Tag Archives: white salmon

White Salmon History: The Jewett’s and the Suksdorf’s

I have a Google Alert setup for the term “white salmon”, so every day, I get an email when a bunch of links to pages that Google has ferreted out for me off the internets. Most of the time the results just aren’t that interesting, but sometimes a gem comes through. Over the weekend, it picked up a post off a blog called “The Plummer Family Meets the Billette Family”, which copied and pasted something from the town paper of record, The Enterprise. They didn’t link it, and I couldn’t find the original article online.

For those that grew up in the White Salmon area, it’s pretty interesting. This is the kind of stuff that should be taught in the local schools, I think: local history. For some reason, it’s almost always ignored, but I think it would find a more receptive audience than a lot of world history does. (Personally, I love almost all history, but I do understand that most people find non-personal history boring, to say the least.)

Anyway, the piece goes on to describe the original settling of the area by the Jewett’s and the Suksdorf’s, and their nascent rivalry that still continues today. I think that this is the most interesting — and telling — part of the article, though:

At one time Sam Hill tried to buy the Jewett land on which to build his mansion. The agreement was written up and signed, but when Sam Hill proposed a drink to celebrate his new purchase, the agreement dissolved as Mrs. Jewett strongly opposed drinking. He was to have paid $80,000 for the land on which could have been build the now famous Maryhill Museum.

The start of a series of poor business decisions by the White Salmon leadership. Here’s an interesting aside: the same kind of decision was made in 1950 when the City had the opportunity to buy (in whole or in part) the Hood River Bridge, and turned it down. In large part due to that decision, wind surfing’s mainland capital is Hood River, and White Salmon/Bingen gets a pass in the travel guides.

Why Do People Hate Clean Energy So Much?

Or so I’m reading from this news piece on OPB. They go on to describe efforts in eastern Oregon to kill other clean energy projects because the turbines hurt some people’s poor, delicate senses of what is natural and beautiful.

All this back and forth is a strange thing if you look at it from a Left and Right, Republican and Democrat perspective. Don’t fall into that trap, though. This is really a localized version of a fight that dictates what goes on in Washington, D.C. all the time: special interest groups duking it out in the lobbying area and the public perception arena. You have four groups fighting in this particular case: the businesses putting up the actual money to build the towers, the clean power/wind power groups, the wildlife protection groups, and the property owner groups. The second and third are usually associated with the Left, and the last really reflects the demographic make up of wherever the property owners are from.

Using this perspective, it makes a lot more sense to me how Leftist groups can be fighting so hard to kill something that falls so obviously under the Leftist ideals. Clean power, with no CO2 emmissions, no nuclear waste, no smog, and whatever they say, a lot less effect on the wildlife than hydroelectric.

I’ve linked to it before, but if you haven’t, read the essay The Coming of the Fourth American Republic by James V. DeLong over at AEI’s site. Everything that goes on — at least at the Federal level — becomes a lot clearer when you understand that special interest groups pretty much run the system. And that’s a feature, not a bug.

More Attacks on Clean Power in the Columbia Gorge

I posted a few weeks ago about an attack on the possible wind farm going up near White Salmon in the Columbia River Gorge because it was going to kill some bats. Now it’s the view that’s the reason. Let me say this plainly: this Rory Westberg has his priorities really, really messed up. Let’s see: clean power and you can see man made structures from the Gorge, or more reliance upon foreign fossil fuels? It’s so obvious as to be almost stupid to ask. You know, unless you pay attention to Ted Kennedy. He was a big proponent of foreign oil over hurting his view in Cape Cod, Mass. Welcome to the Kennedy Club, Mr. Westberg.

Gosh, I wonder what’s next? The sound of the towers a problem? How about the poor squirrels that might not notice them and bump their little cute heads on the metal? I know! Let’s get more oil out of Saudi sand! That makes a lot more sense!

Sigh.

The New York Times Travel Blog Meets Columbia Gorge Wineries

It’s always pretty cool, if you’re from a small town, to see the area you were raised in mentioned in a national rag. So, imagine my surprise and  happiness when my Google Alert for White Salmon told me about an article in the New York Times Travel blogs (the Frugal Traveler) where the writer biked from White Salmon to Lyle and did a little wine tasting. Pretty neat.

Then, after I had picked as my base the town of Hood River, Ore., I discovered that bicycles were banned from the bridge over the Columbia. Oops!

Yeah dude, it’s a bit narrow for bicycles. And yes, Syncline does make some fine vino. My wife and I purchased a few bottles there last year, as a matter of fact.

Everybody’s Brewing Gets Oregonian Love (Kind Of)

You know, I’m from White Salmon, still visit family there quite regularly, and I still haven’t dropped by this place. Or I should say, at least since it’s been open (I did get to look around inside before it was open). Sad, but on the bright side, they still don’t have their own beer available to drink. That’s a bummer. It’s great to see them get some digital ink on the Oregonian’s web site, even if it is a beer blog, and not, you know, paper.

Brewpub in White Salmon? Yes!

I grew up in the small town of White Salmon, Washington, in the Columbia River Gorge. Small, meaning about 2000 people in the town, and perhaps 10,000 in the entire mid-Columbia area. Not a town where you’d expect a brewpub to appear. Yet, it has. I’ve known about it for almost a year now, and they’ve been open for about half of that. I don’t live in the area, though, so I haven’t had a chance to check them out for myself as of yet. I was happy to see a review online in a fairly established Northwest beer blog. Pretty heartening. I can’t wait to try their own brews once they’re available (aren’t they pretty late already?).