Wednesday, February 28, 2024

1890 Coulee City To Foster Creek Estimate

This section of line, only 10 miles in length, did not go to what we know as Foster Creek today, but what is now a creek whose name has been changed since this time. The current Foster Creek is about 20 miles north.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

1892 The NP/GN Overcrossing At Espanola Agreement

Note the map stating the GN line was actually the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway at the time.


Saturday, February 24, 2024

Friday, February 23, 2024

Warden's Industrial Development

Guest post by William Russ.

Here's 3 aerials of the town of Warden taken within the span of about 11 years. 

In 1953 there was little more than a grain elevator adjacent to the main line. The Milwaukee saw the potential for agricultural traffic resulting from big increases in arable land made possible by the Columbia Basin Project.

Construction of Grand Coulee Dam began in 1933 and was completed in 1942. Its main purpose of pumping water for irrigation was postponed during WWII in favor of electrical power generation needed for the war effort. After the war these irrigation projects proceeded with fits and starts but in 1954 the East Low Canal was finished. As a result of the project, the population of Warden grew from 322 in 1950 to 949 in 1960. 

The Port of Warden was also established in 1960 after voters approved its formation.
It seems there was little more development after 1964. I have a 1969 aerial but the only change I see is the old grain elevator is gone. Warden fell into decline in the 1970s and that trend continued after the railroad shutdown. It was not until the mid 1980s and after considerable new investment did Warden’s fortunes brighten.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

1970 Ralston View

Thanks to William Russ for finding this.

Courtesy of USGS.

July 13, 1971

Ryan Reed adds:
" The depot is gone, moved but gone, the section house is gone, the flour mill and flathouse across the highway are also gone - burned to the ground. Several coal sheds had been picked up and sent to the Marcellus branch to store grain doors. All those structures were still there in the mid-60s. Ralston got hit hard with the Gap housecleaning from '67 to '70. The two cribs were cut down with chain saws after '82 and the wood was buried outside of town."