A number of people contributed information and guesses about last week’s History Mystery photo, above, including Dale and Becky Roberts of Maupin, Bill Johnson of The Dalles and Tim Arends.
Tim Arends identified the location as the Edward French House, a historic house located at 515 Liberty Street in The Dalles. The woman in front, in the flower dress, is his great aunt, Alice French. Another man in the group he thought was a next door neighbor. He remembers entering the neighbor’s house as a little boy, and finding it “chock full” of Indian artifacts.
According to Wikipedia, the home dates from circa 1865, and was acquired by the French family in 1892 and renovated by them in the Italianate style in circa 1900.
The photograph was dated Sept. 6, 1951, and was taken for The Dalles Optimist newspaper. It was scanned from a 4-by-5 inch black and white film negative from the archives of The Dalles Chronicle. The information typed on the envelope reads, “Franklin, 1910. Karl Jernes, Portland, owner. Previously owned by E. H. French, 1910, and Jim Palmer, 1916 to 1930.
20 years ago – 1995 (August 1)
Code enforcement, the Gorge Discovery Center, the Chenowith Interchange and water rates were among the issues of concern to a lively group of 50 people who attended the City of The Dalles town hall Monday night.
Originally concerned that people would be shy to speak up, City Manager Margaret Bauer soon found herself at the center of an animated discussion which lasted until shortly after 7 p.m. Bauer was joined at the meeting by Mayor Dave Beckley and city councilors Mary Ann Davis, Robb Van Cleave, Robert Briggs and Dee Hill.
Water rates drew a lengthy discussion early in the meeting, with Dean McCorquodale asking about the process the city expects to go through before setting new metered rates.
Brian Stahl of the Public Works Department explained the process ... “We have just signed a contract to have rates studied and to get a recommendation for structuring,” Stahl said.
City water bills have been showing consumption figures for about a year, said Stahl. The city will be starting a public information campaign shortly to help water users compare their consumption with the averages. Stahl anticipates the city could have metered rates by November.
The city manager called metered water rates important “as a matter of equity,” so that people using the system more pay more and those using the system less pay less.
4o years ago – 1975 (August 1)
A new planning report completed for the city identifies several buildings and homes which could be made into a historical district on the west end of the downtown commercial district.
The report was prepared by a planner and architect on a federal grant secured by the city, and it is now ready for city council action.
The city planning commission has recommended that a complete list of historic buildings be made and that the Historic Landmarks Commission should prepare a statement of purpose on probable developments. It calls for meetings of downtown merchants, property owners, and others interested in the preservation of the district.
City planner John Andersen says the implementation of the historic district plan will require a community effort over a long period of time.
Buildings identified in the report as prime targets for preservation are:
• Brewery on the south side of the intersection of East Second and Third Streets. The building was built in 1869 and a companion structure, the Fish House, has a plaque dated 1905.
• The Sunshine Biscuit Warehouse on East Second Street ... and Moody's Wool Warehouse. The warehouse and the flour mill were recently purchased by Interior Elevators.
• The Dalles Iron Works at the corner of Second and Monroe streets has been occupied by the same family operating an iron works since 1904. The building was constructed in the 1880's.
• The Federal Mint, now occupied as storage by Ralph's Van and Storage, fronts on East Second Street.
• Phil's Furniture at the corner of East Second and Madison Streets was probably constructed in the 1870's for a hotel.
• Wool Warehouse, now occupied by Motor Supply and Equipment Company, was probably built in the 1870-1880 period on the northwest corner of East Second and Madison Streets.
• Engine Shed, now occupied by Hughes Feed, located on the north side of Second Street across an unimproved portion of Monroe Street was built in the late 19th century as an engine house for the railroad and was originally located near the old railroad depot. It was cut in half and moved to its present site with the halves placed side by side.
60 years ago -1955 (August 1)
A sawdust fire at Beek's Mill on 15-Mile creek in the Dufur watershed, spotted at about 1:30 Saturday afternoon, resulted in little damage but occupied a Board of Forestry crew all day Sunday in efforts to extinguish the smoldering embers.
Assigned to suppress the blaze after it was picked up by Postage Stamp lookout fireman Eugene Tindall was a 1-ton pumper rig manned by Wardens William LaRose and Orville C. Lash. Tindall joined in the action, water being pumped from the nearby creak to soak the burning sawdust. The Board of Forestry reported this morning that a crew maintained suppression action until Sunday evening at 7 o'clock. District Warden John Doran went back out to the site this morning to make certain the fire was out. Three quarters of an acre of sawdust was involved in the fire with damage mentioned as negligible. Origin of the blaze was not definite although it might have been caused by campers or fishermen, the Board of Forestry office suggested.
Circuit Judge Malcolm W. Wilkinson this morning signed a declaratory judgment and decree which holds legal the levying of taxes on the property of the Northern Wasco County People's Utility District. The precedent setting ruling in favor of Wasco County, the State Tax commission, Dalles City, the Oregon Business and Tax Research and six individual Wasco county taxpayers was made last May in memorandum form.
80 years ago – 1935 (August 1)
Development of huge industry at dam sought. Aluminum firm head willing to contract for all power. Charles B. Bohn, president of Bohn Aluminum and Brass Corporation, Detroit, Mich., will buy the entire output of Bonneville dam at a price that will liquidate the project's cost in five decades if the government is agreeable, he said today. “We have submitted our proposition to the government and are still waiting for the answer,” Bohn said. Bohn and his associates would erect an aluminum plant capable of turning out 200,000,000 pounds of the metal a year, he indicated. He proposes to ship ore to Bonneville from a source in Utah. Five thousand persons would be employed at the plant.
Work has begun on the schoolhouse in Wasco. The contract for a new roof in the gymnasium was let to the Tum-a-Lum Lumber Company. The roof is completed and the floor will soon be laid. Gus Peterson and Chester Bargenholt have been helping with the work.
100 years ago – 1915 (August 2)
ADVERTISEMENT: The following prices f.o.b. Detroit, effective Aug. 2, 1915: Ford Runabout - $390. Ford Touring Car - $440. Ford Town Car, $640. No speedometer included in this year's equipment, otherwise cars are fully equipped.
At the theaters: The Casino - “Jane's declaration of Independence,” 101 Bison, two part drama, with Agnes Vernon and Hobart Henley, Animated weekly, showing climbers on top of Mt. Hood and many other late current events. “The Woman Hater's Baby,” and “Where Ignorance is Bliss” completes a high-class bill to be seen at the Casino Monday and Tuesday. At The Grand - Another Broadway Star feature is booked for the Grand Monday and Tuesday. It is “The Way of the Transgressor,” a three-reel drama of modern life by William Addison Lathrop. This photoplay is well worth the attention of an audience.
Great time at elk's picnic. Lodges of The Dalles and Portland enjoy outing at Bonneville. More than 225 persons bought tickets for the special excursion from The Dalles to Bonneville, which left the city at 9:20 yesterday morning and returned at 7:30 last night … members of the band wore “rube make-ups.” Joe Stadelman spent several days, it is said, sewing patchwork together to form the futurist costume which attracted bewildered attention wherever he went.
Ed Kurtz, who responds to the dignified title of chief of police of The Dalles, borrowed a swallowtail coat and derby hat. He was "kidded” extensively about forgetting to remove the price tags.