The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., October 27, 1904, page 6
WHAT THE OREGON EDITORS SAW AT HOOD RIVER
Following are some of the things the Oregon editors had to say of Hood River, after attending the meeting of the Oregon Press association held here last week, and viewing the magnificent display of apples at the fair:
First Impression, One of Enterprise.
A city set up on a hill, whose light, reflected in the
face of a big, red, Oregon apple, cannot be hid. Such is Hood River.
The editors of Oregon came, they saw, they were conquered. The advance guard, President S.L. Moorhead of the Junction City Times, National committeeman, W.J. Clark of the Gervais Star, and the writer got into the hustling little city Thursday evening and were greeted by the shrill cries of a dozen lads shouting "Daily Glacier, all about the fruit fair!" And this first impression of the place was strengthened as the visit was prolonged. A small place, with but one weekly newspaper, a daily edition was issued throughout the biennial fair. That took push -- but that is what Hood River is becoming noted for. How could Editor Moe do it and why does he get out one of the best weeklies in this state? Because of his support. He stated with pardonable pride that every business man in Hood River from banker to peanut vendor is a regular advertiser in the Glacier. He took a long ride through the valley last summer and in accosting 150 persons he found that all but three were subscribers for the paper and one of these was moving away. This is only one direction in which the enterprise of Hood River people is attested, and naturally it caught with a newspaper man.
Editor Moe is a new man in Oregon, quiet, unassuming, but the way in which he, assisted by his young associate, jolly Ned Blythe, took charge of his fraternal visitors and showed them every courteous attention, has won him a warm place in the hearts of the Oregon pencil pushers.
The state press association meeting in conjunction with the holding of the biennial fruit fair, made it possible for the editors to see the best of the valley could produce. Indeed the beautiful souvenir badges, kindly presented by the Blake-McFall Paper Co., Pacific Paper Co. and American Type Founders Co. indicated the relation. Attached to the badge was a medallion representing a typical Hood River Spitzenburg apple.
Now we come to the fruit fair and draw a long breath, for how can every day common English do justice to that the marvelous exhibition? As we looked upon the apples we have heard so much about, we were speechless -- but not so Hon. E.L. Smith, or "Hood River Smith" whose eloquent tongue never flies so fast as when extolling the beauties and wonders of Hood River's apples. He extended the visiting editors the freedom of the fair and - of the cider barrel from which the juice of the royal apples was drawn by Hood River's daughters. By way of precaution the editors were told that in consuming eight bushels of apples a person would not get enough of the spray from the solution by which the fruit is sprayed, to prove fatal. The boys took the cue and seemed inclined to go the limit.
Stepping inside the pavilion in which the fair was held, in bold letters in the far end of the enclosure was quoted, "Ye Shall Know Them by their Fruits," which indicated that Hood River people can talk horticulture more correctly than they can quote scripture. But the words were certainly applicable.
Many people were present who had attended nearly all the world's fairs of recent years, who declared they had never seen such an exhibit. Men that were present from other sections of the United States, who readily yielded the palm. The display was unprecedented. In such exhibits it is common to see apples three or four on a plate. Here they were exhibited in 50-pound boxes -- by the bushel, and the bottom layers as fine as the top ones. Magnificent 3-tier Gravensteins which went 54 apples to the bushel; all varieties, all sizes, all colors, all flavors. Some of the principal varieties on display were the Spitzenburg and Yellow Newtowns, Hood River's leaders. Jonathan, Hydes King, Ben Davis, Winesap, Baldwin, Northern Spy, Banana, Snow, Red Cheek Pippen, Arkansas Black, etc.
It cannot be disputed, Hood River is in a class by itself as an apple producer. Somehow or other the glory of the sunset, reflected by hoary Mount Hood, silent sentinel of the valley, is found again in the brilliant glow of the apples, and the crisp snowy breath of the "Cascades' frozen gorges" joins the richness of the soil in giving the fruit that peculiar flavor which the alchemy of trade turns into a decided "silvery" taste in foreign markets.
There was just one editor in the crowd to whom the poetic muse purred, after the wonders of the exhibit had been taken in -- Editor Bennett of the Oregon Irrigator. He voiced the tribute felt by all and here it is:
APPLE SHOW TOO BIG
O, dear E.L., O, good E.L.,
O, E.L. Smith, Esquire,
I have a word or two to say,
A something to desire.
I've been to see your apple show,
I tried to look it through,
But 'tis too big, too big by half
For jays like me to view.
Cut your mammoth show in two,
Then quarter it once more.
Send sections west and sections east,
E'en to Atlantic shore.
And you will rake all prizes in
Where e're a section foes.
For 'tis "The greatest show on earth."
So do as I propose.
And thus the name, and thus the fame
Of fair Hood River town
Will brighter grow, and farther go,
Till world-wide her renown.
It will doubtless be a matter of general interest to
state, however, that instead of separating the exhibit as suggested above,
arrangements have been made to transfer it intact to the St. Louis fair,
there to re-enforce the Oregon horticultural exhibit.
The crowning experience of the trip was the 16-mile ride given the editors through the wonderful valley that produces such wealth of horticulture. The wagonettes were crowded, but by "thin spacing" all got it, and enjoyed as fine a ride as could have been taken. Starting up the west side of the valley, the far-famed strawberry district was first penetrated. Farther up came the orchards, and six miles from town, the beautiful Hood River, which divides the valley, was crossed, and the return taken on the East Side.
The orchards were seen at their best -- loaded to the limit with prize winning apples. The question was asked why the fruit wasn't thinned and the interrogator was assured that it had been. The information was volunteered that the only way in which to get the fruit thinned out at all adequately was to hire a Dutchman, give him a "big stick," tell him to knock off every apple he saw and that if he left one he would get his head broken -- and then there were plenty left.
At Beulah Land, most appropriately named, the former orchard home of E.L. Smith, now owned by Oscar Vanderbilt, the party stopped and was given to eat and drink of the fat of the land. Fresh cider and all kinds of fruit were served in a most hospitable manner. Another stop was made at the great orchard of Sears & Porter, where apples were being packed for market. These men alone expect to ship 20,000 boxes of apples this season.
This year's apple crop now being gathered is expected to fill 75,000 bushel boxes, or 125 cars. The entire crop of the Hood River Apple Growers' union has been contacted for by a Portland apple buyer at the following prices: Four-tier Spitzenburg, $2.10; 4-tier Newton, $1.75 a box. The 5-tier apples, sold for $1.75 to $1.25 a box.
Hood River Spitzenburgs and Yellow Newtowns bring higher prices than any other apples in the United States. This, the apple buyers' state, is because of about high color and superior quality imparted to the Spitzenburgs by the volcanic soil of Hood River valley and the enormous size and fine quality of the Yellow Newtowns. Hood River Spitzenburgs retail at 10 cents each on the fruit stands of New York city, while the Hood River Yellow Newtowns have won gold medals for Oregon at the recent world's fairs.
Two things impressed one on riding through the valley. First, the class of the people who have made the valley what it is. Here is new blood, bringing not only enthusiasm and enterprise, but good business sense. In fact many of the Hood River horticulturists are business men who prefer the profits and independence of fruit growing to the more harassing cares of city business life. Second, it is work, persevering, intelligent work, day after day, which has brought the results. Hood River apples are not wormy and why? After the fruit is set on the trees, the spray pump is used about every ten days, until the apple is matured. This one illustrations spells w-o-r-k.
The Hood River valley, a high plateau nestling in the arms of the Cascades, opening into the Columbia river and guarded in the rear by the majestic Hood, the source of its river, is as picturesque as it is fertile, and the ride along its winding road is one long to the treasured in memory.
Pleasurable as the trip to Hood River to the knights of the pencil and scissors, it was more than one of mere recreation. For various reasons the attendance at this year's meeting was not as large as it has been at times, but all present were bona fide newspaper men and women, and more work was accomplished in the interests of the association than ever before. Two good business meetings were held on the afternoons of Friday and Saturday, and a public meeting was well attended Friday evening. An eloquent welcome was extended the visitors by the one and only E.L. Smith.
In response to an invitation extended by I.N. Fleishner, president of the Lewis and Clark fair, a committee of 10 editors were the guests of President Fleishner and Secretary Henry Reed of Portland Sunday. In the forenoon the editors were taken out to the fair grounds and shown the rapid progress of the work of preparation, after which the party was entertained at a luncheon at Hotel Portland. Plans for furthering the interests of the big exposition from a newspaper standpoint were informally discussed, much enthusiasm being in evidence.
The committee was composed of Albert Tozier, of the Farmer of Portland; J.C. Hayter, Dallas Observer; R.P. Bacon, University of Oregon Monthly, Eugene; W.C. Woodward, Newberg Graphic; J.W. McArthur, Oregon Monthly, Eugene; William J. Clarke, Star, Gervais; C.L. Star, School News, Dallas; William Matthews, Yaquina Bay News, Newport; Walter Lyons, West Side Enterprise, Independence; and S.L. Moorhead, Junction City Times.
Glad They Came to Hood River.
The country newspaper men of Oregon have had their annual vacation, and have returned to their home congratulating themselves upon the wisdom of choosing Hood River as the place of the 18th annual meeting. No more pleasant social gathering than the one held in the famous Hood River valley last week has never been recorded in the history of the Oregon Press association. While the attendance was not as large as usual, the convention was composed of men and women who are actively engaged in newspaper work, and the usual crowd of idle pleasure seekers was conspicuously absent. As a result, the publishers were enabled to get down to earnest work, and steps were taken to place the association on a substantial business footing and to carry out measures that will financially benefit every newspaper in Oregon. The members, one and all, expressed the belief that the days of idle junketing trips are over for the Oregon Press Association, and that a bright and prosperous future is in store for the country newspapers of the state.
The Convention City
Hood River is a beautiful little city of 1600 population,
situated on the south bank of the lordly Columbia and at the mouth of the
stream from which the city derives its name. It is 64 miles east of Portland,
and 24 miles west of The Dalles. Being on the main line of the O.R. &
N. railroad, it has excellent transportation facilities, Portland being reached
by a two-hours' ride. The town was platted twenty years ago, but up to within
the past five years its population did not exceed 500 souls. Since that time
it has grown in size and commercial importance by leaps and bounds.
That town has an excellent water supply, electric lights, well improved streets, a $20,000 hotel, and numerous stores and shops. A sawmill of 100,000 feet daily capacity and a large fruit box factory give employment to a small army of men. Three large public school buildings and numerous handsome churches speak eloquently for the educational and moral tone of the town. Many costly brick business buildings are in course of construction. The residence streets are lined with beautiful homes, many of them belonging to Portland capitalists who have orchards in the valley.
The business interests in Hood River, as in Dallas, are controlled by young men, and it is needless to add that no opportunity or advantage is overlooked that will add to the welfare of the town. The people, young and old, are hospitable and are ever ready to extend the hand of welcome to the strangers within their gates. They are proud of their beautiful town and its rich surroundings, and are constantly on the alert to make known to the outside world the wonderful riches and resources of Hood River valley.
* * * * * * * *
The Fruit Fair
The sixth biennial fruit fair of Hood River was held
while the Editorial convention was in session, and proved a revelation to
all who had never seen a display of the products of the famous Hood River
valley. Language is inadequate to describe this exhibit -- it was simply
beyond comparison. Two long tables running through with the center of the
pavilion were covered with apples, peaches, pears, grapes and quinces on
plates, while on either side, banked six boxes deep and rising tier after
tier, were apples packed in boxes as if for shipment. It was not an uncommon
sight to see 45 apples completely filling a 50-pound box. Such a wealth of
color, quality and size has never been seen at any other fruit show in the
world. It will be good news to every citizen of Oregon to learn that this
magnificent display of fruit is to be forwarded to the St. Louis fair, to
be placed on exhibition in the Oregon section. The expense of shipping the
entire display will be borne by voluntary subscriptions by members of the
Portland Chamber of Commerce, the Lewis and Clark State Commission and the
citizens of Hood River. This fruit display will go further toward advertising
the productiveness of Oregon than anything else that could be sent from the
President E.L. Smith, that grand old citizen of Eastern Oregon, was always on hand to look after the comfort and entertainment of visitors, and the newspaper men will never forget for the many kindnesses shown them. The writer also desires to thank Superintendent G.R. Castner and F.G. Chandler, both prominent orchardists, for personal favors, not the least of which was the filling of our traveling bag with the choices specimens of prize-winning apples. The press-gang also remember with kindness Editor Arthur D. Moe of the Hood River Glacier, and his able assistant, E.N. Blythe, who were always on hand to see that the boys did not miss any of the good things provided for their entertainment. The Glacier office kept open house, and the editors were shown every courtesy and kindness. The Daily Glacier, published during the three days of the fair, and containing the late telegraphic dispenses, local news, and full report of the proceedings of the press convention, was a triumph of up-to-date journalism.
Visit To Odell
One of the pleasant incidents of the trip to the writer
was his visit to Odell, where he was entertained at the hospitable home of
Mr. and Mrs. Roswell T. Shelley. We were met at the train by Mr. Shelley,
Thursday morning, and after out luggage had been safely stowed away in the
hotel, we visited the fruit fair and were privileged to meet and talk with
many of the leading business men and apple growers. At the close of the press
session in the afternoon, Mr. Shelley called for us with his horse and buggy,
and we were soon out on the country road among the strawberry fields and
apple orchards. Mr. Shelley's driving horse has a track record of better
than 2:30, and the seven miles between Hood River and Odell were soon covered,
the roads being in perfect condition for fast driving.
Odell is properly termed the hub of East Hood River. It is situated at the junction of the Cloud Cap Inn and the Falls roads, and has a church, school house, blacksmith shop and store. Mr. Shelley is the founder of the little village, having opened a store there two years ago. He prospered from the beginning, and today no store in the valley is better known or more widely advertised. He recently built a substantial warehouse and fruit storage room across the road from his store and is prepared to handle all the products of the valley. He is assisted in his business by Mrs. Shelley and his son, Ralph. Living in the most beautiful portion of the famous valley where the soil is rich, the climate is delightful, and the surrounding scenery is grand beyond description, it is small wonder that the family is contended and happy. Mr. Shelley still has a warm spot in his heart for Polk county, and wishes to be kindly remembered to his old friends in Dallas and Independence.
Editors In Convention
The 18th Oregon Press association held two business sessions
in the room's of the Hood River Commercial club, and also a public session
in a large auditorium adjoining the fruit pavilion. The latter meeting was
open to the public, and the large building was packed with citizens and visitors,
who availed themselves of the opportunity to hear the speeches and discussions.
The members of the press in attendance united in declaring that the Hood River meeting was the most earnest business session ever held by the association.
Visit 1905 Fair Grounds
In response to an invitation from the Lewis and Clark Fair commission, the association appointed a committee of 10 to visit Portland and go over the grounds of the exposition. The committee arrived in Portland Saturday evening, and spent Sunday afternoon at the grounds. Here every courtesy was shown the committee by Vice-President I .N. Fleischner and Secretary Henry E. Reed. The buildings and grounds were examined, and all visitors expressed surprise at the magnitude of the proposed fair and the progress that has been made. After returning from the grounds, the body was entertained by a luncheon given by Mr. Fleischner in the Hotel Portland grill room. Here director-General Goode joined the party, and the fair and its advertisement was thoroughly discussed. The officials were informed that the members of the Oregon Press association stand ready to do all in their power to advertise the fair, and that this publicity will be given without thought of remuneration.
Bound to Gain Fame
The Hood River fruit fair, which held its sessions last
Thursday, Friday and Saturday, was a success beyond all expectations.
The display of fruit, particularly apples, was something magnificent. Nearly four hundred boxes were shown besides a large number of samples on plates, and such apples we never saw before. We do not refer particularly to their size, though many of them were extraordinarily large, but to their perfection, and coloring. And mind they were put up -- "commercially packed," they called it -- in boxes ready for shipment.
It is no wonder Hood River is making a name second to none in the country for her products. With such fruit sorted, graded, packed so handsomely, placed on Eastern markets, she is bound to gain fame.
The entire exhibit of this fair has been shipped to the St. Louis fair, and if they don't capture a big bundle of blue ribbons we will miss our guess.
The Enterprising Glacier Boys
During the apple fair and editorial convention the Glacier published a daily evening addition, and to say the boys got out a fine paper would be drawing it mild. It was, indeed, a very handsome, readable and newsy little sheet -- a perfect little gem, plain and above reproach in every way. The Glacier's regular weekly edition is one of our best and brightest exchanges, and the proprietor has gained new laurels by the issue of the first Hood River daily.
© Jeffrey L. Elmer