Yesteryears: Great War brings uncertainties in 1918

June 11, 1948: Swirling Columbia River waters menaced travel over the interstate bridge here the past two weeks. Water reached the underside of the bridge at its Hood River side and lacked only scant inches of touching the approach road. Additional ballast was dumped along the road for protection.

Hood River News archives
June 11, 1948: Swirling Columbia River waters menaced travel over the interstate bridge here the past two weeks. Water reached the underside of the bridge at its Hood River side and lacked only scant inches of touching the approach road. Additional ballast was dumped along the road for protection.

1918 — 100 years ago

Because of the uncertainties which are likely to attach to the transportation of fruit during the period of the war, the Apple Growers Association is making arrangements to store, if necessary, a larger percentage of the fruit here. Work has already been started on an addition to the warehouse. The new structure will be 52 by 168 feet in size and will be constructed of hollow tile. It is possible that additional storage may also be secured at Pine Grove. To supplement the storage plants in town, the Columbia Garage Building on Columbia Street has been leased for the season by the Association.


Hundreds enjoy fiesta

Hundreds of people turned out to enjoy the entertainment during Hood River’s first-ever Latin Cultural Day, sponsored by the local Hispanic community Saturday in Jackson Park.

“It was a fantastic turnout,” said Victor Benavides, who presides over a local Hispanic organization, “APOYO,” which arranged and supervised the event. Benavides estimated a total of some 500 people attended Saturday’s fiesta, with about 200 at any given time.

“Hispanics have been present in this area for more than 20 years,” he added, describing the significance of this brand-new attraction. “They have been doing a good job without recognition. (The fiesta) was important, because we are saying we are here not only to work, but to give something else to the community.

“We have a rich culture in our countries,” he noted, explaining that it’s important for people who are far removed from those lands to remember and celebrate their heritage. But beyond that, Benavides continued, “We’re trying to incorporate our people into this culture. We are part of the American culture. We are living here.

“We’ve never had anything like this before … The freedom to have this in the U.S. is very important.”

The fiesta started out with a parade of decorated vehicles starting from Pacific and 12th streets. This culminated at the park, where a variety of musical bands and concessions awaited festival-goers, some of whom came from the Portland area, where APOYO publicized the fiesta.

There was folk dancing, piñatas, soccer and more entertainment that night in the Hood River Middle School building.

“How the people acted together was very special,” Benavides said, pointing to good cooperation from everyone involved. “All the resources we have in this area made it possible.”

Another positive aspect of the cultural fiesta was a consistent family orientation, he added. “There were a lot of adults there, but also there were a lot of children.”

Benavides promised that the fiesta will become an annual Hood River event, saying APOYO plans to review Saturday’s event with an eye towards next year.

As another APOYO supporter, Lou DeSitter of LaClinica del Carina, put it, “We’ll keep spreading the word. Next year will be even bigger and better.”

— Hood River News, June 15, 1988

1928 — 90 years ago

Deep snowdrifts, two miles north of Cloud Cap, will prevent any motor travel to the Inn until after July 1, is the statement made by Kent Shoemaker, secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, who with Harold Blackman, Norvin Coulter and Fred Donnerberg, made the trip in a new Ford car on Monday. They found little snow until they neared the northern end of Ghost Ridge, and at this point a 20-foot snowdrift in the road put an end to any further idea of traveling by automobile. The party found the Loop Highway south of Parkdale in excellent shape, with oiling already completed, and learned that this highway will be in splendid shape over its entire length when it opens to traffic today.

1938 — 80 years ago

The projected big development on the Union Pacific railroad, between Cascade Locks and The Dalles, to be directed by staff located at Hood River, has aroused considerable interest among commissioners and engineers of the State Highway Commission, according to reports. It has been decided that, not only will the railroad tracks be elevated above the flood level of the Columbia River, but a number of the extreme curves will be greatly reduced, from a maximum of 10 degrees to a maximum not to exceed three degrees.

1948 — 70 years ago

For the third consecutive week, Hood River was left virtually undamaged by a rampaging Columbia that caused death and destruction up and down its length. While the mighty river wiped out levees, flooded valuable lands and residences elsewhere along its course between Oregon and Washington, it failed to molest Hood River property owners, excepting those along the waterfront, who had already experienced inundation by the river waters.

1958 — 60 years ago

Last week the News reported a local birth incident that occurs only once in every 28 million chances, as Irwin Heft’s two daughters gave birth to children on the same day — Mr. Heft’s birthday. Now comes news that, May 21 of this year, Mr. and Mrs. Harold “Shorty” Fletcher, just missed that achievement. Mrs. John Kennedy gave birth to a son May 21 while Mrs. Bill Pattison gave birth to her son the next day, May 22. Both are grandchildren to Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher; both were taken to their home on the Odell ranch where the Fletchers, Pattisons and Kennedys reside.

1968 — 50 years ago

Heavy timbers are rising on a new floral building at Hood River County’s new fairgrounds near Odell. The Phil Tyler-designed building is being constructed by J.A. Bolf, Portland contractor. Interior of the star-shaped building will take flower viewers on a circular route around the display area. This is the third permanent structure to rise at the county fairgrounds.

1978 — 40 years ago

Everyone looks at the spring season through different eyes, and for Alan Solle, they’re smiling eyes. He’s a strawberry grower, one of the few left in the Hood River Valley. And if there were such a thing as a “vintage” year for strawberries, he says this is it. “Everything was just right,” he says. “I’ve been growing berries eight years, and we’ve had some good ones, but this is the best.” He can prove it by producing strawberries from his seven and a half acres that are sized somewhere between a golf ball and a baseball. He boasted that he has “baseball size” berries, and he isn’t far from right.

1988 — 30 years ago

Kaleidoscope: The year 2000 has always been a comfortably distant milestone for many people, a convenient round number to use when setting objectives and resolutions that will sound good at the time, but will probably be long forgotten when the second millennium actually rolls around. Yet for some 267 kindergarten children in the Hood River County School District, the year 2000 is much more than that: They’re destined to be the last graduating class of the 20th century, and their commencement exercises 12 years hence will showcase American education at the meeting point of two centuries and two millennia.

1998 — 20 years ago

The Hood River City Council has put on hold a proposed re-evaluation of the city sign ordinance’s compliance deadline. At a previous meeting, council members proposed an extension of the deadline, which requires all nonconforming signs to meet the ordinance standards by Nov. 1. Extensions of as long as three years or more were proposed. On Monday, City Manager Lynn Guenther told the council that public hearings were scheduled in the event the council decided to investigate the matter further. Staff, however, are unsure that an extension would help bring more of the 46 non-conforming businesses into compliance.

2008 — 10 years ago

Hood River Valley orchardists could experience lighter fruit crops than usual because bees stayed in their hives during cold and wet spring weather. Jose Martinez, foreman at Moore Orchards in Pine Grove, said growers avoided frosts during April that would have killed blossoms on trees. But rainy weather that month also kept bees “inside,” so many blossoms did not get pollinated. Martinez said if weather prevents bees from “doing their job,” then there is less fruit that year.

Compiled by Trisha Walker, News staff writer

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