Summertime makes me think of the lost art of postcards, so we'll spend this week looking at and reading postcards from Hood River's past. I'll do my best to share the original message, though sometimes the handwriting can be challenging.
This one is postmarked from White Salmon, Washington on June 4, 1907. It's addressed to Mrs. T. A. Reavis in Hood River.
How are you all, and how are you getting along with strawberries. We are all well. Nana and I expect you all over the 4th so do not fail us. Do you know this picture. Your Son Edward.
Someone has added a note that this is the E.N. Benson patch on Tucker Road. It looks like the card made it to the museum through a thrift store or garage sale.
I think I can tell you fairly close where this strawberry field was. "Doc" Benson lived in the first place north of Nobi's gas station there on Tucker Road. "Doc" was E.N. Benson's son.
You wouldn't know it now, but strawberries were a big industry in the Hood River Valley. Spent many hot summer days in the berries fields. Started when I was 8 years old. Talk about child labor..................
Charlott on 7th July 2014 @ 7:07am
In grade school, I picked strawberries one day. The rest of the summer I got up before daylight and my dad dropped me off along the road in the mountains where he worked. I peeled chittum bark and he picked me up on the way home. All day in the woods by myself beat picking strawberries.
Buzz on 7th July 2014 @ 7:26am
We saw Gladys Reavis Gilbert a few days ago in the Canteen Girls photo. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T.A. Reavis. They had a strawberry field one mile south of HR.
l.e. on 7th July 2014 @ 7:36am
I picked strawberries out in the valley one time when I was a kid. I lasted 3 days and it still ranks as one of the hardest jobs I ever had.
Bill Seaton on 7th July 2014 @ 8:55am
Bill, the hard part for me was knowing that the reward for finishing a row, was to turn around and start back the other way. BORING!
Buzz on 7th July 2014 @ 9:19am
My cousin had a strawberry patch on Dethman Ridge where I used to pick mornings only. I had hay fever so bad I couldn't go back after lunch. Now I just pop a pill every morning so I can work in my own garden!
Norma on 7th July 2014 @ 10:39am
thanks Arthur for reminding me also of my most awful teenage job.....doing stoop labor was a good learning process...
Arlen Sheldrake on 7th July 2014 @ 12:23pm
Why are there no more strawberry fields?
Kate on 7th July 2014 @ 3:20pm
I like Kate's question - can anyone answer it?
Jill on 7th July 2014 @ 3:26pm
Probably because Buzz, Arlen and Bill won't pick them any more.
l.e. on 7th July 2014 @ 4:03pm
i.e, that made me laugh out loud!
Jill on 7th July 2014 @ 4:38pm
I couldn't even eat them for 30 years after my one day of picking.
Buzz on 7th July 2014 @ 5:44pm
So, Buzz, no Strawberry Socais for you then?
Jill on 7th July 2014 @ 6:40pm
sorry if I was part of the cause of the demise of strawberrys in HR....but strawberry shortcake is still to die for......and Jill, I am also laughing here in Dublin.
Arlen Sheldrake on 7th July 2014 @ 11:35pm
It looks muddy, as if there are foot prints. Was it irrigated by flow rather than
nels on 7th July 2014 @ 11:49pm
In that era the fields would have been watered by rills.
charlott on 8th July 2014 @ 7:02am
Kate on 8th July 2014 @ 8:06am
I thought the strawberries were planted under the young orchards, to have a crop until the trees matured and bore fruit, but this is a dedicated strawberry field...
Kate on 8th July 2014 @ 8:11am
Yes, they did, but I think that came into play later. I know in the early 1950's I picked berries for my great-uncle and they were planted in a new block of orchard. When this photo was taken I don't think they had figured that one out yet.
Why not commercial patches anymore. I don't know other than maybe more money in fruit. Apples and pears do ship much easier than berries and berries can be greatly affected by lots of rain, as they will mold.
Charlott on 8th July 2014 @ 2:37pm
I think Charlott is correct-- the tree fruit market crowded out the strawberries, but apples/pears couldn't really get going until they figured out the refrigeration and shipment. We talked about this a bit when we discussed the Union Building (a big refrigerator). This was also the subject of my "Sense of Place" talks last year.
Arthur on 8th July 2014 @ 3:31pm
who made up this feild on tucker road
vada on 8th October 2014 @ 3:27pm
I also picked strawberries during summer school break up on Dee flats.
There was a water tower up on the side of a hill coming out of Dee
sawmill where we would go for a swim on a very hot day. That would of been
in the late fifties.
Don Mays on 11th July 2017 @ 5:49pm
I picked strawberries year after year at the Dykstra farm in Parkdale, steying at the home of Margaret and Elroy Christiansen in Parkdale. They went to our church and their daughter Mardeen was a dear friend. She lives in Canby now, and we still stay in touch. I was in my 60s before imever ordered anything made of strawberries. Waitresses would say, "Wouldn't you like to try ourvsyrawberry pie today," and I would growl, "Some little kid had to suffer to pick them!" Mr Dykstra was very kind to us kids, so we weren't slaves, but the harvest was arduous.
Barbara Parsons on 5th December 2020 @ 7:29pm