Cross and Dimmit Postcards of The Columbia River Gorge and Historic Columbia River Highway.
Cross and Dimit were two of the most successful photographers in Portland back in the first part of the 20th Century.
Arthur B. Cross opened his photography studio in Portland Oregon in 1909. Five years later Edward L. Dimmit began working at Cross’s at his studio and two years later became partners with Cross, naming it “Cross and Dimmit”.
The Historic Columbia River Highway was dedicated in 1917 and quickly became a huge tourist draw. All along the new road built through the pristine and deeply beautiful Columbia River Gorge, roadhouses, restaurants and gift shops sprung up to supply the needs of the tourist traffic.
And around that very same time postcards became extremely popular due to the fact that one could buy a package of cards and forego lugging their own camera long, or to allow those without ne to have photos of the views, streams and waterfalls along the road. All of these factors came together to provide the new Cross and Dimmit venture with a steady stream of potential customers via the souvenirs shops as well as from the running boards of their Model T Ford. In time they had their own gift shop located at Crown Point near Vista House.
Cross and Dimmit created real photo postcards in large quantities and sold them individually as well as packs of a variety of scenes. Most everyone who toured the gorge back then bought some. Cross and Dimmit sold scenes from other areas, but the photos of the gorge are their most iconic photos. Today they’re some of the best photos of the Columbia River Gorge and the historic Columbia River Highway from that era, and because of the quantities that they made, are still easy to find.
This is a series of their most common cards of the Columbia Gorge. They start from Chanticleer Point, today referred to as The Women’s Forum near the town of Corbett. They then go along the highway from Crown Point and Vista House to the Rowena Loops near The Dalles Oregon.
Arthur Cross died in 1940 and Dimmit lived until 1963.
Views of Portland Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge – Antique Postcard Set
20 Assorted Views of Portland Oregon.
Here’s a great assortment of views of Portland Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge circa 1950. They’re printed using an offset printing process on canvas textured paper. Printed by the Angelus Commercial Studio in Portland, Oregon. The cards are the same as the postcards that the company printed but are half the size.
The set, labeled 20 Views of Portland Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge, takes one on a tour from Portland Oregon east through the Columbia River Gorge on the Historic Columbia River Highway to the Hood River Valley and then south on what is now Highway 35 to the south side of Mount Hood and the iconic historic Timberline Lodge.
This very same tour can be taken today via modern cars and improved highways in a day; A very full and satisfying day. The only things that have changed since the era that these cards were made are that the Columbia River Highway, Historic Highway 30 has been replaced with the more modern Highway 84 through the gorge. Also the old Mitchell Point Tunnel was demolished in 1966 during construction of Hwy 84, but there are efforts through the restoration of the old highway to consider restoring the tunnel by boring a new tunnel through Mitchell Point.
All of these Views of Portland Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge are available for your enjoyment today, but these old photos bring back a more bucolic era in the Portland and the Mount Hood countryside. One where tourism was more slow and laid back. One where the trip was about the ride and not the destination. One that allowed us to stop along the way and send a postcard or two.