This beautiful view of the Columbia looking east towards Mosier shows some great details we don't see too often. Chicken Charlie Island is still around, though it is smaller now that it is in the Bonneville Pool. Note the long train at river level. If you look closely you can also see the adits for the Twin Tunnels of the Columbia Gorge Highway.
I actually thought the Island would have been larger.
Looks like a dark and cloudy Columbia Gorge day.
l.e. on 21st November 2013 @ 7:29am
Bonneville pool certainly did take a good chunk of it. Wonder how many chickens Charlie actually had over there?
charlott on 21st November 2013 @ 7:30am
The river current looks to be a little bit swifter
Dan on 21st November 2013 @ 8:32am
Thx for posting this pic Arthur. I had been hoping to ask our area experts about Charlie Reither's history on CC Island....maybe someone can help me chase after a myth here. In the "Hood River A-Z" book they detail that Charlie installed a small narrow-gauge railroad on the island to harvest his "hay". I've heard that this lil RR was called "the world's shortest RR". Sounds good....but...I've NEVER been able to locate even one photo of this RR and I wonder if this history may be just myth. I would think that if some off fellow ran a Model T on an island in the Columbia, then somebody would have a photo of it, thus helping prove its existence.
Scott Cook on 21st November 2013 @ 8:48am
Never heard of this before..............
charlott on 21st November 2013 @ 9:26am
Scott...do you visit the Mosier Historic Page?
I know a while back they had some photos of Chicken Charlie Island and some discussion. Someone there might know something about your question.
l.e. on 21st November 2013 @ 10:09am
I remember reading in "Hood River as I knew it" (which is at the library) the author talked about a little train on the island. If we could zoom in we may be able to see it!
AndrewB on 21st November 2013 @ 11:30am
My father actually wanted to buy that island at one time. He would pick Charlie up when he came to shore so that could take care of his business in town.
Norma Jubitz Simpson on 21st November 2013 @ 1:13pm
Scott and I have examined the high-res scan, but it shows no sign of a railroad.
Arthur on 21st November 2013 @ 1:47pm
This doesn't have anything to do with today's photo, but Stevenson has a new history book out. Available in the local stores.
"Tales of Historic Stevenson: Stories by Early Pioneers: Book One."
When I was a kid, people would point to the Rock Creek slough, and say, "That used to be the old Attwell Farm!". There is a section devoted to the Attwell family and their farm.
l.e. on 21st November 2013 @ 2:25pm
There is a Donation Land Claim on the Oregon side, makes up a large part of Cascade Locks named Atwell.
spinsur on 21st November 2013 @ 5:43pm
LE, thx for the nudge back to the Mosier site. I didn't know they were still so active adding new photos. I left a message over on their FB site asking the Gholstons about Charlie's RR.
Scott Cook on 22nd November 2013 @ 10:35am
Mr. Reither used to have some of his mail sent care of my father, Dick Nichols. I particularly remember a subscription he had to a pulp magazine called "Fate," which came out monthly with detailed astrological predictions for each sign of the Zodiac each day of the month. Dad would take them down to Nichols Boat Works and Mr. Reither would bring his rowboat down and pick them up.
Rodger Nichols on 1st September 2014 @ 5:35pm
My grandfather, Jacob I. Messinger, who farmed near The Dalles from 1910 to approx 1975 always called this Chicken Charley Island. And later in life, I while working for First national Bank of Oregon, Trust Dept,(1960s) recall that the bank held the property in trust and it was sold to a doctor from Walla Walla. I recall as a kid (1940s & 50s traveling east of old hwy.30 and now on I-84 wondering who, if anyone, was living there.
firstname.lastname@example.org on 21st August 2016 @ 4:29pm
I'm the current owner. My understanding is that the railroad line went under water when Bonneville Pool was raised and the island passed from being in Washington to Oregon because of the "deepest channel" clause in the boundary at the time. There are still some pieces of rail and some small spikes on the island, so I tend to believe the old stories.
Paul on 7th September 2016 @ 9:27pm
Dear Paul or anyone who knows the current owner. I am a relative of the past owner who built the home on the property. His story is no where to be found and his daughter is still alive. He died in 1970. I'm hoping the missing history can be told before it's lost. I've reached out to Mosier, Mt Hood History and others.Please contact me at: kathyfpm at gmail dot com.
Kathy on 21st June 2017 @ 8:42am
val on 19th September 2017 @ 7:57pm