Cold weather hits in 1919, 1969

January 8, 1959: Early morning shoppers in downtown Hood River Monday morning found the streets lined with snow — and the town merchants getting the stuff out of the way of their doors. Digging out, above, after the sudden snowstorm that dumped up to six inches of white on the valley floor, are Penney’s personnel, Stan Ashbaugh and Chet Coryell.

Hood River News archives
January 8, 1959: Early morning shoppers in downtown Hood River Monday morning found the streets lined with snow — and the town merchants getting the stuff out of the way of their doors. Digging out, above, after the sudden snowstorm that dumped up to six inches of white on the valley floor, are Penney’s personnel, Stan Ashbaugh and Chet Coryell.

1919 — 100 years ago

The first real touch of winter visited this section Monday night when the government thermometer at E.W. Birge’s place registered eight degrees above zero. The instruments in town this morning (Tuesday) did not register as low, but there was plenty of frost in the air, all the show windows were covered, and this is a first-class example of what Chris Dethman, The News weather prophet, can do when he tries.

However, the sun is shining, there is no wind, it is a glorious winter day and the writer indignantly denies the rumor that Mr. Dethman is in league with the fuel dealers. The boys are skating this morning on the pond below the depot and the dealers in skates, if this weather continues, bid fair to have a good trade.

Verbatim: Prizes Await Lucky Baby

The parents of Hood River’s first baby of 1959 will find themselves surrounded with gifts to be donated by nine Hood River merchants.

Gifts in the offering are:

Long play album of lullaby music from Ted Hackett’s; $5 savings account from Hood River branch, First National Bank of Oregon; a box of cigars, Marchbank’s Cigar Store; 18 month’s subscription to The Hood River News; baby auto seat from Western Auto.

Corsage of fresh flowers from Heights Greenhouse; gift assortment of baby powder, oil, etc., from Keir’s Drugstore; five dozen cans Gerber’s strained fruits and vegetables from Merle’s Markets; pair of baby shoes from Paris Fair.

Entry rules and more prize information may be found in the advertisement on page four, section one of this issue.

Lucky winners, the parents and little miss or mister ’59, will be announced in the next issue of The News.

— Hood River News, January 1, 1959

1929 — 90 years ago

Local residents who were outdoors around midnight of the old year had visions of the same period one year ago as they made their way to their homes through a heavy snowstorm. A year ago, a snowstorm set in on New Year’s Eve and the first two days of the new year found most residents digging out. This New Year’s Day, however, brought with it a decided change for the better in temperature and throughout the day, there was a heavy thaw. In the evening, warm rain set in and cut deeply into the snow on the Heights and out into the valley.

1939 — 80 years ago

As was predicted at the previous meeting of the city council, definite action was taken concerning the purchase of a new 1,000-gallon firefighting pumper on Tuesday of this week, and the bid of Garrabrant Brothers of this city on a Kenworth pumper, of $10,500, was accepted. Thus, within a few weeks, Hood River will include in its firefighting equipment a Kenworth pumper of 1,000-gallon capacity, a Ford auxiliary pumper and a 17-year-old La France pumper.

1949 — 70 years ago

Rainfall in the lower Hood River Valley in 1948 has not eclipsed all-time records, but the precipitation in the upper Hood River Valley has set a new all-time government record since data has been maintained in the past 40 years. Lower valley records have been maintained since 1884. All-time rainfall record in the past 60 years for the lower valley occurred in 1893, when a total of 54.17 inches was noted. Rainfall in the lower valley during 1948 amounted to 42.94 inches, according to W.A. Meyle, local observer. The upper valley had 62.09 inches in 1948, thus topping the previous high of 59.07 in 1933.

1959 — 60 years ago

River pilots will take a new route up the Columbia as they pass Mosier in future years, after the General Construction Co. gets done with a major channel relocation project in the big stream that begins this week. Hal Puddy, longtime Hood River resident, is acting as a civil engineer, guiding planning for the project that will move the Columbia channel from the Mosier shore to the Washington side of Eighteen Mile Island and calls for moving about 458,000 cubic yards of material from the new channel into the old route.

1969 — 50 years ago

Just 50 years ago today, headlines blared that the thermometer in Hood River was hovering around the 0-degree mark. Half a century later, Hood River had the dubious distinction of bettering the record. Snow was falling in a wind-whipped valley on Dec. 30, 1968, where the temperature didn’t rise above 6 degrees all day. The low temperature recorded that Monday was -1 degree, and it was 0 at 11 a.m. On Sunday, the high reached only 7 degrees, and the low on that day was 5. Monday’s snowfall totaled more than a foot of powder in most segments of the county. Monday night’s closure of I-80N from Hood River to Troutdale was the “first time in history,” according to Sheriff R.L. Gillmouthe.

1979 — 40 years ago

A group of about 20 friends and family members clustered in the county courtroom early Monday to witness the swearing in of two new commission members, Shirley Ekker and Rodger Schock. They braved the 6-degree weather on a holiday morning because of an earlier opinion that officeholders should be sworn in on the first day of the year. And while it was later learned that the swearing in ceremony could have been put off, they went ahead because all the arrangements had been made. Circuit Court Judge John Jelderks presided.

1989 — 30 years ago

A statewide policy review by the Oregon Public Utility Commission could ultimately change the cost of local telephone calls between Hood River, Odell and Parkdale, depending upon the results of the study and the interest shown by Hood River Valley residents. The review centers on “extended area service,” which replaces long distance tolls in so-called “communities of interest” where neighboring exchanges pay long-distance rates — as is the case between Parkdale, Odell and Hood River.

1999 — 20 years ago

One ax swing, one chip at a time, the rough surface of the canoe emerged. The replica of a Native American river canoe was carved at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum and will be on display there as well. Carver Dick Radliff of Hood River won the job, working with a piece of cedar donated by SDS Lumber Co. of Bingen.

Hood River Memorial Hospital officials are ironing out the final details of the hospital’s planned purchase by Providence Health System. The hospital’s board of directors agreed to “full integration” with the Seattle-based health organization.

2009 — 10 years ago

Rick Pauly has been waiting for months to cleanse almost 60 years of cigarette smoke residue from the interior of the Hood River Elks Lodge. Pauly, bar manager for the fraternal organization, is rolling out a whole new look for the third floor of the structure. However, he didn’t want to begin the project until the Riverview Lounge and gaming rooms had been cleansed of tobacco odors. On Jan. 1, Oregon’s new nonsmoking law in public and private facilities was enacted. That provided Pauly with the opportunity to move forward with his plans.

Compiled by Trisha Walker, News staff writer

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