LIBRARY NOTES: Oct. 11, party like it’s 1913

The bad news about 1913? It was the year that the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, authorizing the federal government to impose and collect income taxes.

The good news about 1913? On Oct. 11 of that year, ground was broken for construction of the Hood River County Public Library.

And on Friday, Oct. 11, of this year, our Library will be celebrating that centennial with a Great Gatsby party at 7 p.m. Revisit the first days of the library with the Ben Bonham Jazz Trio and costumes from the 1920s.

Enjoy finger food, desserts, a no-host bar, kids’ activities and more. There will be prizes for the best costume — though you’re also free to come wearing the casual clothes you enjoy today.


What: Library Centennial

When: Oct. 11, 7 p.m., downtown library

What to wear: Go “Gatsby style.”

The all-ages event includes music, food and a no-host bar.


How did the groundbreaking that’s being celebrated come about, you ask? Well, here’s a brief version of the history we’ll be commemorating:

The Hood River Library Association was formed as early as 1895, and the Hood River Woman’s Club launched the movement for library construction in 1908, petitioning the city for money to buy books for a temporary library in the meantime. The petition was granted and the first library opened its doors in the E.L. Smith Building which still stands on the corner of Sixth and State streets west of the library.

A pivotal event was enactment of state enabling legislation of 1911, which authorized county governments in Oregon to establish levies in support of country library services. In 1912, library supporters in Hood River succeeded in getting an City ordinance passed authorizing vacation of Fifth Street between Oak and State for a building site. The vacated parcel was to augment lots offered for sale by pioneer businessman Ezra L. Smith from his large residential holding.

The dream of a new library building was realized with the help of a Carnegie Foundation grant and it opened in 1914 with a collection of 3,000 books. In 1935 Ezra Smith’s daughters donated the park area north and west of the library to the County in memory of their mother. Georgiana Smith Park, shaded by oaks, conifers, maples, birches and a stately copper beech tree, was then and remains the only green open space of scope in downtown Hood River.

So come and enjoy the party — and think grateful thoughts about its sponsors: Carol’s Country Pies, Columbia Gorge Hotel, Dog River Coffee, Friends of the Library, Hood River Hotel, Husum Highland Bed and Breakfast, Lucy’s Informal Flowers, Rosauers, Taste of the Gorge, Volcanic Bottle Shoppe and Waucoma Bookstore.


For more information contact the Hood River Library District at 541-386-2535 or, or visit

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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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