Bruce, on the former NP Connell Northern, is bristling with business for shortline CBRW these days. There are many new buildings and grain silos out there, compared to NP days. Could I find any remaining NP era buildings? Found one, and the remnants of another.
The 1960s depot still stands, in use for storage for the local port district. The watertower, a twin to the one over in Wheeler, fell a few years ago and only the footings and concrete well shaft remain.
Video courtesy of Gayle Sørlien. Here is her description of the video:
"I took this video unaware it was going to be demolished in the very near future. I also wasn't aware of the number of times my finger video-bombed me. Still not knowing it was to be torn down, I kept putting off going back to re-film the station. I was waiting for a nice sunny day. On Thursday March 23 that sunny day came and when I arrived at the station, I was "shocked" find it completely gone. If I had known I would have gone on a lesser nice day.
"My Dad started working for the Great Northern Railway in 1966, based from the Quincy station. A few years later Burlington Northern acquired GNR. He retired in 1983 at the age of 68. Up to the time Dad retired, he still pounded the spikes the old fashion way, with his powerful human strength and ability of hitting the spike on the small head with a small maul hammer head. Dad had the reputation of doing the work of two men when he drove those spikes.
"Employees and their dependents could ride the trains free. We were also picked up and dropped off at the Quincy station even though it was not a stop for regular passengers. In the summers of 1967, 1968 and 1969, we traveled to visit our family. We waited inside the station (it was opened just for us) for the Minneapolis, Minnesota bound train at about three in the morning. The trains we rode on had passenger related cars along with freight related cars. I remember looking on curves to see how long the train was. Now days, freight cars and passenger cars are not allowed to be together. Of course we had the caboose which was done away with around 2005.
"In the summer of 1969, while riding the train (I’m sure it was on the way back to Quincy) my Dad returned to where Mother and I were sitting and was excited that Sammy Davis Jr was on the train. Of course, I had to see Sammy so Dad took me back to his car. We walked up and down the aisle without disturbing Sammy. What I saw was two big mean looking white guys sitting on both sides of a small built slouched, sleeping black man with his fedora over his face. A few years after the turn of the 21st Century, I was dinking around on the internet and found the story about Sammy and the train in summer of '69. According to the website, Sammy was married to a white woman and the white extremists were out to get him - literally. (In 1969, I remember seeing the tabloid articles with pictures and articles but I didn't realize the seriousness of it.) The internet information also stated two decoys and the real Sammy were on three different trains. Was that Sammy I saw that historical day? Maybe - maybe not. Either way I was a small grain of sand in the life of the great Sammy Davis Jr. and for the civil rights movement.
"We also “experienced” the Spokane train station stop. While there was a time in 1969 Dad got off for some reason but that was it – we basically didn’t get off. I wish I had because it would have been fun to see the inside of the Spokane station. A few years later . the station was replaced by the remodeling for the 1974 World’s Fair. Never was the same."
"I am continuing to dig though old slides and I am managing to find a gem or two. Here is one example from October 1980:
"Five BN F's (including 1 ex SP&S version) and a pair of Geeps have just arrived at Coulee City, WA and are backing their short train (after turning it )around one of the legs of the Wye. First order of business will be to do required switching and then the crew will grab breakfast at a local diner. The rest of the day will be taken up with the return leg to Parkwater while servicing the grain facilities along the way.
"The F's had just been knocked off of Maria Pass Helper duty and were working out of Spokane at this time, This was just about the end of the line for BN's F's in the west and the 40' box cars were close to the end as well."
The train has just backed over the Pinto Ridge Road crossing.
The 299 was built for the Fairhaven and Southern as their No. 2. Became the Seattle & Montana 299 in 1898. When that road was folded into the GN in 1907, it was placed in GN class E4. The 299 was sold to the Waterville in February 1911 and scrapped in May 1934.
This is a summary to the "Applications For Expenditures" (AFE) files which were project files for all purchases, construction or removal of facilities or equipment from Great Northern property. These files sometimes contain correspondence, invoices, blueprints and other project information, and often contain insight into events or changes in a specific area at a point in time.
As a summary, it does give a look into the changes made over the years.
1898Extend passing track
1900Replace pipe line
1904Place water tank from Spokane yards
1904Place mail crane
1905Install private crossing
1906Install Wenatchee Milling track
1909Move steam pump plant from Leavenworth to Rock Island
1909Furnish and place a standard 12’ X 34’ portable depot, 4’ X 5’ water closet and 100’cinder platform
1910Remove steam pump
1911Replace guard rail at west end of bridge No 359
1912Place steel in bridge No 357
1912Construct industry spur 550 feet long—2 miles west
1917Repair bridge over Columbia River
1917Remove part of industry track
1918Construct passing track on north side of main
1919Extend private spur
1920Extend Wenatchee Fruit Growers spur
1921Place Slow Boards-10 MPH bridge No 359
1923Extend Ohio Colony spur
1924Move bunk house from Bromley
1924Install highway department spur
1926Remove water tank
1926Remove highway department spur
1926Bank widening on account of relocation
1927Sale of property
1928Install drain tile
1928 Line change
1929Install 1100’ slide fence-2 miles west
1930Install house track
1930Record 3 private crossings
1930Install depot from Irby
1930Install steel pedestrian subway
1930Install private crossing for S&W
1931Line change at Rock Island Dam
1931Install private crossings
1931Adjust the accounts for the payment received from the Washington Electric Company for the right to inundate approximately 79 acres of railway’s right of way by the construction of a dam in the Columbia River at Rock Island
1931Relay 237 feet of 80 lb and 110 lb rail with 90 lb and 110 lb rail at west switch of passing track
1931Relocate 12’ X 20’ tool house and place for use as a garage at Wenatchee
1932Throw and raise mainline
1932Remove private crossings
1932Place rip rap along river
1933Remove furniture and equipment from depot
1933Repair roadbed after high water
1934Remove house track at Rock Island Dam
1939Relay with 112 lb and 131 lb rail Columbia River to Appleyard
1941Place rip rap at bridge No 357
1941Extend slide fence
1942Remove depot-build SS
1942Install Wenatchee Alloys spurs
1943Extend public crossing
1943Place colored light train order signal
1944Remove office equipment
1947Extend industry track
1948Install slide fences
1949Train order and signal equipment
1949Install Keokuk Metals track
1949Install 115 lb rail
1949Install Keokuk Metals track
1951Install additional Keokuk Metals tracks
1951Place train indicators
1953Install 115 lb rail
1953Replace inner guard rail at bridge No 359
1954Relay with 115 lb rail between Rock Island and Columbia River
1955 Install crossing signals at Keokuk crossing
1956Extend Keokuk Metals spur
1956New steel bridge
1957 Install 115 lb rail
1962Easement for fish ladder
1964Relay MP 1662 to MP 1667.6
Here is the text of his obituary, found at the Stevens Funeral Chapel webpage.
"Charles “Chuck” Grow, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, passed away June 28th, 2015 at his home surrounded by family. Chuck was born on November 6th, 1931 in Colorado. His family moved to Othello, Wa. in 1946 where he met the love of his life, Betty Bluhm. They were married in 1949 and had five beautiful children. He had a lifelong career as an engineer with the Milwaukee Railroad, as well as in construction and farming.
"Chuck was a talented athlete, avid sports fan and made friends everywhere he went. He enjoyed coaching as well; starting with his sons and continuing on through his grandkids and great grandkids.
"He loved hunting, fishing, and camping, boating, and wood working. He enjoyed attending community events, participating in parades, fair, and he never missed an Othello PRCA rodeo.
"He is survived by his wife, Betty; children Deborah (Robert) Russell, Chuck Grow, Theresa (Wil) Pickel, Michael (Sheree) Grow, and Lori (Darwen) Wheeler, sister Kathy (Paul) Shaftic, 10 grandkids and 8 great grandkids. He is preceded in death by his parents Tom and Nora Grow, and sisters Mary, Bettie and Sybil.
"At his request there will be no funeral services. In lieu of flowers, please send donations on behalf of Chuck to the Othello Senior Center where he enjoyed coffee with buddies daily."
Ms. Mendoza passed along the following photo from her collection.
Note that the current operator of the line where Mr. Grow worked, the Columbia Basin Railway, still has Grow marked on it's system map, the former Milwaukee Road station of Seiler.