Dee, Oregon

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Dee is an unincorporated community and former company town in Hood River County, Oregon, United States, on Oregon Route 281, about 11 miles south of Hood River.[1]

History[edit]

The Oregon Lumber Company built a sawmill at Dee in 1906 and named it for Thomas Duncombe Dee, a stockholder and business associate of board member David Eccles.[2] Dee was also a station on the Eccles-owned Mount Hood Railroad.[3] In addition to the large sawmill, Dee had a privately owned water works and electric lighting system, as well as a general store, shops, and a hotel.[3][4]

Dee had a population of 250 in 1915; 200 in 1919, and by 1940 the population had declined to 100.[3][5][6]

Dee was sold to the Edward Hines Lumber Company in 1958 and they dismantled the town.[5]

Besides logging, Dee's economy is also tied to the fruit-growing industry of the Hood River Valley. The area was one of the primary communities in the Hood River Valley farmed by NikkeiJapanese migrants and their descendants.[4] The first Japanese in the area were hired as laborers on the Mount Hood Railroad.[4] They also worked at the mill and lived in the company housing on both sides of the East Fork Hood River, which passes through the town.[4]

About 35 Nikkei families lived in Dee in the 1920s and they founded the Dee Japanese Community Hall.[4]

Geography[edit]

The area's fruit orchards lie between the east and west forks of the Hood River in an area known as Dee Flat.[7]

Economy[edit]

Oregon Democratic State Senator Wayne Fawbush operated a blueberry farm in Dee for 20 years, which is still in operation.[8]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°35′17″N 121°37′36″W / 45.588173°N 121.626742°W / 45.588173; -121.626742