Thursday, March 25, 2010

End of the Seattle Lake Shore & Eastern

From "The History of The Big Bend Country."


The prevailing sentiment existing in Lincoln county concerning the loss of the competing line of railroad, the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railway, is voiced in the following extract from the Lincoln County Times of date, July 14, 1896:

     "The Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railroad, a branch of which was extended from Spokane to Davenport during the winter of 1889, and for which the property holders of the town put up liberally for the purpose of inducing the management to run through, instead of around the place, has just been transferred to the committee of the mortgage bond holders and the deed placed on file in Spokane.

     "This deed conveys the road, commencing in the city of Seattle and running to Sallal Prairie, 62 miles; a line commencing in Woodinville, King county, running to Sumas, 101 miles; a branch known as the Hilron branch, and 18 miles of additional branches and spurs; also the main line in the eastern division, commencing at Spokane and running west to Davenport. The transfer includes all the rights of way, franchise, rolling stock, buildings, etc., and 2,500 shares of stock in the Union Depot Company, at Spokane, and its leasehold estate for 99 years in the depot grounds; also the railroad company's title to tide and shore lands in King County.

     "The company was enjoying an era of unequaled prosperity at the time this road was built through Lincoln county, an the people and the railroads all seemed to have plenty of money. Roads were being built everywhere, and scarcely a week passed that a party of surveyors did not pass through looking up a route for some projected line. It was not hard for them to raise the necessary money to induce the Seattle road to build in, which was believed to be a necessary thing in order to build up the place so that other roads could be controlled that talked of penetrating the Big Bend.  These were thrifty days when people heard little and cared less about free silver and sub-treasury schemes. All went along smoothly enough for two or three years and then a reaction set in. Railroads quit building, money began to get scarce; all sorts of political nostrums were advocated; taking short cuts to ease and fortune, and then the business failures began. No more was heard of projected railroads, and the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern line, after a hard struggle, finally ceased to be operated altogether between Davenport and Spokane, and now reverts to the bond holders. Railroads, as well as individuals, overestimated themselves, strained their credit and now a good many of them have valuable experience but a good deal less money."

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Thanks for sharing all this great info! We linked to this post on the Northwest Railway Museum's Facebook page today.