Saturday, September 19, 2020

1937 Govan Area View

Courtesy of the NP Telltale.

The bridge is along what we now know as US 2, looking northwest. At the time, the highway was known as State Highway No. 2, the Sunset Highway.

Friday, September 18, 2020

1965 Hartline

May 11, 1965

It's a small town, though there are a few more houses today. It's clear the biggest industry in town is the grain elevators. At one time, elevators for Farmer's Union, General Mills, Almira Grain Growers, and Centennial Mills all competed for the local grain. After a series of purchases and mergers, all the elevators are now run by Highline Grain. There are a few more steel tanks in the row, and 3 of the flathouses are gone.

Of special note is the grain mill on the bottom right, that of the Farmer's Union. It was constructed in 1906 for the Hartline Mill & Elevator Company. Central Washington Grain Growers was formed when when Almira Grain Growers purchased the General Mills elevator and added the Farmer’s Union Grain in 1962. In 1975, the old mill was removed and replaced with modern receiving and shipping equipment. It was further upgraded in 1985 with high speed railroad car loading equipment, though it can only hold 6 cars ag a time.

Elsewhere in town, the large building on the upper left of town is the old school. The historic Hartline School building, completed in 1922, is one of the oldest and best preserved “rural brick schoohouses” in eastern Washington. No longer used by the school district, it has it's own preservation group.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

1965 Wilson Creek

May 11, 1965

The town of Wilson Creek is nothing more than a wayside station, since the Great Northern removed the intermediate terminal in 1924, moving it to Wenatchee. Long gone is the roundhouse, which stood across the track to the right of the concrete grain elevator.  Where the grain elevators stand used to be the site of a large coaling chute, seen here. Imagine the drama the night it burnt down in the 1910s. More drama was had in early 2016 when the 2 adjacent grain elevators burned down, as seen here.

The depot can be seen, to the left of the cut of cars on one of the remaining yard tracks. While it was long gone at the time, this was the point of a nasty derailment BNSF had in 2010, seen here.

Along the bottom left, the curving channel of a redirected Wilson Creek can be seen. The city put up with a meandering creek through the middle of town for years, complete with seasonal flooding, before the channel and a dike was put into place. Here is a flooding view from 1957. It drains into Crab Creek, which is flowing just beneath the bluff across from the grain elevators. This creek passes underneath the tracks as it flows westerly, and towards the upper right center of the image you can see the channel to the right of the tracks.

It seems there is a car or two on the siding just beyond the point where the creek can be seen along the tracks. This is the spot of the old wye track, seen here, going off to the left of the main. The property had just been sold in this view and soon a couple of steel grain tanks will be built on the site, with no sign of the wye remaining today.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

1965 Ruff

May 11, 1965

There probably isn't many more houses there today. The grain elevators are still in operation, but the tracks and depot are long gone now.

Friday, September 11, 2020

BN 1771 At Wenatchee

Courtesy of Bill Edgar.

Bill says:

"It's October 1975 and the Cascadian Cold Storage is loading up with this season's fruit, much of which still ships by rail at this point. BN 1771 is the rear unit of a trio of helpers ready to give a shove to a westbound freight ready to head west over Stevens Pass to Seattle. The helpers will operate to Skykomish, WA. The caboose line up is indictative of the busy local business the BN inherited from GN with local service west to Leavenworth, north to the Canadian border and east to Quincy, WA and beyond."

Thursday, September 10, 2020

1950s Coulee City View

Date can't be later than 1957, when the Presbyterian Church caught on fire. The lake was filled in 1951, so no earlier than that.

There are a LOT of changes in the 70 or so years since this photo was taken. Of note is the railroad tracks are laid out a bit differently through the area where the roundhouse is. The stockyard to the left of that is clearly in use.

About 2/3rds of the grain elevator complex is still standing, though it has been enlarged significantly, with more steel and concrete grain tanks in place now.

The grocery store, to the left of the grain elevators, has been extended to the alley, so is a lot larger today. It's also the only store in town now, where in the photo there were 2 others as well.

Find the depot, then note where Main Street is, the wide street heading towards the bottom right of the photo from there. The nearest building on the north side of the street, Einar's, is now an empty lot. The next group of buildings on that side of the street are still standing, though many businesses have come and gone over the years. The one with the whitish face is now an art gallery, and on either side, the two taverns are now closed. The lighter colored building across the street is now the city hall. At the time of the photo, I believe it was a bank.

Continuing down Main from where we were, a large tree obscures the back of the Thompson Hotel. The long building next to it now houses the library and insurance office. Back then one of the grocery stores was there. Across the street, the building with the black roof is gone, replaced by a larger building holding a tractor dealership. The buildings behind it in the same block are largely gone, with the lot filled with tractors and combines.

Back to main, the rectangular white building across from the one with the black roof now houses the post office and an art studio run by Don Nutt. The next building, with the rounded sides, was later used by Coulee Co-op/Cenex/Aglink, and was torn down within the last 10 years. Next door is the old Lee Theater. This building was torn down decades ago, and is now where the current Aglink building is.

Moving to the upper right of the town photo, the little white building near the intersection of the highway with 2nd street, is an old gas station, but is still a gas station, now run by Aglink. The Banks Lake Brew & Bistro is in the place now. Directly south of there is the old Washington Water Power substation, a site now occupied by a few homes.

In the lower right of the town photo is the rodeo grounds. The claim is that the first rodeo there was in 1952, so could this be a relatively new site?

Note all the springs in the lower part of the photo. The municipal supply is from a well site that was established along the row of bushes below the rodeo grounds. A large tank sits at the end of the trees there today. All the springs have been a boon for wild growing Russian Olive trees, and the better part of the bare area in the bottom of the photo is now full of them.

In the bottom right of the bigger photo, you can see where the railroad tracks cross what is now road J NE. It looks like the site of a spur track coming off the main track, out of the photo on the right, once was here. I don't think it was part of the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern alignment, instead being a spur off the Central Washington. More of the Lake Shore can be found above the canal on the left of the photo, from about where the outlet gates are, running towards the upper left, where it intersects with the CW.

The lake is very full in the photo. The larger island seen, Crab Island, is far more inundated than we are used to seeing in the last few decades. The small island across the highway from town is a bit bigger now as well.

There are MANY more items that have changed. What can you find?

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Arbuckle Flats

View dates from about 1948.

This early view of Summer Falls, south of Coulee City, is out of place on this page, right? Not entirely.

The canal, built in 1947, which caused the water to flow over the falls, created a need for a bridge over the canal. This bridge, number 114, is seen near upper left of the image.

Not many know that this flat area is called "Arbuckle Flats" for a pioneer sheep rancher who lived near the upper right of the photo. Near the upper right of the photo is a clump of trees, known as "Deadman Springs." The story, best told in the book "Forgotten Trails" by Ron Anglin, is of an early traveler having been killed by this spot by some native folks.

If you were to recreate this view today, you would be disappointed. Most of the water now flows through a power plant constructed around 1984. A lined canal now brings the water all the way to the power plant, but an overflow/emergency release gate is nearby, allowing water to flow over the falls when the powerplant is out of service.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Mosey Local At Warden

Courtesy of Blair Kooistra.

Blair says:

"Tamping down weeds on the Mosey Local, leaving the mainline at Warden on august 29, 1979:

left to right, Mark Wilson, Neil Morgan, Wes Nevitt. Engineer was Dick Donneley. GP9 299, two insulated boxcars, a mechanical reefer, and a caboose."