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(SLSE Railroad)

Skagit River Journal

of History & Folklore
600 of 700 total Free Home Page Stories & Photos
(Also see our Subscribers Magazine Sample)
The most in-depth, comprehensive site about the Skagit

Covers from British Columbia to Puget Sound. Counties covered: Skagit, Whatcom, Island, San Juan, Snohomish & BC. An evolving history dedicated to committing random acts of historical kindness
Noel V. Bourasaw, editor (bullet) 810 Central Ave., Sedro-Woolley, Washington, 98284
Home of the Tarheel Stomp (bullet) Mortimer Cook slept here & named the town Bug

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Kent Sullivan requests your memories
about the Northern Pacific line that
ran through Sedro-Woolley in 1955

(Northern Pacific railyards)
      Circa 1918, Frank LaRoche Sr., Sedro-Woolley's resident grand photographer at that time, stood atop the Northern Pacific water tower and photographed the Northern Pacific rail yards. He was looking north. Pinky Robertson's childhood home is at the far left. To the right is a roundtable built for the original Seattle Lake Shore & Eastern locomotives. Click on photo for a larger version.

      The NW Washington History Detectives were pleased on June 10 that Kent Sullivan attended our meet-up and told us of his plans for a very realistic, large-scale, model-train layout that will prominently feature the Northern Pacific tracks and the businesses along them in Sedro-Woolley in 1955. He and his guests Dan Cozine and Jack Christensen, along with Allen Miller have supplied much of the historic facts and photos that have helped us piece together our local history. Now they specifically want readers to help them as they nail down the details for the scenery and buildings on the layout.
      We took a walkabout all along the tracks that day, from the famous old Woolley triangle — which has now lost its diagonal leg that dates back to 1889 and the Fairhaven & Southern days — past the old Northern Pacific depot where a southbound NP train collided with the smoking car of an eastbound Great Northern train and drove the car through the depot on Jan. 31, 1918; all the way down to the site of the footings of two water towers and the roundhouse that served steam locomotives through the mid-1950s; clear down to where brambles and blackberry bushes now cover the old roadbed, between the former Goodyear-Nelson and Willis, Rogers & Pearson sawmills.
      As we walked along and various experts and old-timers pointed out the location of long-gone buildings and former spurs in the once very busy rail yard, Kent expressed disappointment that he still lacks photos of some of the most noted landmarks in both Sedro and Woolley. He intends to make the layout as accurate as is possible. So, we list below the photos (and documents) he hopes that old-timers and their descendants still have in their collections, and he seeks their memories too. If you have answers, please email us or write to us at the mailing address at the top of the page. Scans and copies are sufficient; we do not ask for your originals:

(Northern Pacific depot)
      This is a circa-1920s photo of the Northern Pacific depot, which stood on the immediate west side of the north-south tracks in Sedro-Woolley. In 1901, as Great Northern's James J. Hill gained effective control over both transcontinental rail lines, the depot was moved from its original location in the triangle north of Northern Avenue, which was formed where the original three railroads crossed. To the left (west) was the Skagit Commission Co., which evolved into Lentz and Nelson Feed and Seed; and to the right were the Pioneer boarding house on the north side of Ferry Street and the Vendome Hotel on the south side. Click on photo for a larger version.

Requests and questions:
    Any time, any amount, please help build our travel and research fund for what promises to be a very busy 2010, traveling to mine resources from California to Washington and maybe beyond. Depth of research determined by the level of aid from readers. And subscriptions to our optional Subscribers Online Magazine (launched 2001) by donation too. Thank you. Thank you.

Links, background reading and sources

Story posted on June 8, 2010 . . . Please report any broken links so we can update them

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You can read the history websites about our prime sponsors
Would you like information about how to join them in advertising?

(bullet) Our newest sponsor: Cygnus Gallery, 109 Commercial St., half-block uphill from Main Street, LaConner. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 5 p.m., featuring new monthly shows with many artists, many local. Across the street from Maple Hall, 1886 Bank Building and Marcus Anderson's 1969 historic cabin. Their website will be up in early 2010.
(bullet) Oliver-Hammer Clothes Shop at 817 Metcalf Street in downtown Sedro-Woolley, 89 years.
(bullet) Peace and quiet at the Alpine RV Park, just north of Marblemount on Hwy 20, day, week or month, perfect for hunting or fishing
Park your RV or pitch a tent by the Skagit River, just a short drive from Winthrop or Sedro-Woolley
(bullet) Joy's Sedro-Woolley Bakery-Cafe at 823 Metcalf Street in downtown Sedro-Woolley.
(bullet) Check out Sedro-Woolley First section for links to all stories and reasons to shop here first
or make this your destination on your visit or vacation.
(bullet) Are you looking to buy or sell a historic property, business or residence?
We may be able to assist. Email us for details.

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