Contributed photo.Book on Rhododendron is at the photo finish posted on 12/01/2020
Judi Graeper had originally planned to have a book
celebrating the history of Rhododendron published for the community’s
centennial celebration in August. But in the age of COVID-19, not to mention
how life can also throw a few curveballs, neither the book nor the celebration
made the target date.
“Even if August happened, the book wasn’t going to be
ready,” Graeper said.
Now, Graeper expects the book, which will be published by
Arcadia Publishing, to be finished in March, but still hopes for a little
assistance in gathering more photos to be included. The pandemic has forced
area museums to close, making finding and accessing historical photos
Graeper noted that she has collected a good number of photos
from people who come from families who lived or visited in Rhododendron in the
past, but a consistent theme keeps coming up.
“Part of the problem is, many of them say, ‘We didn’t have a
camera, so we have no pictures,” she said.
Graeper added that her focus now is to find more photos of
businesses from earlier in Rhododendron’s history, including the Begonia
Garden, Gadwood’s Market, Barlow Road Furniture Company and the liquor store.
The end result will be a book featuring up to 270 photos and
more than 100 pages long, similar to ones on the Mount Hood National Forest and
Timberline Lodge also published by Arcadia.
Chapters in the book, which will include a large number of
photos with detailed captions, will feature aspects of Rhododendron’s history,
including businesses, landmarks such as Tollgate 5, notable moments like the
1964 flood, and significant people, such as the last tollgate keeper, Arlie
Mitchell, and the Native Americans who utilized the area long before settlers
Graeper noted that photos need to be high resolution and
that she cannot use any photos from newspapers, unless an original photo can be
The book will tentatively be available next summer when the
Rhododendron Community Planning Organization hopes to celebrate the centennial
plus one year.
Copies are also expected to be available at the Mount Hood
Cultural Center and Museum, the Sandy Historical Society Museum and elsewhere
in the community.
If you have historical photos of the community of
Rhododendron that can be used for the book, please email Judi Graeper at
By Garth Guibord/MT