The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., August 17, 1905, page 3
BEAUTIFUL HOMES IN THE MOUNT HOOD COUNTRY
A Section of Rich Farm, Fruit and Dairy Lands
By Roswell Shelley
At the request of the Glacier, for two days we enjoyed
a heart-to-heart talk with the Mount Hood people. While the time was far
too short to cover the territory that a detailed account could be furnished,
we kept our eyes and ears open and herewith submit some of the many impressions
that crowded into upon our mind and vision.
At 5 o'clock Wednesday morning, the ninth inst., in company with wife and our dog Sport, we reigned our horse into the dusty road and began the climb. Just as the sun was peeping over the hills we halted and breakfasted at the top of the Booth hill.
Here we look down upon the J.P. Hillstrum place. Mr. H. is an old timer and devotes his attention mainly to stock raising and butter making and they have the reputation of making as fine of butter as can be produced. There being no signs of life then, we jog along and make our next call at the home of O.H. Rhodes, who has been up before the sun and had his horses already hitched to the mower. Mr. Rhodes is a true type of the westerner, possessing a charming personality and whose genious and open handed hospitality at once appeals to one. Both he and Mrs. Rhodes great us cordially and we spend a pleasant hour in his garden, hay field and in the house. Mr. Rhodes is also engaged in the stock business and his wide-spreading meadow of Black beaverdam land furnishes abundant feed for winter as well as placing dollars in his purse that is never empty. The Bone ditch runs through his meadow, following a natural channel of the creek that helps to swell the ditch and consequently he has an abundance of free water, which is the keynote to his fine garden and luxuriant meadow. Mr. R. informs me that his place was formerly the rendezvous of the Indians and there is where they dug their Camas before going into winter quarters. They are many Indian relics in their sittingroom in the way of arrow points, mortars and pestles picked up from his meadow each year add to the unique collection. Mr. R. is thoroughly imbued with the Hood River spirit and went with us to the
adjoining his place on the south. Here we found Mr. Jensen,
the manager, in his normal condition, courteous and polite, who gladly greeted
us and gave us information concerning this splendid enterprise, which up
to the present writing no word has ever gone into print as far as I know.
And why? About one mile from the public eye you suddenly emerge from the
dense forest of magnificent saw timber and find yourself in a square hole
surrounded by tall timber, where during the past last two years the forest
has been conquered. On the west slope of the hill you are confronted with
a tract of more than 20 acres of shot land, all cleared and planted to apples.
On the east side of the tract there are substantial buildings, including
house, barn, wood shed and shop, with pure spring water piped in for domestic
purposes and sprinkling of lawn and garden. The whole tract is like a garden
without root or weed, only a few straggling fern that battle the skill of
the trained Jap who cares for the place.
The Elppa orchard is a corporation made up by Portland people who have faith in this country, the best evidence of which is that they prove their faith by their works, and have already made a garden out with a wilderness. Such work is commendable and we think the public should know of it.
There we met three bright-faced little girls from Portland with the two grandmas, who are there on their summer vacation. The girls are dressed in blue overalls and are enjoying life immensely, under the guidance of their old friend, Ben Jensen.
Renewing our journey, we next passed the ranch of Jacob Lenz, who is road supervisor, hunter and angler, and a general all round pioneer sport. The shutters were closed. Jake and family were off on one of their many summer outings, and we were compelled to forgo the swapping of yarns or the shaking of Jake's glad hand. His ranch lies under the Bone ditch and responds to touch of water, making it possible for him to take life easy. Jake will have an easy chair during his declining years -- a thing we are all looking for.
Passing onward we see Paul Aubert's place to the right, and J.R. Steel's to the left, concerning which we notice on our return trip. Our next stop is that the home of Mr. Dumas, that amiable gentleman from France. And here a revelation awaits us. This is the Tilman ranch, and one of the oldest places in all that region, and is worthy of more than a passing mention. Mr. Dumas has recently built on the Mount Hood road a group of buildings which are complete in every detail, consisting of modern house, barn, wood shed, blacksmith shop, up-ground cellar, smoke house and pig pen. All are newly built and painted and have a village look. He has recently cleared four or five acres, which are to go into strawberries this fall. His old place on the east is in the hands of V.V. Willis, the former school master of Odell. Mr. and Mrs. Dumas are hospitable to the limit, and took exceeding pains to make our short visit a pleasant one. And they succeeded. He is the party the Glacier last year wrote up in detail and here is the place where snails were then being propagated, but they have vanished for reasons unknown to Mr. Dumas. But enough remains in sight and in prospect to render the life of these contended people a dream. They are anchored here with life, comfortable in their surroundings and quickened by the inspiring forces of nature spread out before them, their last days should prove their best ones. And we congratulate rather than envy them their happy lot in life.
The day is growing and we move on, catching the glimpses of improvements here and there, stopping next at the relay station on the Cloud Cap road. We meet Will Edick on the box, dust-covered and still holding the ribbons over his four grays at the end of the run from the Inn. Everybody knows Will Edick and Bert Sandman, who had charge of the summer traffic on the upper end of the mountain travel. This is a historic place, being for years the post office and the center of attraction of the Mount Hood settlement. They both have good ranches and bearing orchards that will soon place them on easy street.
Passing several homes that belong to the Dimmick family, most of whom are away for the summer, we halt again at the last one of these, Mrs. Schmidly, who is largely devoted to the poultry business and under the management of Mr. Leighton, who having been notified that the reporter was on his trail, had his chickens sleeked up and ready for the reception. A gap cut in the tall timber where a neat cottage stands, on either side of which were wings of poultry sheds. Clean, well kept and cozy, wire screened, and with clear water running through the grounds, they presented an inviting the appearance, suggesting the fact that fresh ranch eggs and broilers from such a place should find the highest round in the market. Mr. Leighton understands the business and seems content among the birds that answer his call. And this leads up to the thought that diversified industry and specialties pay everywhere. Adjoining the poultry grounds is perhaps the most artistic home by the roadside we see in all our trip.
The Home of Dr. Shaw
With an east frontage we see a log cottage with dormer, windows and shingle gables, with a backdrop of growing garden and bearing orchard, and to the south and west four or five acres of the famous Hood River berries that have astonished the world. This interesting place is in the hands of Mr. Morton, formerly from California, and a man with 25 years' experience in the irrigable district of that state. His intelligence and experiences will aid in keeping this already picturesque and profitable reach of the beauty spots along this tourist roadside. The efforts of Dr. Shaw are commendable indeed, and are worthy of imitation. But places as the Dr.'s and the Baldwin place just across the way serve as the best advertisers of the very best country in all the Northwest.
The Modern Home of Mr. Baldwin
Mr. Baldwin you find a combination of the characteristics
of the pioneer who blazed the trail to civilization and those of the born
gentleman. You know there are two kinds of gentleman, the one born, the other
cultivated. Give me the former. In Mr. Baldwin you find a brave, honest,
sturdy pioneer and gentlemen, upright in his dealings and void of offense
- a man abundantly able to live anywhere he might choose, yet living under
the sheltering arms of Mount Hood and as a matter of choice delving into
the forest and digging out and improving a modern home, from which shall
flow all the comforts allotted to man. The whispering voice of the western
wind lured him there years ago, and clearing one place after another as he
listened to the voice of God in nature, he at last has found a spot where
contentment reigns supreme, from which place in his declining years he will
muse and listen for the final roll call that shall beckon him into the great
With a spotless character here, who shall question the future state of Mr. Baldwin after he passes into that bourne from which no traveler returns. All honor is due such men, and we think the world is better by his having passed this way. Mrs. Baldwin greeted us warmly, not knowing we were assuming the role of reporter, and intelligently reviewed the early history of Messrs. Baldwin and Tieman, saying it would be a work of love to write the history of Mr. Tieman; that in him was a character; he had traveled worldwide, had visited the old world, had placed his hand on the tomb of Christ in the sepulcher at Jerusalem. His character was also blameless, and before passing into history endowed the Masonic lodge of Hood River with $4000. This is one of the monuments erected to his memory, but not the tallest, neither the most enduring. The spotless lives and characters of such men as Baldwin and Truman are far taller and more lasting then shafts of granite or marble.
A few minutes drive by brings us to the bridge, where we spend two pleasant hours with our little grandchildren, Dale and Vivian, children of R.D. Shelley, and who are in charge of the Mrs. Sandman in camp there.
During the lunch hour we unbend, forget our troubles, and have a rollicking time with the children. But these precious moments pass all too quickly, and we rein our horse again toward the mecca of our journey, Mount Hood.
The roaring of the rushing waters white with rage in their mad race toward the sea soothes our nerves and we drink inspiration under the burning rays of the August sun.
After climbing the hills from the river bottom the first greeting of civilization is the temporary house of Mr. Hallowell, who recently purchased 40 acres at a bargain from George Perkins. Mr. Hallowell has Mr. Gobin there slashing and clearing, cultivating and irrigating the portion already planted and growing, and will soon erect a modern cottage near the road and close by the home of Mr. Perkins, when they will together pipe pure spring water into both their houses. Mr. Perkins has a new home, but is at present living at the home of Mr. Dimmick, farther down the road and who is Mrs. Perkins' son and commonly called "Jink."
Adjoining the Perkins place is the Richmond place, now owned by Mr. Grey, who lives in Portland. He has 160 acres through which the Cloud Cap Inn road passes. The owner of this place is a traveling salesman, selling the machinery for a Portland house, and intends to move on to the place as soon as his contract is closed with the house. This is a good ranch and the owner is satisfied with his investment.
About a quarter of a mile south and by the road side we view the charred foundation on which stood the lonely cabin wherein the awful tragedy was enacted behind closed doors, which suddenly ended the life of Mr. Foss, the thrilling tale of which has already gone to your readers through the columns of the Glacier.
Next we pass the ranch of Mr. Knight. Here we felt the tinge of disappointment at not being able to grasp the glad hand of this warm-blooded Texan. The doors were closed and we learned that Mr. Knight had moved kith and kin, and is now living at Kingsley, this county. However, he left his growing orchard, and his perfumed clover field, and perchance he will someday return, bringing back his own.
Passing on we soon arrive at the ranch of Mr. Ruff, formerly owned by Dad Fouts of your city. This was another closed cottage. Mrs. Ruff having the day before returned to her home in Portland. However, it is easy for the passing tourist to note that this is a fine ranch, with a fine bearing orchard to the left, surrounding a modern cottage and with clover fields spreading to the right, all green and growing, it presents an inviting picture, surrounded all about with pine, willow and chaparral, on the out skirts of the clearing.
Leaving there the grade steepens and we turn southwesterly and soon come to the Nason place, now owned by London and Powers, two festive drummers traveling out of Portland, and who are showing their faith by their works, by spending their salaries in clearing and planting to apples on what will soon develop into a valuable place. They have staked their earnings there and time will prove they played a winning card.
Adjoining this is the home of Henry Groff. This ranche is also cut into by the road, showing a fertile soil and green fields on either side. It is a hard slow struggle to develop a ranch there, but each growing acre calls for another, and Mr. Groff along with his neighbors will finally get there, and should someday have a princely home.
A short distance farther on, after passing through a skirt of timber, Jim Reese's ranch suddenly looms up to the left. Jim is a prominent figure in and about town and along the road, and is an all-round man, and one who I often think missed his calling, for he would fill the role of an endman in a minstrel troop on account of his mother wit. Jim has a good ranch and knows it.
Will Huckabay's ranch joins the Reise place and lies nice, and will be a good place when developed. Mr. Huckabay is now living on the Reise place, but has built a large barn on his own place, and is preparing to erect a house this fall, when he will be at home. He recently sold 80 of his 160 acre tract. This brings us to the foot of China hill, which none forget who make the journey to Mount Hood. There a plain traveled road turns abruptly down the hill to the right, and after crossing Wolf creek and up the hill a quarter of a mile fetches you to the home of J.H. Groff, where we unharness the horse and are generously and hospitably entertained overnight.
Situated upon a wide-spreading plateau embracing hundreds of acres of almost level land, which seem to stretch away to the base of Mount Hood, and completely surrounded by stately looking timber and evergreen hills, there is spread out before you a picture of a beautiful mountain home. At one sweep of the vision there is presented a picture of mountain, of growing garden, orchard and clover field that is restful and satisfying. Mr. Groff is not an old-timer, it being only four years since he found a hitching post there, yet through the constant daily efforts of himself, a faithful, devoted, untiring wife and his hard-working, worthy son, Joseph, they have already reached a point in the way of improvements about the home and the development and cultivation of the land, so that they are enjoying many comforts and luxuries of a country home that will soon far excel the city palace. Such sturdy, upright people are justly entitled to an easy chair in old age. May their last days be full of comfort and peace as they sit together in the shade of their own vine and fig tree, reaping the reward of their patient years of toil.
E.P. Powell, the author of "The Country Home," should come west where inspiration buds and blossoms on every hillside and on every tree to.
Joseph, the youngest son of J.H., has 160 acres about one mile from his father, seven acres of which are cleared, and upon which he is now building a home and barn. By this thrift and energy he is already the owner of all the stock (save one cow) on his father's place. So it will come to pass that Joseph, after coming with his father to this the promised land, will soon be able to point out his flocks and herds on every hillside, and yet withal this Joseph will not forget his father's God.
A Day Above the Clouds
About 7 a.m. Thursday morning, the 10th, the morning
of the day upon which Mount Hood was to do some extraordinary freaks, we
drew a line over the horse and left the Groff home on our way to the Inn.
After a night of refreshing sleep we left invigorated by the Oregon ozone
and horse, dog and all were jubilant concerning the revelation that awaits
one at the first peep that he gets when emerging from the forest and reaching
the end of the road above earth and cloud, and observed the grandeur and
glory of the scene below. The day before the wind had played planks around
the mountain, but the day we were there everything was peaceful and serene.
After about three hours of steady climbing, with an occasional glinting of
the sun shine through ancient forests, we reach the Mecca of our journey.
There is where you get a draft of ice cold water without ice. Then across the canyon southward standing upon the storm-swept glaciers, weird and forbidding, which planted upon the rock-ribbed mountain where for centuries they have been the storm center and defiant and looking northward you see a picture of distant snow-crowned mountains "kissing the clouds." And oh, the grandeur and mystery that lie uncovered before the gaze, of the mountains; some bare and brown, of gray rock bound cliffs fringed about with evergreen; of sparkling crystal river below, and God's blue sky above! You behold the wonderful works of nature and amid feelings of awe and wonder you are satisfied.
After lunching at the Inn and spending something like 7 hours above the clouds, we reluctantly turned our faces homeward, feeling full repaid for the struggles of the day. So as night comes on in the Groff home where we again find rest, while nature pins her curtains with the stars, we feel that of all the days spent in Hood River valley, the 10th day of August, 1905, was the most triumphant. At about 6:30 Friday morning we set out on the homeward run. You know the back track is always the coldest, and while there was an abundance of buoyancy in the homeward journey, yet we took up the thread of our work and called at a number of places that we were compelled to leave out on the way up. Switching off the road at Gribble's, we called first at the home of Paul Aubert, who has 104 acres, being part of the old Graham ranch, and 40 acres near J.R. Steel, down the valley. Mr. Aubert has already cut and housed 40 tons of hay, and will cut 10 ton more. He is thoroughly impressed that the creamery proposition is the solution of his section and intends soon to increase his cow herd until he has seven or eight ahead, and get a separator. He has a thrifty young orchard besides a number of bearing trees, and tells us that last spring he shipped a lot of 6-tier cull apples (such as he was feeding his cows) to Portland and realized 85 cents per box for them. Here we are in the heart of the dairy section, which will soon develop into a splendid paying business, distributing the money every month. Mr. Aubert is wide awake and ready to grasp the opportunities and success awaits such men. Both himself and wife greeted us cordially.
Mr. Aubert's nearest neighbor, Mr. Votia, sold Mr. Aubert his present home, retaining 40 acres, it being the home of Bert Graham of your city at one time. We found Mr. Votia out in his clearing with sleeves rolled up looking after a big burning he had fired. There he was with his sprinkling pot carefully guarding the spread of the flames into other tracts. He received us cordially and entered earnestly into a discussion of the future possibilities of his favored section. He expressed himself in most positive terms as highly favoring the creamery and dairy industry. At present he is without much revenue from his ranch, but he is fast clearing and burning and will soon seed the burned district to clover and put in a herd of cows and have ready money coming along every month.
Just across the road west of Mr. Votia is the home of Mr. Larwood, where we called, but found Mr. Lawwood out at work and our time being so limited we failed to find him. But judging from his high grade improvements, his excellent garden and the general appearance of things about the home, we are led to believe that Mr. Larwood is one of Mount Hood's most progressive citizens. The best part of his place lies off from the road and out of sight of the passerby.
Leaving the main road we go through D.R. Cooper's generous gate and about a quarter of a mile distant for the first time we see his home. Almost everyone knows Cooper, and many and many a one has shared his hospitality. There another disappointment awaited us, as the he and all the family except one son were away picking blackberries.
Pausing a moment and hearing the sound of the buzzing saw at the mill below we urge our horse down through the Cooper meadow, and in a few moments we are greeted by A.M. Kelly, one of the of the lumber kings of Mount Hood. Kelly took time to tip his hat, but was too busy for an interview. Talking glibly a moment he said: "We are awful busy; everything all right; plenty of lumber orders till further orders; lots of improvement going on over across the west fork," etc.
It was then close to high noon and the inner man appealed to us strongly, so we urged the horse faster and faster, turning corners quickly until we reined in our horse at the crossroads at W.S. Gribble's, the country merchant, postmaster and all round businessman of Mount Hood. Mr. Gribble was busy, but took time to extend all possible courtesy as we lunched in the shady park west of the store. Mr. Gribble tells us his business is spreading, and his responsibility is consequently on the increase. Like the Little White Store people, he is both merchandising and ranching. He has our sympathy, as well as our best wishes for success. He highly favors the creamery proposition and we mutually agree that inasmuch as the Hazelwood people had taken up the work here by placing separators and establishing a cream route, that much of the responsibility of the success of the enterprise rests with them, and that we were perfectly willing that they should shoulder it, and help make the business a success. We must not forget to say that at Gribble's store we met Mr. Owen, who owns a homestead two miles east of the store, and who is delighted with his location, and his prospects for building a home over in the hills in the Mount Hood country. We also had the pleasure of an interview with Mr. McKamey, who owns 40 acres of land two miles southwest of the store. Mr. McKamey is thoroughly imbued with the idea of diversified farming, and is unqualifiedly in favor of the creamery business. The fact is that this was one of the matters discussed while covering that territory and it was the unanimous opinion that the creamery business was the most important question as taxing the future welfare of the Mount Hood section, as well as the valley in general.
Leaving Gribble's we were anxious to interview Mr. Helmer, but found him absent, both going and coming. His mill was running as we passed by but the day was lengthening and we had to pass on.
Mr. Rush, formerly from Morrow country has now 40 acres of the Fredenburg place north of Helmer's and 60 acres across on the east side the road opposite Helmer's store. Mr. Rush has about 20 acres cleared on his two places and seems contended and expresses himself as satisfied with his location and investment and highly in favor of the development of the creamery business.
Leaving their we close up of the work of the trip at the house of J.R. Steel. Mr. Steel and wife are sturdy Scotch people who are thrifty and reliable and make good American citizens. Mr. Steel is the owner of 160 acres having sold 40 recently. He has 25 acres under cultivation; 15 acres in hay, the balance in orchard and garden. Mr. Steel is a believer in alfalfa. He says that one acre of alfalfa will keep eight cows during the summer months. He has already cut from one scant acre six tons besides feeding two cows during the summer. He has taken 25 tons of hay from the first cutting with another crop coming. He says that this shall always be his home but he intends to reduce his acreage and give others a chance for a happy home in Hood River valley. He is engaged in the chicken business having about 400. He has arranged his chicken houses so that with proper care he makes money on them. Mr. Steel is a believer in the merits of water. He pays annually $60 and says it pays. He has an orchard of 600 or 700 trees part bearing. He believes in diversified farming, and expresses himself as highly in favor of the creamery business. Mr. Steel, in addition to being an all round rancher, is a genius. You will arrive at this conclusion upon looking at several articles of furniture made with a jack knife in a sort of patchwork style, including a bookcase, lounge, chairs, picture frames, etc. The chief attraction about the place for the children it is a beautiful dappled fawn captured by Mr. Steel's little girl, after having become fastened in the meshes of the wire fence in its effort to escape captivity. She has it uniformed with ribbon and a bell around its neck. It spends the day in the flower garden and makes its bed among green bows in one of the chicken houses at night. It is five or six weeks old and a beauty. The fowls now gather in the background on their feeding grounds and a liberal supply of wheat is scattered, and about the same time Mrs. Steel announced supper. Well, well, after having breakfasted early and lunched at Gribble's store, the supper call was gladly responded to, and we sat down to a bountiful feast of good things. On the bill of fare was one of these chickens. Mrs. Steel is one of those women who is perfectly at home in her own home, and proved a charming hostess. This supper I called the reporter's banquet. The dispatching of this square meal proved one of the most delightful duties of the whole trip, but I forgot, for Mrs. Steel's last request was not to mention the supper, so I will say no more about it.
At 7 p.m. we left their house and Inn 75 minutes we sought slighted at the little white store, after a delightful trip of three days. , during which time we believe that much information, renewed old acquaintances and formed a new ones. With all that, we are glad to be at home, for the Ruck post of duty is the post of honor. Besides "be it ever so humble, there is no place like home."
In closing this article I feel that I owe the readers of Mount Hood an apology. Realizing the magnitude of the country up there, and the large area of country to be covered in order to give anything like a thorough write up of the resources and development, my time was far too short. I made the round trip in three days, two days of which were spent in the interest of the Glacier, and the other up on the mountain. Perhaps at some future time it may happen that I might cover the territory again.
In conclusion I declare to extend my sincere thanks to residents of Mount Hood for courtesies received while on the trip.
© Jeffrey L. Elmer