Elizabeth "Katie" Barker's family has deep ties to the Columbia Gorge's agricultural and industrial history. Her great grandfather started a paper mill in Camas in 1884, her grandfather owned an orchard in Parkdale in 1906. In 1937, Katie lived in Cascade Locks while her father worked as an engineer constructing Bonneville Dam.
Katie spent many happy summers on her family's orchard, and she helped in its operations however she could-doing everything from laying the original irrigation system to baking pies with the farm's Gravenstein apples.
As an adult, Katie knew the fact that much of the privilege she enjoyed was tied to her family's work in the Gorge. Katie included Friends of the Columbia Gorge in her estate plans as a way to take something from her family's legacy and pay it forward to the Gorge for the future. According to her daughter Betty, "Our mother hoped, as we do, that her gift will inspire others to give of themselves to cherish and protect the Gorge and the Hood River Valley."
We are so grateful for Katie's generosity and foresight, and her children Betty, Charles, and Neil for sharing her story.