This is one of the more interesting images I've seen of Dee during its heyday. We're looking at the water backed up behind the dam which powered the Oregon Lumber Company mill. Dee was a company town. The large white building is the Dee Hotel. We saw it close up in this post.
The mill and the dam are gone, but you can still see remains of them on the site.
Do you have a time frame for this photo? Do you know how the dam powered the mill--generate electricity or was the mill steam powered? If steam powered, most big mill ponds were just a cheaper way to store and move logs into the mill. Also on the far bank it looks like logs have been laid vertically down into the pond to make a log dump. Wonder if logs were moved to this dump by railroad? Different world then--but ecological nightmare.
Buzz on 4th September 2013 @ 7:27am
There is a log slip on the other side to dump logs into the pond. I wonder if it was used by trucks or a train.
It looks like the work of a bunch of big beavers.
l.e. on 4th September 2013 @ 7:29am
Railroad logging was used to feed this mill early in the 1900's. The railroad helped to bring logs to the mill from the West Fork of the Hood River. Many of the roads we drive today in the lower elevations of the West Fork are actually railroad grades.
Ranger on 4th September 2013 @ 9:54am
Another terrific image, Arthur! I agree on the log slip on the west bank -- if you look at this 1931 Metzger map clip you can see the spurs terminating at the mill site:
You can also see a spur crossing the log pond on the map -- which I would speculate was built on the two peninsulas poking into the pond in the center of the photo. This looks really early to me -- as in turn of the 20th century. Is there a date established for the hotel?
Tom Kloster on 4th September 2013 @ 10:58am
From the post linked above in the caption of the Hotel:
I came across this in a Sept. 10, 1908 HR Glacier article. It might be a description of the hotel.
"A fine improvement at Dee and one which is particularly appreciated by the traveling public, is a new hotel which has just been completed and opened to the public this week.
spinsur on 4th September 2013 @ 11:15am
Dee was named for Thomas Dee, a stock holder and officer in Oregon Lumber Company. They had purchased the land from the Winans family who owned a lot of land in that area. David Eccles in the one credited with establishing the "company town." In the very beginning mill works lived in box cars. Eventually houses, store and the hotel were built. I vaguely remember that street where the so called town was located.
Charlott on 5th September 2013 @ 7:10am
The steam boiler was fed by surplus wood "hog fuel" year around. The steamheat heated all the building in "the town called Dee"...
Bill P. on 1st October 2013 @ 2:53pm
During the "logging season" the logs were stacked on the east side of the river into "cold decks" to be milled in the winter. Several fires destroyed these decks which is another chapter in the book.
Bill P. on 1st October 2013 @ 2:58pm
The following link is an article from 1906 indicating the new mill was ready for operation:
Jeffrey Bryant on 21st September 2014 @ 6:26am
this picture is interesting, showing the river downstream from the mill. As the river was glacier melt fed I doubt there were any log ponds in this picture. When I was a small child the logs were stacked on the flat above the dam on the west side above the dam , not seen in this picture. Growing up I walked a river trail from my home to the area in the picture and foun little evidence of down stream holding ponds! Would have been difficult as the river still floods yearly with glacier and snow melt and canyon is quite steep and current very strong !
B mortensen on 6th January 2015 @ 7:19pm
I remember Dee in the 50s when there were still houses (shacks), Mr. Mac(elroy)'s beer joint, and what the Guinness Book of World Records called the "only post office in the US on a dead end street". The hotel must have been gone by the 50s.
Paula Sisson Akbar on 6th January 2015 @ 7:37pm
My dad my two brothers and I lived in the last house to the south of the store the water tower that is still standing was just above our house.We were there for three long cold and hot years, but the rent was only $30.00 per month with steam heat, electric, water, sewer and garbage. We moved in there in 1956 and my dad was paid $400.00 per month. My grandpa was one of the night watchmen and sometimes I would go with him on his rounds and once in a while he would go into the bathroom in the boiler room reach down in the water closet and pull out a bottle of wiskey take a pull give a hollar out to Bill Skuce who worked in the room and away we went to finish the round. That was some of the fond memories I have of Dee. Lee Curtis Feb 16 2015
lee curtis on 16th February 2015 @ 2:41pm
I forgot to mention I have several pictures of the mill, log decks, hotel, and others. The river runs from south to north to the mill and Dam and if you look you can see where the logs enter the mill when the pond monkeys would send them up the chain ramp into the mill. Lee
lee curtis on 16th February 2015 @ 2:50pm
I found another copy of this image with a note "Sept. '09" on the back.
Arthur on 25th November 2015 @ 5:12pm
My great grandfather work for the lumber company. His wife and 5 children including my grandma (who was born there) lived in a white tent. They only lived there a few years and then moved back to Minnesota. I have a couple of letters my great grandma wrote about life in Oregon. They were out there starting in 1906.
Anna on 30th March 2018 @ 5:07am
Logs came in on a RR with two switchbacks, the lower one near the mill is gone but the upper one can be driven close to then a short walk.
Kenn on 30th March 2018 @ 10:12am