This is a real treat-- the earliest dated photograph I have seen of Hood River. This photo card was part of a series taken by renowned photographer Carleton Watkins. It shows the newly built railroad crossing the Hood River circa 1883. If you look closely you may be able to pick out the original Victorian style station, the post office building, and the original Mt. Hood Hotel. I think the E.L. Smith General Store (later George Crowell) may also be visible.
[Note on dates: I originally posted this image with a date of 1885 since that is what the hand written note on the reverse indicates. Scholarship on Watkins places this image "circa 1882-83" based on the known dates of his travels in the Gorge. As the railroad wasn't up and running through Hood River until 1883 I've changed the post to the 1883 date, but I'm not stating that date with certainty]
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
And there is a guy sitting on the right hand side, above the second support.
dsc on 28th October 2014 @ 7:11am
That little train station may have been the one that sat just east of the current one when I was little. However, if it was, it was minus the top section. Bill Seaton, do you remember that little station down there?
This gives a very good detailed view of what the trees looked like down along the river banks.
Obvious those piers wouldn't have withstood much of the Hood River's flooding. Wonder how many times they had to be replaced before they became concrete?
Wonder what the guy sitting on the bridge is doing there?
Charlott on 28th October 2014 @ 7:13am
I count five guys in total.
I'm surprised at no snags against the base of the trestle. Musty be brand new.
Rawhyde on 28th October 2014 @ 7:32am
Hanging out with the other guy who's shadow is eaiser to spot than him.
Steve r on 28th October 2014 @ 7:33am
There's three more people on the bridge! And I think the top chords are tied thru the cross bracing to the bottom chords with vertical cables. Notice the stumps of trees cut down upriver, west side. The river sure takes a northwesterly direction...
Leave it to Watkins, what a beautiful bucolic setting! Would be a great community to live in!
spinsur on 28th October 2014 @ 7:36am
When we used to build long span logging bridges, we used big logs for piers or bents that were placed in the middle of the rivers. Then we placed large shot rock inside the bents. I wonder if anyone knows if these piers have rock placed inside of them?
Buzz on 28th October 2014 @ 8:43am
GREAT picture of the Oregon Railway and Navigation bridge....I can hear the train coming........
Arlen Sheldrake on 28th October 2014 @ 9:02am
With more forest and less land cleared for farming at this time, I wonder if the runoff/flooding would be modulated .Wonder if there is some kind of record of river levels for this time period.
nels on 28th October 2014 @ 9:59am
This is a super sharp image so I'll need to post some details later. Rawhyde is correct that there are 5 on the bridge-- the 3 up top look pretty young. Buzz, I can see into the slats on the western pier, and it doesn't seem to have rocks in it-- I can see straight through to the other side.
About the train stations: I think Charlott may be remembering the MHRR station which was east of the OR&N. That's the one in image http://historichoodriver.com/index.php?showimage=939 and http://historichoodriver.com/index.php?showimage=534.
Arthur on 28th October 2014 @ 10:10am
Buzz....I was involved in (watching) the tearing down of an old log bridge on private property crossing a creek. The center pier was a log crib filled with boulders, so I also wondered if these were filled with rock.
The old logs were much harder to pull apart than the back hoe operator expected. The boulders were removed and concrete pier placed in the middle of the stream. The first big spring run off and the concrete pier washed out. The log one was probably 50 years old.
l.e. on 28th October 2014 @ 4:16pm
Men on top would tighten or loosen the verticle tension rods to maintain a level deck, I imagine the man on the deck had alignment instruments.
Kenn on 31st October 2014 @ 10:44am
This is kind of a dumb question, but.... had a train run on these tracks and across this bridge yet?
Didn't the first train go through in 1883?
l.e. on 3rd November 2014 @ 6:38pm
Good question, l.e. Watkins 1883 travels in Oregon were by railroad. I'm not of the exact date the railroad opened between Portland and Hood River, but I've read a March 1883 newspaper article describing the trip. I don't know the exact date of this image, but we have two dated Watkins images from the Cascades Canal (locks) project taken in December 1883, so he was in this area then.
There is quite a bit of scholarly work on Watkins so I'm hoping the exact date of this image shows up eventually.
Arthur on 3rd November 2014 @ 9:37pm
A few railroad dates: First train between the Cascades and Dalles City, March 17, 1882. First train between Portland and Wallula WA, November 20 1882. First train between Portland and New York City, October 2, 1883. It looks like this bridge was in place by early 1882, though the railroad didn't make it all the way to Portland until late 1882, and it didn't connect eastward to the transcontinental railroads until late 1883.
Arthur on 4th November 2014 @ 12:16am
Found an interesting article from 1888 which may refer to this bridge:
"In the September issue of "The West Shore", attention was called to many serious and inexcusable accidents on the lines of the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company. The same carelessness prevailed the past month. Briefly stated, the chief accidents consist of freight train plunging though a burned bridge near Hood River, wrecking the engine and six cars and seriously injuring the engineer; and a train thrown from the track by running into a cow, while coming down the Blue mountains at a high rate of speed."
Arthur on 15th February 2015 @ 6:41pm