Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Hood River, Oregon ... Railroads and Depots"
Includes ... City of Hood River ... Hood River ... Hood River Train Depot ... Mount Hood Hotel Annex ... Hood River Hotel ... Mount Hood Railroad Linear Historic District ... National Register of Historic Places ...
Image, 2013, Hood River, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Mount Hood Railroad, Hood River, Oregon. Image taken March 18, 2013.


Hood River Depots ...
Three Railroad Depots existed in Hood River, Oregon.

In 1882 the Oregon - Washington Railway and Navigation Company's (O.W.R. & N.) Hood River Passenger Station and the Union Pacific Railway Depot was built at the foot of First Street. The Mount Hood Hotel (today only the Mount Hood Hotel Annex remains) was located just south of this depot. This depot was razed in 1911 to provide room for the new O.W.R. & N. depot, today the home of the Mount Hood Railroad Company.

"... The depot in Hood River is in a prominent location, one block north of the downtown area and within easy walking distnace of the central buisinees area. ...    The original depot was built simultaneously with the completion of the company's eastern line in 1882. A two story frame building, the original depot had living quarters upstairs and service areas downstairs. The station served the growing valley community for twenty years, until an increase in volume of goods and people created the need for a more commodious depot. The original depot ... was razed in 1911 to make way for the new station. ..." [U.S. National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, 1988, O.W.R. & N. Depot]

Between 1906 and 1910, a 23-mile-long independent railway track known as the "Mount Hood Railroad" was built connecting Hood River with Parkdale. In 1906 their Hood River depot was built east of the O.W.R. & N.'s depot. It was torn down between 1971 and 1972. In 1993 the tracks of this line were listed on the National Register of Historic Places (Mount Hood Railroad Linear Historic District #93001507).

"... The Mount Hood Railroad was a twenty-three mile line built between 1906-1909 that ran between Hood River and Parkdale and carried fruit, timber and passengers. The original Mount Hood Railroad depot was razed in 1971. ..." [U.S. National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, 1988, O.W.R. & N. Depot]

"... Timber, another major industry in Hood River, also prospered by the introduction of the railroad. Prior to rail transportation, logs were floated down tributaries of the Columbia and shipped by steamers out of the Port of Hood River. After the O.R. & N. (O.W.R.&N.) Line reached Hood River the lumber began to be shipped by rail. When the Mount Hood Railroad Company, constructed in 1906-1910 which ran from Hood River to Parkdale was built, the lumber industry started to blossom. The independent line was started by David Eccles of the Oregon Lumber Company who bought a mill at Dee, midway on the line. The lumber was shipped by rail to Hood River connecting with the O.W.R.& N. train line. The Hood River Railroad line also carried passengers and fruit from the valley to Hood River. The Mount Hood Railroad had a separate depot located directly east of the O.W.R. & N. depot which was razed in 1971. Both of the railroad yards were the center of activity and played an important role in the economic development and vitality of the town. ..." [U.S. National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, 1988, O.W.R. & N. Depot]

"... Plans for a Hood River depot were prepared by P.M. Hall-Lewis, a local architect. Ground was broken on the station in May, 1906, for the 19 foot by 45 foot, two-story depot. The lower floor of the depot was divided into two rooms; one for passengers and one other for freight. The upstairs was divided into an office and living quarters for the agent. The Hood River depot was completed for $2,000. ..." [U.S. National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, 1993, Mount Hood Railroad Linear Historic District]

In 1911 the 1882 O.W.R. & N. depot was razed and the current building was built. This depot is still in existence and now houses the Mount Hood Railroad Company. In 1988 the O.W.R. & N. depot was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (Event, Architecture/Engineering, #88001159).


Penny Postcard, Depot, Hood River, Oregon
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Penny Postcard: Original two Depots at Hood River, Oregon, (Mount Hood Railroad Depot, front and the O.W.R. & N. Depot, behind) plus the Mount Hood Hotel (background left).
Penny Postcard, Divided Back (1907-1915), "View of Hood River R.R. Depot, O.R. and N. Depot and Mt. Hood Hotel, Hood River, Oregon". Made in Germany, Sprouse & Son, Importers and Publishers, Tacoma, Washington, Card #129143. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Image, 2014, First Hood River Depot, Hood River, Washington, click to enlarge
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"First railroad depot in Hood River", O.W.R.&N. Depot, Photographic exhibit at the Gorge Heritage Museum, Bingen, Washington. The Oregon - Washington Railway and Navigation Company's depot was built in Hood River in 1882. Image taken July 26, 2014.


Mount Hood Railroad Company Depot ...
The Mount Hood Railroad Company's Depot, located at the end of First Street, was once the Oregon - Washington Railway and Navigation Company's (O.W.R. & N.) Hood River Passenger Station and the Union Pacific Railway Depot for Hood River, Oregon. It is a fine example of Craftsman style architecture. In 1988 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (Event, Architecture/Engineering, #88001159).

The one-and-one-half story building was the built in 1911 and is situated at the foot of First Street (T3N, R10E, Sec.25). It is oriented with its long axis parallel with the tracks. About 1930 the O.W.R. & N. merged with the Union Pacific Railway and the depot became the Union Pacific Depot. It continued to serve passengers and freight until 1958, with freight hauling continuing after passenger service ended. The Union Pacific surplused the depot in 1984 and in 1987 it was purchased by the Mount Hood Railroad Corporation for use as a headquarters and passenger station.

Today's depot was the second station built in Hood River by the O.W.R. & N. Railroad Company. The original depot was built in 1882 with the completion of the company's (then the Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company (O.R. &N.)) eastern tracks. This building was a two-story frame building with living quarters upstairs and service areas downstairs. In 1910 the O.W. & N. merged it's Oregon and Washington lines together creating the O.W.R. & N. In 1911 this company razed the original depot to make way for the new station. The new station was built at the location of the old station.

"... Circa 1930, the Union Pacific merged with the O.W.R. & N., taking control over the lines and depot. The U.P. name slowly started to replace the O.W.R. & N. name throughout the state. The depot in Hood River functioned as both a freight and passenger line for the Union Pacific until 1958, when the passenger line was discontinued. In 1968 the Union Pacific expanded their holdings in the Hood River Valley and purchased the Mount Hood Railroad Company. The Mount Hood Railroad was a twenty-three mile line built between 1906-1909 that ran between Hood River and Parkdale and carried fruit, timber and passengers. The original Mount Hood Railroad depot, a separate station located east of the O.W.R. & N. Company depot, was razed in 1971. The Union Pacific depot served both the Mount Hood Railroad Line and the main Union Pacific Line until 1984 when it closed down. The depot was purchased by the Mount Hood Railroad Corporation in November 1987. ..."

Source:    National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, Hood River Depot #88001159.


Image, 2013, Mount Hood Railroad Depot, Hood River, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mount Hood Railroad Depot, Hood River, Oregon. View from the east. Image taken March 18, 2013.
Image, 2013, Mount Hood Railroad Depot, Hood River, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mount Hood Railroad Depot, Hood River, Oregon. View from the east. Image taken March 18, 2013.


Mount Hood Railroad and the Mount Hood Railroad Linear Historic District ...
The Mount Hood Railroad was initially incorporated October 1905 and opened for business in May 1906, with the tracks running from Hood River to Dee. By 1909 the tracks extended to Parkdale, a distance of 21 miles. In 1968 the Union Pacific acquired the line, operating it until 1987 when they sold the line to local investors where it was reorganized under the original name. In 2008 the line was again sold, this time to the Chicago-based Iowa Pacific Holdings. Today the railroad offers four-hour scenic tours through the Hood River Valley and narrated historic excursion train tours, as well as special events. There are views of Mount Hood and Mount Adams along with the surrounding orchards and farmland of the Hood River Valley. In 1994 the old Mount Hood Railroad line between Hood River and Parkdale, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (Industry, Agriculture, Transportation #93001507).

Mt. Hood Railroad Linear Historic District (1906 - 1944):
Historic right-of-way from the northern terminus at Hood River to the southern terminus at Parkdale, containing 165 acres, all in Hood River County, Oregon.

"The Mount Hood Railroad linear historic district encompasses 22.13 miles of the Mount Hood Railroad main line extending from Hood River, Oregon, to Parkdale, Oregon, in Hood River County. All of the original Mount Hood Railroad main line is included in the nominated area. The railroad, constructed between 1906 and 1910, passes through the communities of Hood River, Pine Grove, Odell, Winans, Dee, and Parkdale.

The railraod retains its original alignment with the exception of a few sections where the roadbed has been washed out and subsequently realigned. The main line roadbed is generally in good condition. The original rails were replaced with 100 pound rail during the historic period in 1939 and 1944. One third of the ties were replaced in 1975 during the Union Pacific's ownership. ...

Contributing resources within the proposed linear district include the railroad main line and an original passenger bus called the "jitney". The jitney is the only rolling stock original to the Mt. Hood Railroad. The Hood River depot, originally owned by the O.R.& N. Company Railroad and built in 1911, is included in the nominated area because of its close association with the Mt. Hood Railroad and its current use by the company. The depot, however, is not counted as a contributing resource int he district nomination because of its previous 1988 listing in the National Register of Historic Places. There are two non-contributing buildings in the district which are both located in the Hood River yards; a clay tile building used by the Army Corps of Engineers for a pumping station and a small maintenance shed once used as the Pacific Fruit Express Company office. The railroad, in its entirety, is owned by the Mt. Hood Railroad Company with the exception of an approximate 1.0 miles section which is owned by Dee Forest Products, In.c (the Mt. Hood Railroad has an easement through the Dee Mill site). ...

The main line of the Mt. Hood Railroad was built in two distinct phases. The first section was constructed from Hood River to Dee, Oregon in 1906. Dee was the site of the Oregon Lumber Company's new lumber mill. Originally conceived as a logging railroad for the Oregon Lumber Company's timber operations, the railroaad soon served passengers, mills, fruit growers, and farmers along the route. The extension of the railroad from Dee to Parkdale was completed in 1910 and stretched south into the Hood River Valley six more miles for a total distance of 21.13 miles. ...

Stations were generally located at settlements, mill sites, or fruit packing/cold storage warehouses. Stations included sidings and platforms, depots or station houses, and wyes or loops. ... Established stations along the Mount Hood Railroad main line were Powerdale, the Switchbacks, Sears Wye, Pine Grove, Odell, Mohr, Lentz, Odell, Duke's Valley, SUmmit, Bloucher Spur, Holstein, Winans, Dee, Trout Creek, Camp No.1, Woodworth, and Parkdale."


Source:    National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, Mt. Hood Railroad Linear Historic District, 1993, #93001507.



Trestle over Highway 35 ...
"At the top of the switchbacks (MP 3.5), the railroad crosses over Hwy 35. A new bridge replaced the original wooden trestle that spanned Whisky Creek and the road. The new bridge is constructed of steel and concrete with the exception of wooden bents at the ends and a wooden railing."


Source:    National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, Mt. Hood Railroad Linear Historic District, 1993, #93001507.

Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mount Hood Railroad trestle over Highway 35, Hood River Valley, Oregon. Image taken April 6, 2016.


"Mohr Station" ...
"As the tracks run towards the former Mohr Station (6.62), the land is characterized by rolling hills dotted with orchards and dairy farms. The railroad follows Lentz Creek through the orchards before coming to Mohr Station. A clay tile cold storage warehouse is located at the former station site. The warehouse, located at the intersection of Ehrck Hill Drive, is sited west of the tracks and south of the road. Clay tiles were used in early cold storage warehouses because they were good insulators, keeping the warehouses cool in the summer/fall. The warehouse was built by the Mohr family, early orchardists in the area, first settling in the region in the 1880s. A small wait station, constructed in 1911, and a sideing, once stood at this crossing."


Source:    National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, Mt. Hood Railroad Linear Historic District, 1993, #93001507.

Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mohr Station, Mount Hood Railroad, Hood River Valley, Oregon. Mohr Station (MP 6.8), looking west from Ehrck Hill Drive. Mohr clay tile cold-storage warehouse building and crossing. Image taken April 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Mohr Station, Mount Hood Railroad, Hood River Valley, Oregon. Mohr Station (MP 6.8), looking west from Ehrck Hill Drive. Mohr clay tile cold-storage warehouse building and crossing. Image taken April 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Mohr Station, Mount Hood Railroad, Hood River Valley, Oregon. Mohr Station (MP 6.8), looking south from Ehrck Hill Drive. Mohr clay tile cold-storage warehouse building and crossing. Image taken April 6, 2016.


Mount Hood Railroad ...

Image, 2013, Hood River, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mount Hood Railroad, Hood River, Oregon. Image taken March 18, 2013.
Image, 2013, Hood River, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Mount Hood Railroad, Hood River, Oregon. Image taken March 18, 2013.

SLRG 509 dome car (see more below), MH 2920 "Wahkeena" passenger car (formerly RPCX 2920), and engine MH 02.
Image, 2013, Hood River, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Engine, Mount Hood Railroad, Hood River, Oregon. Image taken March 18, 2013.

The MH 02 engine is an EMD GP38-2, four-axle diesel-electric locomotive built in 1969 by General Motors.
Image, 2013, Hood River, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Mount Hood Railroad, Hood River, Oregon. Image taken March 18, 2013.

Passenger car MH 1080, the "Timberline", a former HW Harriman coach.


Pullman Car ...

Image, 2013, Hood River, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Atlantic Coast Line Pullman Coach, Mount Hood Railroad, Hood River, Oregon. Image taken March 18, 2013.

The SLRG 5461 coach was built in 1950 by the Pullman Company for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad as a 54-seat long-distance coach.


The Dome Cars ...
According to "alaskarails.org" website, 2013, and the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad ("drgw.net") website, 2013:

The Mount Hood Railroad's dome car SLRG 513 is a bi-level luxury railcar which was built by the Budd Company and delivered to the AT&SF line in 1954. The original car had 57 forward facing seats and 17 lounge seats in the dome and a 28-seat lounge, bar, and traveling nurse's station on the lower level. After changing hands a number of times the #513 ended up in Alaska and went by the name "Talkeetna". In 2009 the #513 was picked up by Iowa Pacific and sent to the Mount Hood Railroad.

The Mount Hood Railroad's dome car SLRG 509 (right in image) was also built by the Budd Company and delivered in 1954 to the AT&SF line. It too changed hands a number of times and eventually ended up being used for parts. In 1993 the #509 itself was rebuilt and ended up in Alaska by 1994. It went by the name "Chena". In 2007 the #509 joined the Iowa Pacific San Luis & Rio-Grande line.

Image, 2013, Hood River, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Dome cars, Mount Hood Railroad, Hood River, Oregon. Image taken March 18, 2013.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 29, 1805, first draft ...


Clark, October 29, 1805 ...





Clark, April 14, 1806 ...




Columbia River GorgeReturn to
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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

Sources:    See Hood River (City)    plus:
  • "alaskarails.org" website, 2013;
  • Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad website ("drgw.net"), 2013;
  • National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, Union Pacific Railway Depot, Hood River, Oregon, #88001159;
  • National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, Mount Hood Railroad Linear Historic District, Hood River, Oregon, #93001507;
  • Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council website, 2004;


All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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April 2016