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Posts Tagged ‘Seattle & Walla Walla Railroad’

Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, Summer 2018

By William Kombol

“Rusty Rails” photo by Robert Dobson, April 2018

“Rusty Rails” photo by Robert Dobson, April 2018

This spring photographer Bob Dobson stumbled upon a short section of railroad hidden amongst a dense forest near Lake Sawyer. He took a photo that inspired a question: “Who laid these rusty rails?”

Little did he know the answer is the story behind the men who founded Black Diamond. (more…)

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Prepared for the membership of the PNR-NMRA, September 13, 1958

By H.A. Durfy

Coal—black diamonds—a source of heat, light, power, medicines, and many more products too numerous to mention here. This was the beginning of the Pacific Coast R.R. Co., upon which you are riding today. Of course, like other railroads, the Pacific Coast R.R. Co. was not always known by the present title, and we want to lead you through the background and the beginnings of the railroad. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Daily Intelligencer, May 18, 1880

One of the most convincing proofs of the steady growth and prosperity of our territory is to be found in the development and increased capacity of our coal mines. And, for an example we will take one, near at hand—the Newcastle mine—situated near Lake Washington, in the central portion of our county to demonstrate this proposition. (more…)

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Originally published in the Washington State Historical Society’s quarterly journal, Columbia, Spring 1994

By John Hanscom

Drawing of Franklin, circa 1887.

Bird’s-eye-view map of Franklin Mine and its environs, c. 1890. (Courtesy of Don Mason and the Black Diamond Historical Society.)

Henry Villard launched the Oregon Improvement Company in October 1880 as part of his grand scheme to dominate the development of the Pacific Northwest. By 1883 he had tied the area to the national economy with the completion of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Expansive development of the Pacific Northwest seemed assured.

To fuel Villard’s steamships and locomotives, a dependable coal supply was a high priority. By February 1881 the Oregon Improvement Company had acquired the Seattle Coal and Transportation Company, including the Newcastle Mine east of Lake Washington, at a cost of one million dollars. The Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad (renamed the Columbia and Puget Sound) was also purchased for over half a million dollars to transport coal from mine to Seattle bunkers. Villard hired John L. Howard under a five-year contract at $10,000 per year as general manager of the coal business. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Sunday Times, December 25, 1955

By Lucile McDonald

Promoters once saw Renton as the future site of great industrial development. This illustration was in advertising literature about 1910. The artist conceived a line of piers along the lake front and vessels entering the Cedar River. Steamers and sailing vessels were shown on Lake Washington. – Courtesy Renton Chamber of Commerce.

Promoters once saw Renton as the future site of great industrial development. This illustration was in advertising literature about 1910. The artist conceived a line of piers along the lake front and vessels entering the Cedar River. Steamers and sailing vessels were shown on Lake Washington. –Courtesy Renton Chamber of Commerce.

The man who has lived in Renton longer than any other person—John E. Hayes, 13612 S.E. 128th St—well remembers the day in December, 1897, when the first standard-gauge train reached the town. He ought to; he was firing the engine.

The Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad had bought the narrow-gauge coal line of the Seattle & Walla Walla Railroad and extended it in 1882 to Black Diamond and Franklin. It left Seattle on a right-of-way shared with the Northern Pacific, a third rail being laid to accommodate the narrow-gauge cars bound for Renton. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Sunday Times, October 19, 1952

Seattle Sunday Times, October 19, 1952The view of Maple Valley in autumn depicted on Page 1 of this Magazine Section appealed to Parker McAllister, Times staff artist, as most appropriate for inclusion in his series of rural scenes in the Puget Sound country. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, July 26, 2016

By Bill Kombol

The old callboard of the C&PS can be seen slightly above the new board installed in the PCRR terminals at South Alaskan Way near Dearborn on the Seattle waterfront – just west of CenturyLink stadium.

The old callboard of the C&PS can be seen slightly above the new board installed in the PCRR terminals at South Alaskan Way near Dearborn on the Seattle waterfront – just west of CenturyLink stadium.

This is the second of a series, which details the workings of the Pacific Coast Railroad (PCRR) late in its corporate life. Founding as the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad (C&PS), from the ashes of the Seattle & Walla Walla, PCRR was profiled in a 1948 Rotogravure magazine, which included this photo of the engine dispatcher’s board. (more…)

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