Yesteryears: Summer heatwave hits valley in 1936

June 26, 1936 — Hood River Drug Co. on Oak Street is “a delightful place to spend your lunch hour with your friends.”

1916 — 100 years ago

The remodeling of the Bartmess building, which will be occupied by D.G. Cruikshank, was commenced Thursday. An entirely new and modern front 30 feet wide will be placed in the building, with two entrances and large show windows, and the floor will be lowered even with the sidewalk. The floor space will be 80 feet deep and in addition to the room necessary for the sale of merchandise, will contain a ladies rest room and a private office for Mr. Cruikshank. The Bartmess building is one of the oldest business buildings in the city and when it was erected was considered Hood River’s masterpiece in architecture.

The greatest boosters for the city auto park are the tourists, who seem to be better acquainted with its beauties and possibilities than many local residents.

Last Friday evening, L.H. Boyd, H.G. Ball and N. Nelson went down to the park as representatives of the chamber of commerce and the Guides and interviewed some of the big crowd of tourists who were “at home” at the park. Without exception, all interviewed spoke highly of Hood River’s municipal auto camp.

One party declared the camp to be easily the best of all between Portland and Denver, while tourists from California stated that, which one exception, it was the best they had seen in several weeks of travel. The exception was the park at Ashland. At the Ashland park, said one tourist, the grass everywhere is kept green, but otherwise the park is not more beautiful than that at Hood River. In the local park, a supply of irrigation water would work wonders in this dry weather.

Several of the tourists expressed the wish that there were more cabins in the local park. It is fast coming to be the practice, they said, to set a daily mileage schedule and stop over at an auto camp every night. In California, cabins are so much in vogue that many tourists no longer carry tents.

Many of the visitors at the park expressed keen appreciation of the kindness and courtesy of the custodians, Mr. and Mrs. Miller.

On Friday of last week the park accommodated a biggert crowd of tourists than ever before in its history.

— Hood River News, July 2, 1926

1926 — 90 years ago

George Hughling, associate in physical education at the University of California, who was here on a visit this week, expressed himself strongly in favor of a swimming pool at the projected city high school to be built in this city. Mr. Hughling stated that every day since the hot weather set in, there had been reports of one or more deaths through drowning and in almost every instance, lack of knowledge on swimming was responsible. Year by year, school directors are coming to recognize the importance of including swimming in education, and every high school which has water available should have at least a small tank in which pupils can learn to swim.

1936 — 80 years ago

Residents who, less than two weeks ago were wondering whether summer would ever come to Hood River Valley, did not have to look at thermometers last Sunday to assure themselves that summer had arrived, for many were, long before noon, hunting shady spots and a trace of breeze. Maximum shade temperature during the day was 92.5 degrees, and well over a hundred in the sun. A number of the young folks were, before nightfall, seeking relief from sunburn.

1946 — 70 years ago

Many migrant workers are calling at the Farm Labor office here to be placed for cherry picking jobs, according to Mrs. Sadie N. Bennett, Farm Labor Assistant, but very few orders have been received. Growers who are going to require cherry pickers are requested to file orders for them soon. The cherry picking price is 3 and a half cents a pound. For hardship cases in which adjustment in price is required, call or contact Ed. Vannett, Wage Stabilization Assistant, at the Farm Labor Office, phone 4942.

1956 — 60 years ago

Purchase of Panorama Point property for creation of a county park and scenic point was announced this week by the county court. Two property transactions totaling six acres were involved and cost $3,309.96. The south three and a half acres were sold by Roy Webster and Joe Higgins, and the north two and a half acres belonged to Dean and Wenona Flora. Pine Grove Grange is sponsoring a community betterment program to beautify the area and Oregon State College has been requested to furnish plans for landscaping roads, terraces, picnic spots, fireplaces, shrubs, grass and flower areas.

1966 — 50 years ago

Attendance at Parkdale’s community day care center for children of migrant workers has steadily pushed ahead since it opened nearly two weeks ago, and attendance was reaching new peaks this week. One report indicated that 34 children were there at the Parkdale Elementary School, where the center occupies the lower level, one day early this week. The locally-supported program, organized by women in the community with the help of the county extension service, Hood River County Schools, and the Mid-Columbia Community Action Council, employs a director, seven paid helpers and numerous volunteers.

1976 — 40 years ago

The county’s number one priority road improvement project moved back up the state priority schedule in Salem this week, Sen. Ken Jernstedt reported after a Transportation Commission meeting in Salem. “It’s good news,” said Jernstedt. “They’ve moved Highway 35 back to the 1977 construction schedule.” Earlier, the project had been scheduled for 1977, but was later bumped back to 1979. He was referring to the last twisting section of Highway 35 roughly between Willow Flat and Hanel’s Mill, about three miles, remaining to be modernized.

1986 — 30 years ago

U.S. Sen. Mark Hatfield stopped in Hood River long enough Monday to share a picnic luncheon and some of his views with a small group of greeters. The occasion was the dedication of the new Jackson Park stage, and Hatfield offered appropriate remarks to relate the park to a sense of community. “That’s where you really know you belong to a community,” he said. Speaking at a table perched on the steep west bank at Jackson Park, shaded by oak trees, Hatfield joked that he didn’t recall delivering a talk at such an angle. But at least it saved him from the discomfort of speaking from the sun-scorched new concrete stage which was directly behind him.

1996 — 20 years ago

Cascade Locks — The first locks ever built on the Columbia River will be the star attraction at this year’s Sternwheeler Days, scheduled June 28-30 at Marine Park. This weekend’s celebration marks the 100th anniversary of the locks, constructed in 1896 to allow sternwheelers and other riverboats to bypass some of the Columbia’s most feared rapids. But the locks, which became obsolete after construction of Bonneville Dam in 1938, aren’t the only star attraction at the 21st annual celebration — also spotlighted are mountain men rendezvous, a carnival, exotic animal petting zoo, pig races, and food and craft booths.

2006 — 10 years ago

The first-ever “Idol Night in the Gorge” Relay of Life benefit drew a roomful of people to the Elks Lodge to see 11 singing acts vie for the Gorge Idol title and to enjoy wine tasting, appetizers and a silent auction. Winning first place by popular vote — not by process of elimination by acid-tongued judges, as on the television show — was 12-year-old Makenzie Bassham, who sang “Baby Girl.” In second place was Randall Jex, and in third was husband/wife team of Justin Kelley and Tara Schifter-Kelley.

— Compiled by Trisha Walker, news staff writer

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