Friday, October 15, 2010

Moses Lake Depot

The following is from Allen Miller, regarding operations in Moses Lake, who also supplied the photo:

     "I did a little research on Moses Lake (Neppel) depot. The new depot was completed and the agent's job bulletined in December, 1912. H. L. Johnsrud, the first agent at Warden, bid in the new job and opened the station in January, 1913. He didn't stay long and promptly bid in the vacant agency at Kittitas in March and L. G. Graham, from the agency at Ewan, took over the Neppel agency next.
     "When the Marcellus and Moses Lake lines were built they were not connected to the main line via telegraph. Messages to and from the branch line agencies had to be relayed by phone through the agency at Warden. This resulted in a lot of extra work for the Warden agent, essentially making it a small scale relay office.
     "In March, 1916, repeaters were installed at Warden to connect Marcellus Neppel and Ruff to the main line telegraph. It was said that the boys on the branch were so rusty after several years of not using their Morse skills that their call letters, NP - Neppel, MR - Marcellus and RU - Ruff, had to be sent to them by mail. For the first few weeks there were some strange things heard over the Morse on the branches as the boys struggled to re-aquire their former skills.
      "A fish business developed out of the numerous Carp that abounded in Moses Lake. I read in a newspaper article about Elsie Rudloff, wife of the station agent, that the fish were shipped to Jewish rituals in New York City. In September, 1917 there is mention that J. G. Vickers, Milwaukee agent at Warden, was in Neppel looking after the fish business. In April, 1919 there is another mention that fish were now moving from Neppel to eastern markets. Again, in June, 1919 Agent Vickers was again in Neppel looking after his fishing interests.
      "Emil E. Rudloff, formerly the original agent at Ralston, became the agent at Neppel around 1920-21 I believe. Next was Frank M. Sever. He was there as early as August, 1943 when the accident happened to the troop train at Warden. George LaValley was agent in the 1950's and '60's and I have attached a scan of a train order he copied there in 1954. This is the only order I am aware of from Moses Lake. I once had two copies, but traded one set to Ken Secrest, of Kalispell, Montana.
     "The last agent was Marv B. Williamson, there by 1970 and until the station was closed."

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