Yesteryears: Valley digging out after winter storm hits in 1985

1915 — 100 years ago

Assuming that in the near future the present fertile farms of Western Oregon will be in urgent need of fertilizing materials, State Engineer Lewis has recommended some action to be taken to make use of the great kelp beds along the Oregon coast in order to save the enormous amount of potash which is annually going to waste.

1925 — 90 years ago

Over 70 members were present at the annual dinner of the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce Monday, when the election of President and officers for the coming year were carried out with the following results: President, A.F. S. Steele; vice-president, Col. W.S. Dowd, R.E. Scott and H.L. Shoemaker. Hold over members of the board are: Leroy Childs, F.A. Olmstead, A.F.S. Steele and Geo. R. Wilber.

L.J. Daniels, better known as “Shorty,” has decided to go into business for himself and naturally has chosen the line he has followed for many years. He has equipped a laundry with all electrical appliances and is ready for business. Shorty was five years with Hood River laundry and for seven years previous to that, was head laundryman for the Canadian Pacific Railroad.

1935 — 80 years ago

New construction of Plan No. 2 of the Federal Housing Act, is ready to be put into operation. The First National Bank has full information regarding plan No. 2 and will make loans under this part of the Act. Mr. Ericson will have charge of the Better Housing campaign and will be located in the Chamber of Commerce. The purpose of this campaign is to help people in making their plans to remodel or build new houses this spring.

The backing up of water by Bonneville Dam will call for the building of new approaches on both ends of the bridge, to provide overhead railroad crossings, says E.M. Chandler, president of the Oregon-Washington Bridge Company. It is planned to straighten the White Salmon approach to meet the Evergreen highway on a practically straight line. The Hood River approach will be raised and straightened, provide an overhead railroad crossings and meet the Columbia highway on practically a straight line, eliminating the present river road which is to be flooded over when the dam is complete.

1945 — 70 years ago

Oregon has been given a conditional promise of 5,000 Mexican farm laborers for the coming season, compared with 5,200 used last year. Actual arrival of the Mexicans, who have proved so satisfactory in the past two years, depends upon successful negotiation for the recruitment in and transportation from Mexico. General Philip G. Burton, administrator of the office of labor, is actively working with the Mexican government in an attempt to overcome some of the problems that arose last year in the course of the season’s negotiations.

The Neal Creek Lumber Company’s sawmill, adjoining the Loop highway, was completely destroyed by fire, of unascertained origin on Thursday of last week. Only the early arrival of the auxiliary pumper from Hood River to cooperate with several small firefighting units, made it possible to save the adjoining planer and other nearby buildings.

1955 — 60 years ago

Seventy-five years ago last Sunday the first Sunday School in Hood River County was organized. On that date 21 persons gathered for religious services in the Hans Lage home and the Pine Grove Community Sunday School was formed. The 75th anniversary celebration was attended by approximately 150 persons Monday. Earl Moore, who came to Pine Grove in 1906, grew up with the church which was dedicated April 28, 1907. Earl found in his father’s diary that he was a teacher of the adult Bible class at the time.

Hood River’s swimming pool ended the 1954 season with a $3,698.20 deficit, reported William Sylvester, recorder, to the Monday night city council meeting. Mayor Charles Howe and City Attorney John Mohr reminded that the pool was open to all children in the county and was therefore a service offered by the city for both city and county children.

1965 — 50 years ago

More than 11 feet of snow coated the mountainside when a measuring crew made its way into the Hood River Meadows ski area early this month. Measurement at the mid-base section of the proposed meadows ski area was 126 inches. “And it was probably 20 feet at the upper level,” said one member of the crew.

Freeway work between Mitchell Point and Cascade Locks, the largest project of its kind in Hood River county history, will soon move into the construction phase. Morrison-Knudsen, the Idaho based firm which won the contract, is expected to start work on the 13.5 mile section as soon as details of work schedules are worked out and equipment is ready to go. August 1966 is the completion date for the $6,245,500 project.

1975 — 40 years ago

Western Power Products, a Portland-based firm that manufactures equipment of the electric utilities industry, signed papers Monday to construct a manufacturing plant on Port of Hood River industrial property. William Bright, president of Western Power Products, hopes to have the Hood River plant operating by “early June” this year. Under the agreement, the $300,000 metal building which will house the manufacturing operation will be constructed to company specifications through Port of Hood River financing. It will be located on a four-acre tract at the northwest corner of the Port of Hood River’s industrial site near the Columbia River.

A team of leaders from Oregon Rural Opportunities, the state-wide version of the former Willamette Valley-based Valley Migrant League, drew a crowd estimated at over 120 persons when they held an election meeting here Tuesday. Many of the persons attending posed questions antagonistic to the meeting organizers, who have been the target of opposition ever since the Valley Migrant League entered the program which has led to its name change and expansion to Oregon Rural Opportunities.

1985 — 30 years ago

New meaning to the term “winter storm” arrived in Hood River with the month of February. It started with pipe-busting sub-zero temperatures early, followed by repeated storms bring every texture of snow, from powder to slush, to the valley. The storm was a particular disaster to a business not usually associated with cold weather. Jose’s Taco House had scheduled its 15th anniversary celebration Thursday and Friday, but the business was completely snowed in. Owner Jose Castilla noted that “we will still be rolling our prices back to the 1970 menu when we opened,” but it will come a week later than planned.

Jim Kelly, who has been general manager of the Hood River News for the past four and a half years, has been named publisher of the Newberg Graphic, and will be succeeded by News marketing manager Roy Stollery. Both actions are effective March 1.

1995 — 20 years ago

Purple Rocks Art Bar and Café is the place to be Thursday nights. For high school students, Purple Rocks, located at 606 Oak Ave., has been a place to go to be with friends, enjoy entertainment and — of course — have something to eat. What makes Thursday evenings different is that the restaurant is operated by students as part of an arts and communications class, taught by Steve Labadie, at Hood River Valley High School.

For an entire elementary school to keep a secret for two months from its principal, well, that deserves some recognition. However in this case, the recognition goes to the principal. Pine Grove Elementary Principal Doug Mahurin has been named administrator of the year by the Oregon Reading Association thanks to a nomination by the students and staff of the school. Mahurin learned of the award for the first time at an all-school assembly Wednesday.

2005 — 10 years ago

The crowd gathered at the Mt. Hood Express chairlift line was already throbbing with anxiety by 8:30 a.m. Monday. Thirty minutes later, when Mt. Hood Meadows ski lift operators sent the first four skiers up to 5,400 feet for first tracks on the 18 inches of snow that fell throughout last weekend, somebody fired a loud “Whooop!”

Ripples of uncertainty have once again ruffled the seemingly placid surface of a waterfront plan. The latest warning that a storm could be brewing on the horizon has been issued by Port of Hood River attorney Jerry Jaques. Last week, he informed port commissioners that some new language incorporated by the City of Hood River in a proposed agreement for park development was “ambiguous and unworkable.” His words eerily echoed comments recently expressed by Bend developer William Smith over the accompanying mixed-use zoning plan.

— Compiled by Trisha Walker, news staff writer

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