Irrigation ditches have a long and important history in Hood River's agricultural heritage. I wish we had some idea where this image was taken, but we just know it was taken in 1912 by Ethel Rand. It is certainly a peaceful, pastoral scene.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
It looks like the ditch on the west side of the valley. The reason I say this is the ditch on the east side is much wider than this one. You always had the path, as the ditch walker went up and down there. Whether there was a ditch walker always, or that came later I am not sure. We always floated down the one on the east side and it was much wider and much deeper.
charlott on 28th March 2014 @ 7:08am
I grew up in a farming environment at the west end of the CR Gorge. When I moved only two hours away, to the east end of the Gorge, farming practices were different.
Irrigation ditches were one big difference. Coming from an area that rarely worried about having enough water, ditches were usually used to take excess water away. It didn't take long to realize that the food producing valleys on the east side were dependent upon the ditches that brought mountain water down to quench the thirst of fields and crops.
It was an eye opening learning experience. The ditch walker, the boxes, that diverted water, who was closing or opening the boxes illegally, the angry meetings between two farmers in a field, "shares" of water, and a community irrigation organization that tried to make it all work.
Most of all a gained respect for the early land owners who put so much time, money and years of hard work to create a system of irrigation ditches.
Ethel Rand's photo not only shows a peaceful scene, but it also shows the importance of our mountain water, the efforts of man to make use of it, and the good feeling you get when you see it happily flowing down, unencumbered by sticks, logs, and brush so it can quickly reach your crops which are dependent upon it.
l.e. on 28th March 2014 @ 7:36am
It will be interesting to see if a reader can identify this spot from 102 years ago.
l.e. on 28th March 2014 @ 7:39am
And my last post this morning.
I think more and more, irrigation water and how it affects fish habitat is going to become a hot topic.
l.e. on 28th March 2014 @ 8:41am
Wells Dr. Sublateral, EFID?
Jer on 28th March 2014 @ 9:10am
Not too many oaks on the wet west side though. The ditch is too narrow to be the one east side of the 35 that is good for floating or SUPing. It may be the portion after it crosses under the 35 at Pinemont. it gets narrow there. but these ditches are all over the valley I guess.
AndyB on 28th March 2014 @ 11:14am
We have canals here in the Bend/Sisters area but they are rapidly being piped and covered over. I know of one, as pristine, narrow and lovely as this one - only there are ponderosas lining the banks, The water is swift and very cold and "just right" to wander along with my dog on a hot summer day. I hope it will be years and years before they pipe it.
Jill on 28th March 2014 @ 2:17pm
East of the mountains they dig ditches to move water to where they want it, west of the mountains they dig ditches to move water away from where they don't want it.
Buzz on 28th March 2014 @ 2:58pm
Certainly looks like an east side locaton with the oaks in the foreground and pines further back. Wonder how large the EFID ditch was when first dug? Could be further north along the ditch as the ditch gets smaller is it goes north.
Longshot on 28th March 2014 @ 8:25pm
AndyB, what is SUPing??
Buzz on 29th March 2014 @ 5:56am
Nope not the ditch that runs through Pine Grove. Lots of oak trees on west side. That is how Oak Grove got its name. Maybe this isn't even a Hood River Valley ditch.
Charlott on 31st March 2014 @ 7:08am
Yes, there are certainly parts of the Farmers Irrigation ditch near Oak Grove that look similar to this but after more than 100 years, it would be pretty hard to identify the exact spot.
Heather on 31st March 2014 @ 9:04am