Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"North Bank Road (North Bank Railroad), Washington"
Includes ... North Bank Railroad ... North Bank Road ... North Bank Highway ...
Image, 2005, Fort Rains and the North Bank Railroad, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
View across the Columbia River, with the North Bank Railroad tracks. View taken from the Fort Rains location east of Bonneville Dam. Image taken February 26, 2005.


North Bank Road (North Bank Railroad) ...
The Great Northern Railway and Northern Pacific Railroad, competitors in the transcontinental business, launched the Seattle Portland & Seattle Railway in 1905 and built a line along the north side of the Columbia River. This line was known as "The North Bank Railroad", "The North Bank Road", "Columbia River Scenic Route", and "The Northwests Own Railway". The tracks were started in October 1905 and completed in February 1908, with a celebration being held on March 11th at Sheridan Point upstream of the Fort Rains Blockhouse location. On March 19th, regular passenger servcie between Vancouver and Pasco was begun. The journey took eight hours.

Information sign ...

Image, 2005, Fort Rains and the North Bank Railroad information signs, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Information signs for Fort Rains and the North Bank Railroad. Image taken February 26, 2005.
Image, 2005, North Bank Road information signs, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Information sign for the North Bank Railroad. Image taken June 29, 2005.
Image, 2005, North Bank Road information signs, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Information sign for the North Bank Railroad.

Caption for the left image reads: "Washington boasts the river's first railroad, which was built in 1851. A wooden cart on wooden rails and pulled by mules, it assisted early settlers around the Columbia's rapids. Despite this early start, modern locomotives were a long time coming."

Caption for the right image reads: "In a driving rain on March 11, 1908, delighted locals joined dignitaries here at Sheridan's Point to celebrate completion of the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway between Pasco and Vancouver." Image taken June 29, 2005.



Views ...

Image, 2005, Yellepit area, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Train approaching Yellepit area, Washington. The location of Yellepit is on the left. View from Washington Highway 730 near mouth of the Walla Walla River. Image taken September 25, 2005.
Image, 2011, Murdock, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Murdock, Washington, as seen from the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, Oregon. Image taken October 6, 2011.
Image, 2016, Skamania County, Washington, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks at Skamania Landing, Washington. View looking east. Image taken June 11, 2016.


North Bank Road, etc.

  • 1907 ... North Bank Railroad ...
  • 1908 ... Golden Spike ...
  • North Bank Highway ...
  • Tunnels and Bridges ...
  • SP&S700, July 2005 ...
  • SP4449, September 2006 ...


1907 ... North Bank Railroad ...
NORTH BANK RAILROAD
Will Soon Be Ready to Haul Grain to The Dalles.


"Seventeen depots have now been erected along the Portland and Seattle Railway, or north bank line, and are ready for use.

Already the tracklaying on the new line into Portland has been completed as far down as opposite The Dalles, and in addition depots have been erected at all the stopping points between Pasco and The Dalles. The buildings have all been painted and will be ready for occupancy as soon as the line is opened.

The following is the list of stations on the new line between Pasco and the present end of the line: Finlay, Hover, Yellepit, Tomar, Pottinger, Colbia, Plymouth, Gravel, Coolide, Patterson, Page, Luzonm, Carley, McCredie, Moonax, and Roosevelt.

It has already been announced by the Northern Pacific officials that grain hauling will commence on the north bank line some time in November. With the road now completed to The Dalles the wheat of the inland empire may be taken down to the open river and there transferred to steamers for Portland.

No passenger service will be established on the new ine, it is said, until the roadway has been completed into Portland.

The annual report of the Northern Pacific which has just been issued states that tracklaying will finished to Vancouver by the first of the year. The big bridges across the Columbia and Willamette rivers will be finished by June of next year."


Source:    "Heppner Gazette", October 31, 1907, original courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2015.



1908 ... Golden Spike ...
DRIVE LAST SPIKE ON NEW HILL ROAD
Ceremony Marks Completion of Railway.
EXCURSION FROM VANCOUVER
Special Carries Crowd of 500 to Scene of Exercises.
GALA DAY ON NORTH BANK
First Passenger Train Over the New Railway Greeted With Cheers All Along the Line -- Road Completed Eastward to Pasco.


"In the presence of 500 cheering people, who traveled 50 miles to witness the ceremony, the golden spike was driven in the North Bank road yesterday afternoon. The exercises were held at Sheridan's Point, three miles west of Stevenson, Wash., and although they occupied but a few minutes, were impressive. The driving home of the golden spike was regarded by the spectators as signalizing the dawn of a new epoch in the railroad hisotry of the Pacific Coast. When the last stroke of the gilded hammer used in the ceremony died away, cheer after cheer was flung into the air and went ringing up into the mountain fastnesses of the Columbia gorge.

The gray old mountains that looked down on the ocming of the tiny canoes of Lewis and Clark, over 100 years ago, stand all around the spot where the last spike was driven yesterday. Almost on the very place where the last rail was laid, an old blockhouse, erected by pioneers, withstood the repeated attacks of Indians and after it had served its purpose, was washed away by a flood in the Columbia River.

Special Train From Vancouver.

The special train that was run to Lyle yesterday over the new Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway was made up at Vancouver, and the people who attended the ceremony of driving the spike were guests of the business interests of Vancouver and the new railroad. ...

It was a gala day for the whole North Bank country. Every village the line passes through, as well as every farmhouse the new road passes, was decorated with flags, and the people stood at the side of the track waving flags and cheering as the train sped by. Every mill and factory and every steamer passed on the run of the special train welcomed the new railroad line with blasts from whistles. Some of the towns had anticipated the arrival of the train by having the school children drawn up in line on either side of the track, and as the train pulled into the station the children waved a welcome with flags.

Locomotive Gaily Decorated.

Engine No. 494, that pulled the train of ten coaches, was gaily decorated with flags and bunting. On the pilot of the locomotive was a banner bearing the words, "Hurrah for the North Bank." On the first and last coaches of the train were banners proclaiming the significance of the opening of the new railroad. ...

Train Welcomed at Every Town.

At Washougal ... At Stevenson ... White Salmon ... At Lyle ...

The driving of the golden spike took place on the trip up the river, the train being halted at Sheridan's Point for the purpose. E.E. Beard, editor of the Vancouver Columbian, was master of ceremonies and held the golden spike that was to be the final bond linking the Inland Empire with the cities of the seaboard. ..."


Source:    "Morning Oregonian", March 12, 1908, original courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2018.



North Bank Highway ...
The "North Bank Highway" is today's Washington State Route 14, parallelling the North Bank Road.
[More]


Tunnels and Bridges ...
[More]


SP&S700, September 2005 ...

Image, 2005, SP&S 700 Excursion Train, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Rounding the Bend. SP&S 700 Steam Engine, Spokane, Portland & Seattle Excursion Train, Columbia Gorge, July 2005. View from Dog Creek, Columbia River Gorge, Washington. Image taken July 6, 2005.
Image, 2005, SP&S 700 Excursion Train, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
SP&S 700 Steam Engine. Spokane, Portland & Seattle Excursion Train, Columbia Gorge, July 2005. View from Dog Creek, Columbia River Gorge, Washington. Image taken July 6, 2005.


SP4449, September 2006 ...

Image, 2006, SP4449 Steam Engine, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
SP 4449 Steam Engine on the Wind River Bridge, Washington, Columbia Gorge. Image taken September 16, 2006.
Image, 2006, SP4449 Steam Engine, Wind River Bridge, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
SP 4449 Steam Engine, at Wind River, Washington, Columbia Gorge. Image taken September 16, 2006.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, ...
 




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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

Sources:
  • "HistoricMapWorks.com" website, 2016;
  • Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2015;
  • "historylink.org" website, 2015, Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History;


All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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© 2019, Lyn Topinka, "ColumbiaRiverImages.com", All rights reserved.
Images are NOT to be downloaded from this website.
August 2015