Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Alpine Logging Railroad

Alpine, WA November 15, 2011.

The Skykomish Historical Society has some aerial photos of the Tye River Valley from 1930, you can search "alpine" on the photo collections page to find them. Bob Kelly at the museum gave me some very large size photos and today I made a trip to an area east of Alpine Falls to try and locate a section of the Alpine Lumber Company logging railroad that appears in one of the photos. Here is an overview of the 1930 area with some landmarks.

Here is a modern map showing the same area.

I drove up the Old Cascade Highway and found the railroad grade intersected with the highway and followed it to where it once crossed the Tye River. At the bottom of this picture you can see a Great Northern train going through the Bonneville Cut east of Alpine.

Here is a picture of the railroad grade.

The bridge crossed the Tye River here. Highway 2 is on the left. The river is only about 25 feet wide here, it flows through a narrow channel between two very large rock formations.

I know the 1891 Great Northern horse pack trail was in this area, near Scenic it was north of the Tye River, at Alpine Falls it was on the south side. I figured this was a good place to cross so I backtracked up the railroad grade and started looking for a road east of the railroad. I found this and followed about a thousand feet east.

This probably continued on to Martin Creek City, a collection of cabins built during construction of the Martin Creek bridge and tunnel. Photo is from the Skykomish Historical Society.

Keesha picked up a scent as soon as we got out of the car.

I was prepared to meet a foraging bear but this 10 point buck almost ran into us a few minutes later.

I don't know how this happened, a very large rock balanced on a cedar stump. The rock has protected the top of the stump from the weather, there are still ax marks visible on the under cut so the rock has been there since shortly after the tree was cut down.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Annual Dinner 1924

Alpine, WA October 30, 2011.

Another book from Joanne and Marion Calhoun's collection, the Alpine Lumber Company Annual Dinner November 29, 1924.

Front cover.

Page 1.

Page 2.

Page 3.

Page 4.

Page 5.

Page 6.

Page 7.

Page 8.

Page 9.

Page 10.

Page 11.

Page 12.

Page 13.

Page 14.

Page 15.

Page 16.

Page 17.

Page 18.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Alpine Stuff

Alpine, WA October 25, 2011.

Last week Joanne and Marion Calhoun donated some items to the Skykomish Historical Society. Marion's mother, Hazel Kirschbaum, lived in Alpine in the 1920's.

Hazel was a student at the Alpine Public School. This is probably the Alpine School but we don't know for sure.

She was part of the "Graduatin" class of 1925.

The school in 1924.

Hazel's older sister Lura married C.C "Ike" Mooney.

In 1968 Lura drew this very detailed map of Alpine.

Here is a smaller version of the map that will fit on the screen.

Front cover of the 1923 Annual Dinner book.

Pages one and two.

Back cover.

The 1924 book is much larger, I will have it on the blog in a couple of days. There were two pictures that interested me, identified as the Lower Camp. Camp No. 1 and Camp No. 2 are mentioned in the 1923 book, maybe this is a third camp.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Alpine Visit October 10

Alpine, WA October 10, 2011.

Donna and I went to Alpine on Monday, we wanted to have a look around the shingle mill. We started on the north side, marked by the red arrow.

Here is the concrete thing we assume was the base for a steam engine to run the shingle machine. We started digging down the hill below this.

We figured a lot of stuff had been thrown off the platform down the hill, we were not disappointed. This spoke thing was our first find, along with dozens of nails, wire insulators, and broken light bulbs.

I was hoping to find a bunch of cedar sawdust on the side of the hill, it was there in a petrified state. You can see a clump of it, marked by the X. The arrow shows the location of the steam engine base up the hill.

Our prize: a genuine Alpine Lumber Company shingle. It was covered by a large piece of sheet metal, protecting it from the elements.

After working in the rain for about four hours, we headed back to camp, fed and watered the animals and had some dinner.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Alpine Incline

Alpine, WA October 9, 2011.

The University of Washington Lee Pickett collection has this interesting photo, the description reads "Men and logs on railroad car, Snohomish County, ca. 1913."

The Alpine Lumber Company had three men employed on the incline crew in 1917. We know the Alpine logging railroad was down the hill from the mill, some of the grade is still visible near the Tye River. Presumably the logs would be unloaded from the train, maybe near Alpine Falls, then hauled up this incline to the mill.

A few years ago I walked up the hill past the residential area of Alpine and photographed the mountains north of town, looking north across the valley. Compare the color photo with the 1913 photo, the mountains in both photos appear to match pretty closely. So it looks like this incline was just down the hill from Alpine. If you look at the old photo carefully there seems to be evidence of a recent fire, some of the trees are black and on the right there is no brush or vegetation on the ground.