“Dear Flo – Just a postal of us on a Trip Up The Columbia River Highway, Portland, Ore. Love to all.”
Addressed to: Miss Flo. McGuiness. 38 Gardner Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey.
This is a unique set of postal cards that were made by the family using the photos that they made that day. It was quite common back in the early part of the 20th Century to have your photos printed on postcard stock. You could then send the cards off to friends and relatives across the country. In the group photo a camera is clearly seen in the left hand of the gentleman on the right. Most likely an early Kodak.
Although we don’t know how the folks in the photos area, I’m sure that their “Trip up The Columbia Highway” was very similar to a day on the Historic Columbia River Highway in today’s Columbia River Gorge.
Roadhouses on The Mt Hood Loop – The Wistaria Farm Inn
The Wistaria Farm Inn, near Cherryville Oregon east of Sandy on the old Mount Hood Loop Highway (Highway 26 today), was only one of the many roadhouses located on the Mount Hood Loop Highway popular during the motor age. Continue reading The Wistaria Farm Inn
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.
Reliance Mt Hood Stages – First Autos to Mount Hood
Reliance Mt Hood Stages – In the early days of the road to Mount Hood, after the immigrant era, the road allowed the burgeoning new city of Portland to access the mountain for recreation. Mountain climbing and hiking the trails in the foothills in those days was the primary activity in the area. Skiing had yet to become an activity on the mountain.
Automobiles were starting to become a practical means of transportation, but was still primitive. Most people didn’t own a car which gave stage companies an opportunity to carry fun seekers to and from the lodges and roadhouses on Mount Hood. This also gave inn keepers an opportunity to host these people because a trip to Mount Hood wasn’t a simple day trip. Many times a trip to The Mountain was a week minimum investment in time.
Lodges such as Arrah Wanna, Welches Ranch, Tawney’s Mountain Home, La Casa Monte, The Rhododendron Tavern and the Government Camp Hotel all sprang up due to a need to recreational lodging.
The flyer below gives a great representation of the mileage, the lodging available and cost of a trip to the mountain.
Those days were primitive and simple and difficult compared to this day and age, but the life that was lived seems much more fun and adventure filled than the way we live today.
Mt Hood By Motor Stage Mt. Hood – South Side Reliance Mt Hood Stages Mountain Division “The Mt. Hood Line” 10th Season of Reliable Service
Owned and Operated by Irvington Garage and Auto Co. Inc. J. L. S. Snead, Pres,-Mgr. Phones: East 0135 East 3410 Tickets, Reservations and Waiting Room at Stage Depot Park and Yamhill Streets Phone Main 8611
Mt Hood Area Sightseeing Carriage – Early Oregon Tourism
Six Horse Mt Hood Area Sightseeing Carriage – SIX-HORSE TEAM AND SIGHT-SEEING CARRIAGE IN MOUNT HOOD AREA IN 1893 –
Before the days of automobiles sight-seers were taken over roads at the base of Mount Hood in equipages such as this. The late E. S. Olinger, known as one of Oregon’s most noted drivers is holding the reins.
This six-horse team pulling its crowded carriage of a summer-Sunday sightseers was photographed in 1893 in the Mt. Hood area. E.S. Olinger, one of top drivers, handled the reins.
The Oregon Trail is a 2,170-mile (3,490 km) historic East–West, large-wheeled
wagon route … on the California Trail (from 1843), Mormon Trail (from 1847), and
Bozeman Trail (from 1863), before turning off to their separate destinations.
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.
A Message from William “Billy” Welch from the grave.
A signature of William “Billy” Welch from 1902. This was prior to the establishment of Welches as a town. Billy seems to have been in a grim mood when he wrote this. Sadly his wife Mamie Kopper would die soon after.
Jan 8, 1902
Think of me when this you see Though in this world I may not be But if my grave should be my bed Remember me when I am dead.
I wonder if he really thought that people would be thinking of him over 100 years later?