The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., May 12, 1933, page 5
CORRECT HISTORY OF HOOD RIVER UP TO AND INCLUDING 1891
The town of Hood River, Wasco county, Oregon, was laid
out and platted as a town in the forepart of March 1881, by Eugene F. and
Henry C. Coe. Containing several blocks, from Front to Third street, the
blocks were 200x200, lots 50x100 and at the request of Mrs. Mary W. Coe their
mother, all lots sold, contained the liquor clause, the land was a part of
the Nathan and Mary W. Coe donation land claim.
The first seller was John Park and his wife, A.L. Parker and their two children, James and Maud. They came from Cascade Locks on the last day of June, 1881. Henry C. Coe told Mr. Parker if he built a good building he would give him a lot, so on July 28, 1881, started and finished a good two story frame building, 24x40; using the lower floor for store and upper floor for a dwelling. This also being the first store and was at the S.W. corner of Oak and First streets.
During the summer, fall and winter, 1881, the O.R. & N. Co. (now U.P.R.R.) made their survey, graded and built the road from Bonneville to The Dalles, and the first through train from Chicago to Portland passed through Hood River on September 13, 1883, over the Northern Pacific railroad, connecting at Pasco with the O.R. & N. During the summer of 1883 the O.R. & N. Co. completed their road from Bonneville to Portland.
The Coe brothers gave the company the right-of-way and a strip 200 feet wide the full length of their switch for the depot and side tracks. The first trains commenced to run about the first of May, 1882, from Bonneville to Walla Walla, and from Bonneville was transferred to boat for Portland.
The second building was the Mt. Hood hotel building, built by T.J. Wosford, started in August. A good frame building, two story, 25x50 and was run by him for a little over a year, when he traded the hotel to Benjamin Walling for a farm near the Rockford store.
The third building was a dwelling built by Peter Trana, the fourth building built by John Wilstrom, the fifth store and dwelling by Holbrook and Prather.
The sixth building on the northeast corner of Oak and First, was built by Geo. M. Champlin for store and dwelling, 24x40, two-story. Mr. Champlin moving his stock from the Dr. W.L. Adams place where he had been located for about two years, this being the second store.
In October Nicholas Billen came from The Dalles and started a blacksmith shop, also built a dwelling.
During 1882 the town took on quite a boon, the postoffice was moved from off the hill to town, to John Parker's store, E.L. Smith built a good two story frame building, 24x60, lower story for store, upper story for hall, this being the first place we had any place for a public meeting. In the fall Mr. Smith moved his stock of general merchandise from Frankton to town. F.C. Backus built a one story frame building for store and dwelling, starting a drug and notion store. Dr. McFearson built and started a blacksmith shop also a one story frame building for dwelling and boarding house. There was several dwellings also built among them. E.S. Olinger, John Reynolds, W.C. Corrum and a Mr. Filbert. The schoolhouse (now the courthouse) was also built in the early fall.
The first year all the water we used we had to carry it from the Hood river, there was a small spring on the hill. John Parker saw W.C. Coe, he giving Mr. Parker the right to use and pipe the water down to town so Mr. Parker bought lumber and made wooden pipe, dug a trench and brought this water down to town as his own expense and we all used this water in the early part of 1883. Mr. Parker turned this water works over to H.C. Coe who laid a ¾ inch pipe and began to charge for the water. Mr. Coe was very nice about it. There was several he could not furnish water, so he placed a hydrant on the corner of Oak and Second streets, so we could carry all the water we wanted free. This was the beginning of the Hood River water works.
In 1883 a man by the name of Joseph Evans started to make shingles at the Tucker bridge, not having trade enough in July 1883, he moved the mill to town and did a fine business for a while.
In the summer of 1882 Mr. Coe laid out south of the old state road (now State street) into lots 96x150, and from the east boundary up to and including the school ground which gave to the school district 150x150, he called this Hood River proper, he also laid out several more blocks on the west, which he called the second addition west to town of Hood River.
The Hood River Glacier was started on June 8, 1889.
Since post office was moved downtown the following have served as postmaster: Mrs. A.A. Stranahan, R.J. Rogers, Geo. T. Prather, Mrs. Jennie Champlain, L.E. Morse, Wm. E. Yates, Jay Lucas, Mr. Reavis, Thomas F. Johnson.
The first two churches were the Congregational and the United Brethren, both being in the summer of 1891.
The first lodge was the United Workmen and the K. of P., the Workman, 1882 (started at Frankton) and the K. of P. February 22, 1890. Soon followed by the I.O.O.F. and the Masons.
This carries up to and including 1891.
GEO. T. PRATHER.
© Jeffrey L. Elmer