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Topic: Roads & Rails

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Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railroad Company

The Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railroad Company was incorporated on April 15, 1885, as a solution to the problem of connecting Seattle to the Canadian border. The line was incorporated into the...

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Seattle Landmarks: Lacey V. Murrow Floating Bridge and East Portals of the Mount Baker Tunnels (1940)

Address: Interstate 90 and Lake Washington, Seattle. When it was completed in 1940, the Lake Washington Floating Bridge was the longest bridge of its kind in the world. The floating concrete structu...

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Seattle Landmarks: Queen Anne Drive Bridge (1936)

Address: Queen Anne Drive between 2nd Avenue N and Nob Hill Avenue N, Seattle. The bridge across Wolf Creek, on the north side of Queen Anne Hill is a steel arch bridge, 238 feet long. The parabolic t...

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Seattle Renton & Southern Railway -- King County's First True Interurban

The Seattle Renton & Southern Railway built King County's first true interurban railroad beginning in 1891, and spurred development of the then largely agricultural Rainier Valley. The line was be...

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Seattle Transportation: From Trolleys to Monorails, A Timeline

This condensed chronology traces major milestones in the evolution of public transportation in greater Seattle and was originally published in The Seattle Times on October 20, 2002. Detailed essays on...

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Skykomish -- Thumbnail History

The City of Skykomish, located in the northeast corner of King County, began in 1893 as a rail town for the Great Northern railroad. Nestled in mountain forests, and supported over the years by rail, ...

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Sound Transit (King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties)

Sound Transit is a regional transit agency serving King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties with light rail, commuter rail, and express-bus service. Officially called the Central Puget Sound Regional Tran...

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South Lake Union: The Evolution of a Dream

This essay surveys the development of Seattle's South Lake Union and Cascade communities from 1854 to 2003, with emphasis on visions for its future including Virgil Bogue's 1911 Plan of Seattle, the 1...

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South Park Bridge, Duwamish Waterway, King County, 1931-2010

From 1931 to 2010, the 1931 South Park Bridge, also known as the 14th Avenue South Bridge, spanned the Duwamish Waterway, linking the Seattle neighborhood of South Park with land in the City of Tukwil...

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Spirit of Washington Dinner Train on Lake Washington (King County), 1992-2007

The Spirit of Washington Dinner Train brought the romance of the rails to King County's Eastside for 15 years from 1992 to 2007. For a price guests enjoyed an excursion through the communities east of...

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Spokane's Streetcars

From 1888 to 1936, streetcars played a clanging and colorful role in the history of Spokane. The city's first streetcar was pulled down Riverside Avenue by a team of horses. Within two years, steam-po...

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St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Company and its affiliated railroads (1888-1958)

Washington state's second-largest logging and lumber operation during its heyday, the St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Company controlled 90 square miles of standing timber in Pierce County and milled bil...

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Stagecoach and Steamboat Travel in Washington's Early Days

Before rail service reached the West Coast steamboats, stagecoaches, and wagons were the principal means of transportation to and from the inland areas of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho territories. Go...

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Strahorn, Robert E. (1852-1944)

Robert E. Strahorn (1852-1944) and his wife Carrie Adell Green "Dell" Strahorn (1854-1925) had a significant impact on the Northwest in the 1880s and 1890s, through their writings that publicized the ...

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Street Railways in Seattle

Road travel in and around Seattle was difficult and dangerous before 1884, when the first horse-drawn streetcar line was established downtown. The first cable car line was introduced in 1887, and elec...

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Sunset Highway

One of Washington's first cross-state highways, the Sunset Highway provided the first automobile route over the Cascade Mountains, a range that divides the state from north to south. When it opened in...

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Tacoma Trolleys, 1890-1930

Sound Transit's mass transportation system has some of its roots in Tacoma's trolley systems of the 1890s. The Tacoma and Steilacoom Railway Company started in 1890. The company used steam engines to ...

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The Driver's License: A Seattle Reminiscence by Dorothea (Pfister) Nordstrand

In this reminiscence, Dorothea (Pfister) Nordstrand (1916-2011) relates the story of how she learned to drive in Seattle. The year was 1936, just 36 years after the first auto arrived in Seattle in 19...

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The Mullan Road: A Real Northwest Passage

In the spring of 1859, after five years of study and survey, the U.S. War Department appropriated funds for the construction of a military wagon road between Fort Walla Walla in Washington Territory a...

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The Railroad at Cedar Falls: Dorothy Graybael Scott's Story

This account of life at a Cedar Falls railroad camp (in east King County) was originally recorded on June 15, 1993 as a part of the Cedar River Watershed Oral History Project. Dorothy Graybael Scott m...

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The Railroads of Jefferson and Clallam Counties

The first Europeans to see the Olympic Peninsula were stunned by the thick conifer forests that stretched from shore to as far as the eye could see. Nearly 100 years later, thousands of Americans and ...

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The Seattle Waterfront Streetcar -- The Steep Grade from Idea to Reality by George Benson

This speech on the history of the Seattle Waterfront Streetcar was given in 1992 by the streetcar's advocate and founder, George Benson, who was then president of the Seattle City Council. He presente...

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Thomson, Reginald Heber (1856-1949)

Reginald Heber Thomson probably did more to change the face of Seattle than any one individual. During his exemplary career as city engineer and beyond, he leveled hills, straightened and dredged wate...

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Trackless Trolleys in Seattle

Trackless trolleys -- electric trolleys that have rubber tires rather than running on rails like streetcars -- have been a distinctive feature of Seattle's transit system since 1940. Seattle became th...

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