The stream currently known as Hood River was discovered by Lewis and Clark on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 1805, and called Labeasche River, an improvised method of spelling the name of Francis Labiche, one of the French-Canadian watermen. La biche is French for female deer or doe, but in French-Canadian, it frequently was used to mean elk. There is nothing in the journals to indicate that game was seen at this point, and the river was named for the man. In pioneer days some travelers, being in a starving condition, ate dog meat near Hood River, and the unpopular name Dog River was the result, but not because of any suggestiveness of the French name. Later on, Mrs. Nathaniel (Mary) Coe, a well-known pioneer resident of the valley, objected to the name Dog River and succeeded in changing local usage to Hood River on account of Mount Hood, its source.
Hood River Valley is famed for apples and pears which producers there ship in large quantities. The name Dog River is now attached to a small stream that heads in Brooks Meadows about eight miles southeast of Parkdale and flows into East Fork Hood River. In Oct. 1852, an advertisement in the Oregonian says that a road had been cleared from “Dog River to the ferry” which was one of the first on the Columbia. The name Hood River appears on a map as early as 1856.
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