Near Avery in Shoshone County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
Water Does the Work!
A powerful man-made jet of water blasted the mountainside…
…washing soil and loose rock downslope to fill in the trestle.
By 1911, the Milwaukee Road filled twenty-two temporary wooden trestles between St. Regis, Montana and Avery, Idaho. On this side of the Bitterroot Mountains, two water flumes provided water for "sluicing" these bridges.
Others were filled by dumping material from train cars. You will have to look carefully to see where the sluicing removed the topsoil on the hillsides because the remarkably resilient forest has largely healed the old scars.
With a mighty jet of water, a powerful water cannon called a “Giant” or “monitor” loosened earth and rock from the mountainside above the trestle. Water from a nearby stream ran down a flume into storage tanks several hundred feet above the Giant. Gravity forced the water down a 12-inch diameter pipe and out a 4-inch nozzle. The cannon had no trouble washing great quantities of material from the mountainside.
Location. 47° 21.658′ N, 115° 40.081′ W. Marker is near Avery, Idaho, in Shoshone County. Marker can be reached from Cliff Creek Road (Federal Road 506) 2.6 miles north of Loop Creek Road (Federal Road 326). Click for map
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Man’s Mark on the Land (a few steps from this marker); A Changing Landscape (a few steps from this marker); Temporary Trestles (approx. 0.7 miles away); Tunneling Toward Tacoma (approx. ¾ mile away); The Toughest Town (approx. 0.9 miles away); World Class Workers (approx. 0.9 miles away); Secluded Falcon (approx. 0.9 miles away); "In the Hole" (approx. 0.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Avery.
More about this marker. On the lower left is a photo with the caption, "The wooden trestle at the western mouth of Tunnel 21 being filled in 1909. Can you recognize the fill and the tunnel now?"
On the lower right is a photo with the caption, "A Giant washing material into a flume." Photographs courtesy, Montana Historical Society
Also see . . . Route of the Hiawatha Rail Trail. (Submitted on August 4, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
Categories. • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 405 times since then and 73 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.