County puts a piece of history on sale

Earning a chapter in Hood River’s history books could be as easy as buying the house that has become a local celebrity.

The vintage Roe-Parker home has drawn a lot of public attention in past months and is now on the market for a minimum bid price of $220,000. The Hood River County Library Foundation has suggested that the profit from the sale of the “green lady” be dedicated toward the current expansion and renovation of the lending institution.

“The person who buys this house is also buying a community landmark,” said Hood River County Director of Parks and Buildings Dean Guess.

In late July, the 94-year-old residence was moved from its original site next to the State Street library to a double lot on Sherman Avenue with a southern deck that overlooks downtown Hood River and the Columbia River. The Queen Anne-style cottage, formerly listed on the National Register of Historic Places, had to be moved to make way for the $4 million library upgrade. In 1999 the dwelling was purchased for $215,000 from funds raised by the library foundation and a $90,000 loan from the county. Since that date, the county has assumed complete ownership of the house and undertaken the responsibility for its resettlement and the accompanying costs.

The two-bedroom house now enjoys another aesthetic setting on the hillside above Horsefeathers Restaurant and adjacent to Stratton Gardens, a new city park. The original 1,000 square feet had been upped by an additional 1,000 feet of unfinished daylight basement space. Guess said the purchaser will need to complete an access from the main floor to the basement.

He said county employees have tried to retain as many of the original features as possible, including the turned posts on the rear porch, sunburst gable ornamentation, decorative jig saw brackets and wide frieze board that extends around the perimeter of the top story.

Final construction work is now underway on a two-tiered retaining wall, front porch and sidewalk. The house will be sold in a public auction on the courthouse steps at 11 a.m. on Jan. 23.

The Roe-Parker house is believed to have been built by, or for, the George Roe family around the turn of the century for a reported $800. The residence is also known as the Collinson House and was listed as a historic site in 1987. It was originally part of the donation land claim of the Coe family, the founders of Hood River. The residence was one of six existing cottages of its style that were common from 1900-05, a period that found the population of the town tripling.

Queen Annes, first popular with the wealthy upper class, were adapted quickly and easily by the working middle class and are believed to have been modeled from the English manor houses designated by architect Richard Norman Shaw. Historians believe the new style quickly captured the hearts and imagination of a citizenry that was trying to break away from restrictive Renaissance designs but, at the same time, wanting nostalgic reminders of the past.

Guess is available to provide a tour of the Roe-Parker house and grounds until the auction and can be reached for more information at 387-6889.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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