Toward the turn of the century, the Mt. Hood Hotel — the forerunner of the Hood River Hotel — had been expanded to include verandas on the north and east sides.
Modification of the Mt. Hood Hotel continued to extend the wrap-around porches, and boost lodging capacity on the upper floors. Shown here around 1905, the hotel is seen from the northeast, looking southwest. The annex that succeeded this structure and became today’s Hood River Hotel has not been built, behind and to the right of the tree on the left side of this structure. Like much lodging of this era, hotels in the Hood River Valley were often built adjacent to railroad tracks because visitors to town came most often by train.
In the early 1900s, one of the main ways that freight and passengers arrived in Hood River was aboard sternwheeler streamboats. This is the Bailey Gatzert, built in Seattle in 1890 and operated on the Columbia River by The Dalles, Portland, and Astoria Navigation Company. It traveled at over 20 mph on its excursion runs between Portland and The Dalles. As highways developed — and people were able to drive right up to the Hood River Hotel on the historic Columbia River Highway — train and river travel tailed off, and the Bailey Gatzert returned to the Puget Sound area in 1917 for passenger use and, later, conversion to an auto ferry.
Travelers in the early 20th century arrived most often by train, disembarking at the Hood River Railroad depot, shown here around 1905. This depot structure no longer exists, but to the right of the frame of this picture, another depot serves the Mt. Hood Railroad. Guests staying today at the Hood River Hotel often walk one block north to take Mt. Hood Railroad excursion trains. This view looks west along Cascade Avenue, past the Mt. Hood Hotel to the Waucoma Hotel at 2nd Street, now home to the tasting room of Naked Winery and the Waucoma Club.
Around 1910, horses were still pulling wagons and carts along Hood River Streets. This photo looks north along 2nd street from today’s Overlook Park, near the Big Horse Brew Pub.
A crowd gathers to hear a speaker in front of the Paris Fair building at 4th and Oak, around 1910.
Elegant interior of the Mt. Hood Hotel Annex — now Hood River Hotel — in 1912, shortly after completion. It shows tile floor and the large southeast facing windows that still bathe the lobby and our guests with loads of light.
Taken from the south looking north toward the registration desk, this 1914 view of the lobby inside what is now the Hood River Hotel shows the railing on the mezzanine level, and the fireplace that still warms our guests on the right.
This is one of the few photos from the time that the Mt. Hood Hotel annex — now the Hood River Hotel — was constructed. Taken in 1915, this photo shows the current Hood River Hotel on the right, just past the horse-drawn wagon parked in front of the “Japanese Store” owned by the Yasui brothers, and opposite the Blowers Bros. Hardware building, now home to Summit Projects and Doug’s Sports.
This photo shows downtown Hood River, looking east along Oak Avenue from the intersection at 4th Street, around 1915. The building at the right is the Paris Fair Building. On the opposite corner is the structure now occupied by Melika Waterwear & Activewear and The Enchanted Alpaca. Telephone poles and lines have since gone underground, replaced by light poles, which eliminated the need for the light suspended by wire diagonally across the intersection.
Yes, it snows in Hood River. Old-timers will happily tell you it snowed a lot more back in the day. Which day? Well, how about this one, in 1916, when horse power helped avoid the need for tire chains.
The Mt. Hood Hotel, after adding its southern annex, the structure that would later carry on the same name, and now is known as the Hood River Hotel. This photo was taken around 1918.
Delivery truck around 1920, dropping off a load of supplies at the Franz Hardware building, corner of 2nd and Oak.
A view of the Columbia River looking east from Inspiration Point, along the historic Columbia River Highway between Hood River and Mosier in the early 1920s, shortly after the highway was completed. Walkers, hikers, bikers and skateboards get the same view today along the Mark O. Hatfield Twin Tunnels trail.
This street scene, in the early 1920s, looks south along 2nd Street from the corner of Oak. Just a slice of the same building that now houses the Gorge Fly Shop is visible at right.
Notice how people once thought nothing of penciling in caption material on the face of their photos? Below, someone took a picture from Van Horn Butte on the east side of the lower Hood River Valley with Mt. Hood in the background. The community of Odell is located to the right side of the photo.
A “birdseye view” of Hood River, from the ridge just east of present-day Highway 35 and the lower Hood River. Taken in the early 1920s, it shows the rail line split, where the Mt. Hood Railroad heads south into the valley, and the main line crosses the river heading east. Note the bridge (long gone) that carried cars across the Hood River down the relatively new Columbia River Highway, completed in 1922.
In the 1930s, Oak Avenue looking east past the Paris Fair building at the corner of 4th Street.
Around 1940, the Mt. Hood Hotel annex (now the Hood River Hotel) stood alone on the east side of its block. The original Mt. Hood Hotel structure to its north (right side of photo) had been dismantled in the early 1930s.
Looking east along Oak Avenue in the 1940s from the intersection with 3rd Street, downtown Hood River shows a mix of stores providing everyday needs — pharmacies, groceries, work clothing. Note the large finger-shaped sign extending from the row of buildings on the right, pointing at a hotel on north 2nd Street, and at the far end of the buildings on the left, the vertical “Hotel” sign for what is now the Hood River Hotel.