Hanel sisters believe memories will remain after auction is over

Jean Hanel, left, and Janet Princehouse hold a 1940s aerial photo of the upper mill property, under construction, as they stand in front of a similar photo of the lower mill property, c. 1990s.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
Jean Hanel, left, and Janet Princehouse hold a 1940s aerial photo of the upper mill property, under construction, as they stand in front of a similar photo of the lower mill property, c. 1990s.

The Hanel sisters believe you can’t truck away a legacy.

Objects large and small, from tool boxes to graders used to build logging roads, are on sale this weekend on the old Hanel mill site on Lower Neal Creek Mill Road in Odell.

Hanel Development Group, the last corporate vestige of Sterling Hanel’s legacy, shut down in November, and the sale conducted by Auction Sales Co of The Dalles starts at 10 a.m. both days.

(The April 9 article on the auction gave the correct dates, but incorrect days of the auction, which are Friday, April 11, and Saturday, April 12.)

In the Hanel administration building, the desk and office of Bob Hanel were still just as he left it before his untimely death in 2013.

Family belongings, files, commemorative plaques, computers and all manner of office furniture are still being packed up by sisters Jean Hanel and Janet Hutchinson.

In the window of Hanel Development Group in Odell is a sun-faded plaque reading, “U.S. Forest Service take prize in America Awards, 1990, ‘for your tremendous support in construction of Lost Creek barrier-free recreation site and Little John Snow Park.’”

“The shop’s closed, we’re selling the equipment, and hopefully the property within a year. It depends on who and what,” Jean said.

“We hate to close it but we live in La Grande and we want to retire someday and nobody in the family has been into this enough to take it over, and Jean and her husband (Carl) also want to retire,” Janet said.

“Someday soon, hopefully,” Jean said.

“We have grandkids all over the country, and we’re all getting up there.”

Asked how they want the Hanel Lumber legacy to be remembered, Jean said, “Our Dad. Our parents. Wonderful people.”

“A loving family. Poppy and Mommy were awesome, and Mom still is,” Janet said. Kathleen, 94, lives at Hawks Ridge Assisted Living Community in Hood River. “She is just so upbeat and caring about people, and both Mom and Dad were that way,” Janet said.

“I’m not ready to just throw it away. A lot of history,” Janet said. “We’ll rent a storage shed first.”

The Auction Sales event will be the first time the The Dalles-based company has used an interactive online bidding process, according to co-owner Jana Webb.

Preview days were Wednesday and Thursday, with plenty of lookers, including longstanding friends and clients of Hanel Lumber and Hanel Development, which specialized in road building and land- clearing projects.

“I remember bringing logs to the upper mill site in 1969,” Prineville’s Chuck Woodward said. “I have good memories of Sterling and the mill.” Woodward was fresh out of college in 1969 when he logged the old Mill Creek fire south of The Dalles and brought the logs to Hanel.

“We took logs other places, but I always preferred Sterling’s place,” he said.

Sterling Hanel started Hanel Lumber Company in 1943 and built the upper mill site in 1952, expanding its planing, cutting and kilning operations in 1953 and 1957. In 1983 he purchased the 65-acre Champion mill at Neal Creek, four miles north of the “upper” mill. This gave the company increased planing, dry kiln and lumber storage.

Sterling retired in 1993, at the 50th anniversary of the company, and his son Bob became president. Most of the lower mill site has been sold off over the years. The family said several buyers have expressed interest in the property.

One item not for sale, and not just because its whereabouts are unknown, is a parking sign that hung outside the company office for years after he died. Jean said she hopes to find the sign but was uncertain of its whereabouts.

The cedar sign reads “Parking Reserved for Sterling Hanel.”

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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge


shadowjade says...

Donate what you can to museums and save some of that history - we're losing so much already with the will-never-be-locals moving in and running the real-locals out...

Posted 12 April 2014, 10:01 p.m. Suggest removal

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