Thursday, December 31, 2009

1912 Creston

From "The 1912 Standard Atlas of Lincoln County."

For a current peek, here is a link to Google maps.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Part of a Letter From JP Morgan to JJ Hill About the Northern Pacific

New York
November 23, 1898

James J. Hill, Es.
C/O Great Northern
St. Paul, Minnesota

...Referring now to a point of criticism originally stated in your letter of September 27, viz: "a disposition to buy or build lines which cannot be operated advantageously as a art of the system, and c." Your favor under reply, while dwelling on various details concerning our schedule of new construction or new acquisition by the Northern Pacific, does not, it seems to us, indicate any basis for this criticism, unless perhaps the purchase of the Washington and Columbia River, for which purchase, as indicated further on, we understood we had your approval...

...Three. Seattle and International.
Undoubtedly if this property had been bought earlier, money could have been saved, but if we remember aright, you and we had one or two conversations about it and we both felt that it was undesirable to disclose undue anxiety. Later, the aggressive attitude of the Canadian Pacific, as you remark, led you to advise us to make the purchase at a relatively high price, which we did, entirely concurring in your own opinion.

Four. Washington and Columbia River.
Of course, we should much regret anything in the notice to the Navigation people which could give just cause for complaint, but we think you err in your recollection of the date when you advise Mr. Coster to acquire that road was _before_ [emphasis in original] the date of the so-called protocol. The protocol was made in August, 1897. If we remember correctly, your advice to purchase the road was given about the end of 1897 or early in 1898, shortly before the purchase was made...

...Eleven. Central of Washington.
You will observe that this being one of the lines leased to the old company was a proper acquisition by the new company. As to its possible extension Mr. Coster wrote you fully a while ago and will discuss this matter with you on some future occasion. It does not seem to be one that requires hasty consideration, although as matters stand the Northern Pacific is badly handicapped...

...Thanking you for the trouble you have taken to lay your views before us, and always at your cal, we remain, very truly,
J.P. Morgan

Monday, December 21, 2009

Part of a Letter From JJ Hill to JP Morgan About the Northern Pacific

St. Paul, Minnesota
November 8, 1898

Messrs. J.P. Morgan and Company
Number 23, Wall Street, New York City, N.Y.

...It was considered by your legal advisers the part of wisdom to get all claims for rental and leased lines against the old Northern Pacific out of the way. This applied to the Seattle and International and to the Washington Central as well. Earlier action in regard to the Seattle and International would certainly have saved the Northern Pacific a large sum of money. When your house advised me as to the plan of the Canadian Pacific for buying it, I wired at once advising its purchase and offering, if necessary, to join the Northern Pacific in such purchase.

The Central of Washington, being leased to the old company, the same conditions apply to it as to the Seattle and International, and it rightly came under the lines covered by the London Agreement which we were to discourage, etc.

As regards the Washington and Columbia, I think it was unfortunate that Mr. [Edward Dean] Adams [interim president, Northern Pacific], or whoever was to notify the Navigation as to the Northern Pacific’s desire to purchase it, did not do so in a manner to avoid any cause for complaint of not fairly carrying out the terms of the protocol, which has unfortunately existed from that time to the present. The business of the Washington and Columbia was always turned over to the Northern Pacific at the junction, and Mr. [A.L.] Mohler [of Navigation] assured me more than once that he did not intend or expect to disturb the relations in that regard. On the whole, I am sure that the Northern Pacific has suffered much more loss than it gained, because of the uneasy feeling of distrust and want of confidence created in the minds of the [Navigation] and Union Pacific people. I have always endeavored to heal this breach, as I felt sure that unless an agreement was reached, both lines would suffer, and, in the end, it might result in our being compelled to build both into the Palouse Country and to Portland, where there was already enough lines to do the business and more railroad capital invested than can be maintained in such an event as I have described. As to my advice to Mr. Coster to acquire control of the Washington and Columbia, kindly bear in mind that this was before the date of the protocol under which certain agreements were made as to that property.

The object of the Great Northern and Northern Pacific joining in the purchase of the [Navigation] Preferred share was to secure harmony and avoid building unnecessary lines in that territory. The Great Northern, after building to Spokane, has no lines of its own into the Palouse, Snake River, and Walla Walla territory, and in giving up the construction of such lines, made, as I view it, the greatest concession, as it left the Northern Pacific and Union Pacific in peaceable possession of that territory, and, at the same time, gave all its traffic to the [Navigation] at Spokane, thus securing to it a large revenue. Mr. Mellen has repeatedly proposed that both the Northern Pacific and Great Northern should sell their respective holdings in [the Navigation], and build from the mouth of the Snake River, on the north side of the Columbia, to Portland, and this wile both our companies were a party to an agreement to do otherwise. As to Mr. [Charles] B. Wright’s connection with the Washington and Columbia - - he furnished a sum of money to a local party named [George Washington] Hunt to build the road and sell it to the Northern Pacific at a profit. While we were selecting a line over the Rocky Mountains, we considered a line by way of the Lo Lo Pass and the valley of the Clearwater to Lewiston; thence down the Snake River, and, pending the survey, I had an option on the Washington and Columbia at a lower price than was paid for it by the Northern Pacific. When we decided to adopt our present line, Hunt asked me to help him to sell it to the Northern Pacific by not making public our intention of going north. He expressed great fear that Wright would squeeze him out and sell the property to the Northern Pacific, making the money for himself, and this seems to have been the course actually pursued, both as to Hunt and the sale to the Northern Pacific...

...The extension of the line of the Central Washington.
I have already written in regard to this quite fully, both from the standpoint of the Northern Pacific and the Great Northern, and I trust my statement of the situation was such as to dispose of any further extension of that line in any direction. In order to help the Northern Pacific on any grain or other commodity it wishes to ship from that line to the Pacific Coast we will, if desired, join in giving it a connection about thirty miles west of Spokane, and vive it a division of the through rate, which will allow the Northern Pacific more profit on the business that it can make by hauling it over its main line, or by any extension...

...But a few days ago, Judge [Wiliam D.] Cornish, of the [Vice-President] Oregon Short Line, told me that Mr. Mellen had made strong efforts to get control of the Union Depot property at Spokane, which is now used by our company and the [Navigation], giving as his reason for desiring such control, that while the "Northern Pacific did not want the property, he knew that we did want it, and he was going to make it cost us the highest price he could." I do not usually pay much attention to such statements, but Judge Cornish is a man of undoubted character and veracity, and Mr. Mellen’s statement to him certainly was unwise; and not such as our relations to the Northern Pacific entitle us to expect. The attempt to overreach us in the matter of our land at Seattle was shortsighted, the only effect of which, as far as we are concerned, was to destroy any reliance with might place in his professions of friendship, or wish to preserve good feeling and harmony with our company.

J.J. Hill

Thanks to John Phillips III for filling in the names.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Milwaukee Road Grade Crossing Wreck at Moses Lake

From the "Wenatchee Daily World."

January 5, 1955

A tattered and torn pocket Bible found among the wreckage along a railroad track where E.R. Zirker of Mae met death in a crossing smash at noon Tuesday provided a funeral text.

The Bible was carried 500 feet down the track from the point of impact and came to rest with its pages open. At the top of the right hand page was this verse: "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" (1st Corinthians, 55th verse, 15th Chapter)

The Bible was first noticed by Howard Light, Arden Farms truck driver, who called a reporter's attention to it.

The accident occurred at 12:02 pm Tuesday at the Milwaukee branch line crossing on PSH 18 about 10 miles east of Moses Lake. It was the first traffic fatality of the year in North Central Washington.

Zirker, 49, driving a 1954 flatbed truck with 10 head of calves on the truck, drove right into the front of the diesel locomotive and ten freight cars.

Zirker was thrown clear from the cab and hurled about 45 feet, and apparently was instantly killed. The truck, which was reduced to a splintered mass of wreckage, was carried 775 feet down the track before the train could be stopped.

Engineer Walter Krause, Malden, and Conductor H.R. Freeman, Malden, said the train was traveling about 26 miles an hour at the time of the accident. The crossing is protected by flashing light signals and visibility is good in both directions. The road was dry.

The train was going south and Zirker, driving a truck belonging to his brother, John E. Zirker, was driving east.

Members of the train crew and State Patrolman Larry Linnell who investigate the accident were at a loss to explain the cause of the accident.

Coroner Robert S. Campbell Jr. and Deputy Coroner Paul Klasen of Ephrata also assisted in the investigation.

The truck was totally demolished, $100 damage was done to one of the railroad signal lights, and $300 damage to the locomotive.

Zirker's brother, John E. Zirker, who lives about two miles from the scene of the accident, was called to the wreck and identified his brother. The body was removed to the Eccleston and Coy Funeral Home in Moses Lake.

Zirker is survived by three children at the home, and by two brothers, John E. Zirker, Moses Lake, and Julius Zirker, of Mae Valley.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ephrata Depot to Improve

From the "Grant County Daily Journal," Ephrata, WA

May 30, 1920

Sam Doran, the popular agent of the Great Northern at Ephrata, announced today that the company has decided to put in electric lights and install a telephone for the convenience of the patrons of the railroad company.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Coulee City Street Scene 1909-1917 Era

Compare to the shots seen in the Difference of Decades post.

Great Northern Oriental Limited Wrecked at Wilson Creek

From the "Grant County Daily Journal," Ephrata, WA

August 6, 1920

The Great Northern Oriental Limited, westbound, ran into an open switch and collided with a work car standing on the siding when pulling into Wilson Creek at 10:15 Monday. The baggage car left the track and the work car was wrecked but the engine and remaining cars stayed in place.

Eight were injured in the accident and were brought to Wenatchee by special train. All were taken to the General hospital and none found to be fatally hurt. Dr. L.S. Easton and wife of Seattle happened to be driving through Wilson Creek at the time of the accident and they helped to give temporary aid to the sufferers. The injured who were brought to Wenatchee were;

Edward Campbell, conductor, Spokane, sprained ankle, arm and wrenched back; M.E. Barrett, Spokane, breakman (sic), leg and back injured; Louis Arbogast, roadmaster, Wilson Creek, internal injuries; George Pegouis, laborer, leg bruised; Nick Mikos, foreman, head and arm bruised; Sam Asheros, laborer, broken leg; John Dama, laborer, internal injuries.

A passenger, J.W. Stetson, pulled the bell cord which applied the air brakes as soon as the collision occurred, which kept the cars on the track.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Railroad Brings Fire to Ephrata

From the "Grant County Journal," Ephrata, WA

July 18, 1955

The Ephrata volunteer fire department had two fires delivered to them shortly after 11 o'clock Sunday night.

Two hot boxes developed on a boxcar of wood pulp and a flat car of lumber, 15 cars apart, while an eastbound freight was switching the Ephrata yards. The Great Northern freight crew did some fast switching, cut out the two cars and shunted them down the main line to a spot near the depot, just across the street from eh Ephrata fire station.

Flames from the overheated journal on the lumber car had licked up to chips below the load of lumber and were crawling up the side of the stacked lumber. "The fire was shooting six feet above the top of the car by the time we got here," a trainman said.

Employes at the depot saw the flames and called the fire department as the cars were brought down the line. The hot boxes were on opposite sides of the two cars. The fires were extinguished with only minor damage to the two cars, which were later sidetracked for repairs.

A passenger train scheduled for 11:15 was late. Otherwise, traffic would have been delayed for about half and hour.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Liberty Bell at Wilson Creek

The Liberty Bell traveled through the area on its way to Seattle back in 1915. See photos of it in Harrington and Ephrata.

Photo of the bell being rung while at Wilson Creek.

Photos courtesy of Wilson Creek Mayor, Kathy Bohnet.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Northern Pacific Ownership Near Taunton

From the "Standard Atlas of Adams County."


Of note is the railroad being the Chicago Milwaukee & Puget Sound, but land ownership by the Northern Pacific dated back to the checkerboard land grant which gave the NP alternating sections of land for 40 miles in each direction of its line.