Hood River News archives
September 1, 1977: Roy Webster, the dean of Columbia River cross channel swimmers, shows the rewards to be reaped next Monday near the spot where he stands. He’s holding patches and certificates that will go to swimmers who swim the mile across the Columbia River here on Labor Day. The event, which was become a tradition here, was initiated by Webster over a decade ago. He’ll be in the swim again this year. He stresses the Columbia River swim isn’t a race, so speed in completing the swim isn’t a factor.
As of Monday, August 28, 2017
1917 — 100 years ago
Harvesting of Bartlett pears began last week, about a week later than usual. Estimates show that this crop will probably be about equal to that of last year. The later varieties are considerably lighter than usual. However, the quality of the crop is good and market conditions are prevailing strong.
1927 — 90 years ago
There will be a meeting of the teachers at the Senior High School building at 2:30 p.m. Monday, to be followed by conferences with principals at the various school buildings. Regular school work will start promptly on Tuesday morning at the usual time, but new students in junior high school and senior high school who have not already registered should do so no later than Monday morning. Children entering the first primary grade may do so provided their sixth birthday falls on a date earlier than Jan. 1, 1928, and also providing that they enter at the beginning of the school term.
1937 — 80 years ago
Odell high school opened Monday of this week, with its largest initial enrolment in its history, 105 students being registered. By classes the registration was: Seniors 21, juniors 26, sophomores 27 and freshman 31. The faculty is composed of J.F. Blanchard, principal, Mrs. E.R. Moller, Miss Marjorie Maxwell, William Jones, coach, and Martin Jack, who will supervise both music and English, and divides his time between Odell and Parkdale high schools. Odell high school has undergone considerable remodeling and the interior is hardly recognizable. Work on the new gymnasium and classrooms is progressing rapidly, and the building is expected to be ready for use in early November.
1947 — 70 years ago
All schools in the county unit system will open full day classes on Monday morning, Sept. 8. A full staff of teachers will be on hand. Bus drivers and janitors are all hired with one exception, states Superintendent Ralph Jones. The exception is the need for a janitor at Oak Grove school, as is indicated by the advertisement elsewhere in the News.
An epidemic of whooping cough is now established in this community, reports Hood River County Health Department.
1957 — 60 years ago
A wind-driven forest fire raced up the steep pitch at Mitchell Point last week, blackening over 100 acres of logging slash and old-growth timber before crews of the state forest service brought it to a halt. Citizens could drive about two miles out of Hood River and park on Highway 30 to watch this year’s biggest forest fire in the area redden the night sky. It had begun in a logging camp not far from the highway, Friday about noon.
1967 — 50 years ago
The “worst fire ever” to range through part of the West Side Fire District was past the danger point today, but it was still causing minor problems Monday — five days after it blazed along a two-mile stretch of trees and brush west of Hood River. For a few hours last Friday, the fire created a real drama by burning within a few feet of Meredith Gorge Motel, and the nearby Hood River County School office. Cinders from the fire settled on the roofs of both buildings, but they were doused before the fire started. At the end of the danger period Friday, firemen said the actual material loss had been little. The few buildings along the Columbia River fire scene had been saved, and there were no injuries. “We have four or five bad cases of poison oak,” said Bob Nickelsen, West Side fire chief, who was among the sufferers.
1977 — 40 years ago
Strong support surfaced for a special sewer district west of Hood River during a Local Improvement District hearing before the county board of commissioners here Monday, and as a result the board pledged its backing to try resolving a longstanding question. They directed acting County Administrator Ken Kirby to set up a meeting with the city government (which has been working on the question for years) for a progress report on a feasibility study and a plan of attack to get the sewer district in operation. At stake is future sanitation service to a large section of commercial land west of the city which relies on septic tanks. It stretches as far west as the Meredith Motel on Westcliff Drive and includes all the commercial district east of that point to the former Neighbors of Woodcraft buildings.
1987 — 30 years ago
Four long semi-truck loads of pipe snaked their way up the narrow road towards Kingsley Reservoir Monday, signaling the beginning of a major improvement for the Farmers Irrigation District. When it’s completed, the work is designed to help solve a decades-old headache dating back to a time long before Hood River Irrigation District merged into the Farmers District. The buried pipeline will replace an open ditch which, at times, was able to deliver only a fraction of the water diverted into the reservoir nearly five miles away.
1997 — 20 years ago
If you’re thinking about taking a Labor Day dip with the Roy Webster Columbia River Cross Channel Swim crowd, think again. The field of 550 is full — and it’s been full for weeks. That doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty to enjoy this Monday, Sept. 1, when the 55th annual event returns. Onshore activities range from watching hundreds of swimmers make their way across the Columbia River to special holiday brunches. The noncompetitive event is named after Roy Webster, who founded the swim more than a half-century ago. Webster’s swim became a Chamber of Commerce sanctioned event back in 1965, and has been going strong since.
2007 — 10 years ago
The change in stopovers for the Mt. Hood Railroad this summer has helped Odell merchants. The train used to stop in Parkdale, but that changed after November. Last fall, floodwaters surged off Mount Hood, causing multiple damages. Among them was the wipe-out of embankment under 150 feet of track at milepost 15 between Dee and Parkdale, leaving the track dangling in mid-air. The train resumed operations this spring, but changed its stop to Odell. For Espresso My Love Owner Holly Nelson, the additional tourists have increased her business. “Absolutely, it’s a blessing for Odell,” Nelson said.
— Compiled by Trisha Walker, News staff writer