Posts Tagged ‘Hood River


changes on the horizon…

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” Viktor Frankl

horizon-hood river-rural-SwittersB


between the trees…



What’s in a name…

Herman Otto Kresse, was born in Wisconsin in 1888. Later, he became the Mayor of Hood River, Oregon during the Depression. He also opened Kresse Drug Company in downtown Hood River. He passed away in 1973. I saw the old Rexall Store logo and dated signage. With the morning sunshine against the wall, the old sign glowed. Kresse held up: The style of writing in the newspaper piece below is interesting despite the typos….

Herman Kresse Robbed


Herman Kresse c/o


Herman Kresse

Above two historical images of Herman Kresse courtesy of


Life’s struggles…

I enjoy discovering the hidden stories of cemeteries, particularly what we would call ‘Pioneer’ cemeteries. Pioneers, in our neck of the woods, were folks that departed the smothering confines of Eastern United States and moved West to explore, to pioneer, the open spaces. Most of this took place in the mid 1800’s in the Pacific Northwest (United States).

Not too long ago, I posted about Marcus W. Robertson. Buried in a small, rural cemetery in Central Oregon in Pine Grove. I noted his apparent heroic exploits to become a Medal of  Honor recipient and then I noted his nephew Earl who died in 1918 in WWI.


Marcus Robertson Medal of Honor Winner SwittersB

While at the cemetery, I had snapped a few more headstones of the Robertson’s family. I decided to see what I could find out about them given the burst of death and apparent grief in the early 1900’s. What I noticed was Marcus’s brother, Robert Earl, had a seemingly sad stretch of life in this rural area. First he lost his wife, Fannie Juliet in 1911 to illness, then in 1915 his two daughters are burned up in the home, which was totally destroyed and then he loses his son, the perviously mentioned Earl in WWI, who as I recalled he died of a dental infection in France, after being ‘severely wounded’.

As one reviews theses events, the mind goes to the magnitude of the events and how they would impact our own mind, heart and health. Normally, when listening to such events on the news, the sound bite hits us, but is immediately gone and purposely abandoned to lessen the impact. But, for me, cemetery history lingers in my mind. In a good way, I think. It makes one look outward beyond the tip of our nose to see the humanity and struggles about us…in the past and before us now. A good thing.   

Below are the grave markers and a few local newspaper snippets…

‘Mrs. Fanny Robertson died last Friday night, August 25, after a lingering illness,…’  Hood River Glacier Journal, August 31, 1911

Fannie Robertson 1911-SwittersB

“Children Burned to Death in Hood River. While their father; worked In the barn nearby, Ruth and Violet Robertson, daughters of Robert Robertson, were burned to death by fire which destroyed their home, near this city. Ruth was 7 years old and Violet was 14 years. Indications are that the children never left their bed, but were smothered and burned without a chance to save themselves. Their charred bodies were found within the twisted and blackened frame of their Iron bed.”  Crook County journal. (Prineville, Or.) May 13, 1915

Robertson girls-died-1915-SwittersB


Earl Roberston 1918 died WWI SwittersB


Medal of Honor Winner: Marcus Robertson

Marcus W. Robertson Medal of Honor SwittersB

Marcus William Robertson (February 12, 1870 – May 24, 1948) was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of America’s highest military decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions on the Philippine-American War.

Marcus W. Robertson, 1898...18y/o headed to war. Photo via Mary Gall

Marcus W. Robertson, 1898…18y/o headed to war. Photo via Mary Gall

Marcus Robertson enlisted in the United States Army from Hood River, Oregon in May 1898, and by May 16, 1899 was serving as a private in Company B of the 2nd Oregon Volunteer Infantry Regiment as part of Young’s Scouts. On that day, near San Isidro in the Philippines, Private Robertson helped to rout a large enemy force despite being greatly outnumbered. For his actions, he was presented with the Medal of Honor on April 28, 1906. He later rose to the rank of stable Sergeant and served in France during World War I.

He died at age 78 and was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, Hood River, Oregon. (Wiki)

Buried beside Marcus is his cousin, Earl Malcom Robertson, who died in WWI from Ludwig’s Angina…a dental infection and inflammation that lead to his death.

Earl Malcom Robertson-Pine Grove-SwittersB


Night travel…

‘I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.’      Mark Twain




Mt. Hood Railroad Bridge

railroad bridge-SwittersB-Hood River

Historical Oregon Railroads by Brian McCamish (Good Historical Oregon Info for bushwhackers)


old rail siding…

up on the Northeast side of Mt. Hood in Pine Grove (Oregon)…fruit processing country.

pine grove-siding-fruit warehouse-SwittersB


Pine Grove sign-railroad-SwittersB


Pine Grove Aerial Google Maps


Travel & Life: Mr. & Mrs. SwittersB’s One Night Stand……….

Long ago, in a time so far away, life was busy and time constraints (available vacation time, career demands) made it impossible to grab much time away. So when my wife and I decided to get married back then, it was in retrospect, the economy package.

It wasn’t the traditional hoopla church wedding. It was a backyard wedding (my parent’s yard), then a backyard reception (her parent’s yard) and then away for the honeymoon (a one night stand) at the Columbia Gorge Hotel near Hood River, Oregon. Yep, one night was all we could afford and all the time we could get away.

The Columbia Gorge Hotel was pretty fancy back then. It still has some history and quite a few folks get married there judging by the pictures in Google Images. A little about the hotel is in order…….


It was built in 1921 by Simon Benson. It took the place of the Wau Gwin Gwin Falls Hotel. Of course the Wau Gwin Gwin Falls still tumble off the cliff, down to the mighty Columbia River, behind the Columbia Gorge Hotel. Photo form Hood River Historic Society

The hotel changed ownership through the 1920’s & 1930’s given the Depression etc. Then it became a retirement home for many years, and then it was renovated in the 70’s. It seemingly prospered until 2009 when it was foreclosed on and closed. New owners have once again opened the doors the last few years and we wish them success with this historic site. I mean we had our honeymoon there! (more here)

CGH Historic HR

entry CGH SwittersB

A recent visit showed the Columbia Gorge Hotel and grounds still very beautiful. The parking lot was full of weekend travelers. So hopefully this bodes well year round for the hotel’s success.



Infections Increasing, Columbia ‘River Nose’, Studies Commencing

Mr. Bean~River Nose

Mr. Bean~River Nose

Search Continues For Cause Of Columbia’s ‘Rivernose‘                           Hood River, OR   August 27, 2008 1:03 a.m.  Federal and state scientists are researching the windsurfers’ ailment known as Rivernose. As Christy George reports, what started as a rural legend on an internet site has become a high-tech mystery.

‘For years anyone, who has spent much time around windsurfers or kite boarders on the Columbia River, has heard people complain of “river nose” (a runny nose that doesn’t seem to stop), cuts that get infected or take a long time to heal, sore throats, and diarrhea. While most people who use the Columbia do not experience these or other ailments on a regular basis, we are concerned that over the last several months Columbia Riverkeeper has received an increased number of reports about these and other symptoms.’


‘HOOD RIVER, Ore. — They call it “river nose,” an occasional affliction that has been a mystery for at least 20 years. Some avid wind surfers and kite boarders have complained of symptoms that can include stuffy noses, sinus infections, sneezing attacks, cuts that don’t heal, nausea and fatigue. This year, the number of reports of symptoms are higher than ever.’ 


Below @ “The Past” you can search back to 2008 month by month

July 2020

Please visit MUNCY DESIGNS (click)

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