Arthur on 26th June 2013 @ 7:44am
When I first moved to HR in 2005 I was shown around this place by the caretaker at the time. He said they dug up old medical equipment in the garden all the time. He believed the sanatorium wing collapsed into a sink hole at some point- I don't know if that is true but it is what he said.
He also said the place was very haunted, a woman in a Victorian white dress would be seen coming up the steps on the north side. And anytime they moved furniture, spirits would try to move it back that very night!
AndrewB on 26th June 2013 @ 11:10am
I also read in an old book- "hood river as I knew it" that the Paradise farm boundary went all the way up to Belmont Ave. Which would mean that my house was just inside that old property.
AndrewB on 26th June 2013 @ 11:15am
The West Shore article states that the house is built at the forks of four wagon roads. It has two springs. No mineral can be detected but it turns the wood with which it comes in contact, to stone in a few years. (I wonder what that is all about?)
The fountain is from France.
From the history of the home article, it sounds like the sanitarium is the one with the cupola, with the cottage to the east side for the family.
William and his wife Frances divorced and he remarried Sue Mosier, daughter of the founder of Mosier, in 1889.
l.e. on 26th June 2013 @ 12:46pm
Look at the amount of flagging on the trees from the winds. I would think that the flag on the house or sanitorium (if that is what it is) would have sent vibrations all through the building.
I have seen structures similar to the "guillotines" that were used for hoisting heavy loads into or out of wagons. You would expect there to be a visible rope and pulley system if this was their use and would also have to question why there were two?
Longshot on 26th June 2013 @ 6:17pm
I have the Abstract of Title for land that Robert Vaughan bought from M. Sue Adams July 9, 1906. It was on 13th Street (at that time called Paradise Avenue). The Adams Addition was dedicated October 8, 1903. W. L. Adams purchased the land August 3, 1877.
Jeffrey Bryant on 26th June 2013 @ 7:28pm
When I moved to HR in 1966 Charles and Vi Jackson lived in the house. They had donated the land for Jackson Park early on. They were relatives of Joy and Pete Jubitz. Later on Gary and Noretta Hornbeck lived there and then Cottonwood came in later with another ownership.
Judy on 26th June 2013 @ 9:02pm
I'm not sure I'm a fan of Dr. Adams. In this history by Mrs. D.M. Coon it sounds like he, at age 61, divorced his wife who had been through so much with him and married Susan Mosier, 34 years younger.
l.e. on 26th June 2013 @ 10:00pm
The flag in the picture has 48 stars. Arizona is the 48th state and last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union, achieving statehood on February 14, 1912. Ergo the photo must have been taken sometime after 1912. Is it possible the 1887 article in "The West Shore" some 25 years earlier would have been on a more primitive homestead? Just asking.
Ralph on 27th June 2013 @ 5:36am
Does anyone know what happened to the second Mrs. Adams?
charlott on 27th June 2013 @ 6:49am
Thank you Jeffrey. Back in the 1940's, the Jackson's had a motel there called the Paradise Motel. That explains how it got its name.
Bill Seaton on 27th June 2013 @ 7:16am
Jeffrey, not sure this link will work for ya , but this is Adam's Addition, along hospital hill, 1903, as you noted; Adams Paradise Acres, which I can't link to, was much larger. And don't forget we weren't a county until 1908, so these were recorded in Wasco County, then hand-copied for us.
spinsur on 27th June 2013 @ 7:24am
Ahhh...one of the more colorful early residents of HRC. Dr. Adams was portrayed in our first year of Cemetery Tales by local actor Tom Pencheon. In the research it was found that people said he fancied himself a zealous Anti-Slavery Republican who frequently was seen roaming the edges of his pond giving various dissertations to his pet sturgeons and firing his pistol into the air to punctuate the stronger points of his talk. He also wrote a book called "The Story of Medicine and Surgery" which he felt would expose the medical frauds of the time.
Connie on 27th June 2013 @ 8:10am
Ralph, that is some real detective work, counting stars.
It would be interesting to find out when the sanitarium was torn down.
Jeffrey contributed the "find a grave" write up for Dr. Adams, who is buried at Idlewilde.
His death is listed as April 26, 1906.
Charlott.....after Dr. Adams's death, Mary Susan Mosier married Leroy Armstrong in 1910. Divorced and then married John Henderson, Hood River's early lawyer and surveyor known for swimming the Columbia. They moved to Tillamook. One report says she died in 1922 in Tillamook. But, Mrs. D. M. Coon says she returned to HR after one year, discouraged in mind and died.
l.e. on 27th June 2013 @ 3:42pm
The “Dedication of Adams Addition” paper work includes the following: “Certificate of John Leland Henderson, surveyor, that the map of Adams Addition is a true representation of the survey as made by him.”
Jeffrey Bryant on 27th June 2013 @ 6:08pm
Here's the article from "The West Shore". It answers the question of what the "guillotines" were for-- it seems to be a children's swing:
Arthur on 27th June 2013 @ 6:29pm
Ralph, looking at the hi-res source I don't get the same star count. One row is fully obscured, but it's not the neat 8x6 grid you usually see for 48 stars. It looks most like a 45 star flag (1896-1907) to me, but I sure wouldn't place a bet on it.
Arthur on 27th June 2013 @ 6:39pm
wondering who that is in the hammock ... ?
steve on 27th June 2013 @ 8:14pm
Compared the man in the middle of the porch of the sanitarium with photos of W.L. Adams-- very good match. He died in 1906.
Arthur on 28th June 2013 @ 12:54am
Could that gullotine have been the base for the wonderful glider swing that was there when the Jacksons lived there? It had two wooden slat seats facing each other, and an attached floor of slats. People made the swing move by sliding the floor backward and forward with their feet. Compared to the squatty little gliders they sell nowadays, this one was a giant. I think the reason we can't see the bench seats in this photo is that somebody is swinging too fast for the camera to stop the structure in action. So that fountain was there to begin with. The Jacksons had it in a circular concrete pool with a wide brim. The figure on the fountain's top was a blue-grey heron or crane in the act of swallowing a fish. I backed into that pool in the '40s at an evening church party and got a ducking.
barbara parsons bernstein on 5th July 2013 @ 10:55am
W.L. Adams was my husband's great-great-great-grandfather. He was indeed a colorful character. Published the first Republican newspaper in Oregon, appointed by Lincoln to be customs collector at Astoria, gospel preacher, author, and teacher. His brother Sebastian founded what is now Linfield College in McMinnville and wote and published A Chronological History of the World. One of W.L.'s daughters, Helen, was married to J.W. Johnson, first president of the University of Oregon. Many fascinating stories connected to the family.
Bonnie Miller on 20th December 2013 @ 4:43pm
The Hood River Glacier, Saturday, September 22, 1894
William Rogers, the photographer, last week took some fine views of Paradise farm.
Jeffrey Bryant on 30th January 2015 @ 10:09am
The Hood River Glacier, July 22, 1909
The big sturgeon in the fountain tank at Paradise farm is one of the points of interest to visitors and it is the largest fish in captivity we know of. The fish was caught by the late Dr. Adams and placed in a pond on the farm in 1879, thirty years ago. It was then about two feet long and it has grown about two feet since that time. It remained in the pond until a few months ago, when the pond gradually filled up with weeds and silt until it was noticed that the fish was getting his back sunburned. He was then placed in the fountain, which holds about two feet of water. He seems quite content in his present quarters. Mrs. Adams sees that he receives good attention, his food consisting of liver and fresh meat, which he will jump out of the water for when thrown to him. He does not like to pick up his food from the bottom of the tank, but wants to take it fish fashion as it is striking the water.
Jeffrey Bryant on 31st May 2015 @ 12:31pm
The Hood River Glacier, March 31, 1910
BIG STURGEON, PET OF
30 YEARS, RELEASED
After thirty years in captivity at Paradise Farm, the sturgeon was given his freedom by the owner Mrs. Sue M. Adams Armstrong. He was captured at the Cascade Locks in a fish wheel and was purchased by Dr. H. R. Littlefield and brought to Hood River in a row boat with a very little water in the bottom of the boat. From the boat landing on the beach he was hauled up in a wagon to Dr. W. L. Adams’ place and presented to him.
At that time, in the early spring of 1880, Dr. Adams had two small lakes or ponds on the place. The sturgeon had his home in them, being exchanged from time to time from one to the other. After years passed away the ponds became filled with grass and weeds and sand and he was removed to the fountain, which, proved too small a space for him, and his owner, believing it was cruelty to keep him thus confined, gave him his liberty.
He was hauled down to the Columbia by Matt Huckler and Charlie Lusier and turned into the river, where for a few seconds he seemed bewildered and then joyfully swam away, never to be seen again. He has been viewed by thousands of people during his captivity and was a wonder to many who saw a fish of that size for the first time.
At the time of his capture he was about three feet long, but grew to at least six feet in length. He was fed on birds and meat and squirrels and when regularly fed soon grew sleek and fat, but he, as an attraction on Paradise farm is gone, forever gone.
Jeffrey Bryant on 6th August 2015 @ 7:31pm
HR Glacier January 16, 1903 page 3 has a letter by W.L. Adams .
It is fairly long but interesting about the constitution, property rights and roads through his property.
L.E. on 16th January 2016 @ 8:34pm
The November 22, 1901 HR Glacier editorial has a bit about Dr. Adams written by the editor of the Newberg Graphic.
L.E. on 15th April 2017 @ 2:18am
What a wonderful feedback by so many people. A multitude of stories hiding in that place. Thank you so much.
Arthur, is there any chance you could make this sight so that when people supply other websites, a person could click on it and go directly to that site.
nels on 28th June 2019 @ 2:15pm
nels, I plan to get to that some day but I have to be careful because it opens up some security concerns. I get thousands of attempts to embed bad websites everyday. So far my focus has been on keeping the website "clean" of bad content. Someday it will get a major overhaul.
ArthurB on 29th June 2019 @ 7:47pm