A14-History Mystery--Mt. Hood Hut.jpg

History Mystery

“History Mystery” has been a weekend feature of The Dalles Chronicle for over two decades, and we continue it here for the combined readers of the Chronicle, Hood River News and White Salmon Enterprise.

The concept of “History Mystery” is pretty simple — an unidentified historical photograph is published, and readers are asked to identify the subject of the photograph. It began with Wasco County, and in recent years was broadened to include Sherman County to the east.

We are now expanding to include the upper Columbia River Gorge, and will feature photographs from Hood River and Klickitat counties in addition to Wasco and Sherman counties. Because of the broad range of possibilities, photographs will be identified by county.

In its original form, readers guessed the subject of the photograph, and a “winner” was named.

In recent years, readers have been encouraged to not just identify the subject of the photograph but to share their memories. History is, at its root, the collective stories of the people who live and/or have lived in a place. The identity of a historical place, like Celilo Falls east of The Dalles, is certainly of interest — but more interesting are the stories still being remembered and told about the falls — like the boy fished out of the river in a dip net, featured on the cover of LIFE Magazine, or the overpowering roar of the falls — things we marvel at looking over the quiet waters of the river today.

This week’s History Mystery, left, was photographed in Hood River County. To identify the subject or share a story about the photograph, email Mark Gibson at mgibson@thedalleschronicle.com. Use History Mystery in the subject line. Or call 541-296-2141, ext. 107, and leave a detailed message that includes how to spell your name — messages are forwarded via email for later review and calls may not be returned.

— Mark Gibson

1910 — 110 years ago

From a financial standpoint and also as an entertainment, the Spellin’ Bee given by the Women’s and Commercial clubs Friday evening was a huge success, although disastrous for the male element when it came to spelling. It is whispered that the ladies had cornered all the spelling books in town, making it impossible for their opponents to post up, but of course this can only be hinted at. We wouldn’t for the world say that it was so. All we know is that one of the men spellers told us that he had been hunting for a spelling book all over town and couldn’t find one. Let this go as it may, it will have to be admitted that it is a feather in the cap of the ladies and a severe blow to the much-vaunted superiority of the male intellect. The winners at the end of the contest were Mrs. George Strahahan, Mrs. C.A. Briggs and Mrs. G.A. Thompson.

1920 — 100 years ago

The school board last week decided to call on Messrs. Burgett & Price of The Dalles to furnish plans for a new school at Park Street, Hood River. Chas. N. Clarke, chairman of the school directors, states that both architects were associated with Mr. Crandall, who designed the high school annex and the Coe Primary School building. Plans are expected to be complete within a few days.

1930 — 90 years ago

A crew of men is now engaged in laying steel treads on the approaches at each end of the Oregon-Washington bridge. Several years ago, similar treads were laid on the main bridge structure with excellent results, the treads saving a large sum which would otherwise have gone in to depreciation account. Bridge Tender Connaway states that this year there is a steady advance in business over any previous year. One reason is that the road to Yakima, by way of Goldendale and Bickleton, is in excellent shape and many motorists are taking advantage of the opportunity to cut down mileage.

1940 — 80 years ago

The population census of Hood River County opened this week, with 25 enumerators in the field, and it is anticipated that, if all goes as scheduled, the census will be complete in two weeks. Contrary to what had been rumored, the political faith of prospective enumerators apparently had little bearing in their selection, as there is a goodly number of Republicans among enumerators. In any event, all enumerators have been warned that playing of politics of any kind while they are on the census job will not be tolerated.

1950 — 70 years ago

With unanimous approval, daylight saving time for the city of Hood River in 1950 was authorized in ordinance 925 in the regular council meeting on Monday evening of this week. Adoption of daylight saving time in Hood River, plus similar action at Bend, means that virtually all cities in the western half of Oregon will be on fast-time. From The Dalles south to Klamath Falls and west, daylight saving time is to be in effect generally, with only several cities still “holding out.”

1960 — 60 years ago

Armed with their bundles of maps, pencils, clipboards and conversation, 11 Hood River County census takers gathered last week for final training and embarkation on the decentennial (sic) nose count here. The sessions were conducted by Mrs. Dixi J. Lyda, route 1, crew leader for this area. The census team checked out skills in map reading, asking questions, use of census forms, definitions and techniques.

Like a hardy perennial, Dalles City’s downtown garbage free-for-all has popped up again to plague merchants and the City Council. Tonight, when the council meets it will have considered a report submitted last week by a joint committee appointed to study alley congestion and garbage collection. The report is in the form of recommendations for the alleviation of present conditions contributing to alley and garbage collection problems.

1970 — 50 years ago

When Hood River county schools set out to fill a future vacancy in the Mid Valley principalship, administrators here soon learned there would be no shortage of candidates. The choice will probably be made next week sometime from a list of 39 candidates who seek the position. They range from 24 to 63 years of age, and live in seven states and Canada.

1980 — 40 years ago

Two earthquakes, the largest to sock Mount St. Helens since it began erupting, hit about 3,000 feet below the summit today, where a volcanologist says there is a “good possibility” the lava has risen. Scientists studying explosive Mount St. Helens, which went into its fifth day of violent activity Monday, thus far have found no reason to expect it could become as catacysmic as another Cascade Volcano which had the upper 3,000 feet of its peek blasted off, Mount Mazama in central Oregon.

1990 — 30 years ago

Some second graders who will be the graduating class of 2000 have accepted the challenge of going through school without smoking.

Another year, another cheer; the folks in The Dalles definitely take clean-up work seriously. For the second year, residents came out in force to take part in the annual community cleanup in preparation for the Northwest Cherry Festival in April.

2000 — 20 years ago

Pear blossoms should be showing in the lower Hood River Valley for next week’s Blossom Festival, but the bloom in the upper valley may not be quite ready for the April 15-16 celebration. And cherry trees in the valley and nearby Wasco County will definitely be in bloom. That’s the word from Gene Mielke at the OSU experiment station.

2010 — 10 years ago

The City of Hood River’s 81-year-old main water line is finally getting replaced and not only will repair costs go down, but flow capacity will increase to accommodate future growth. The pipe size will increase from the existing 14 inches to 24 inches. In addition, MEI Group, a civil construction company, will build a new chlorination station. “We expect the work to be finished sometime this fall,” said Lon Sweers, MEI superintendent.

Compiled by Trisha Walker, Emily Fitzgerald and Mark Gibson.

Recommended for you