Ilwaco in Pacific County, Washington — The American West (Northwest)
Clamshell Railroad Driving Tour
"It is estimated that with two canneries, the lumbering, cranberry and railroad interests centering at Ilwaco annually put into circulation at this town about $600,000. This is a solid town and is entitled to the attention of all visitors to Washington's coast."
”The Oregonians Handbook of the Pacific Northwest" by Edward Gardner Jones, 1894.
Snapshot in Time
The scene in front of you is a snapshot in time of when the railroad ruled local commerce. The Nahcotta, while now considered a beautiful relic, was built to be practical. This 1889 Pullman-built narrow gauge passenger coach is on the Washington Heritage Register of Historic Places for its, "direct connection to the broad patterns of growth and development of the Long Beach Peninsula." It was also given this recognition for, "embodying the distinctive characteristics of its type, and period of construction." This car was built in the definitive Eastlake style of its time as the "street car" of the railroad. It carried thousands of people over the four decades that the IR&N train ran here.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Notable Places • Railroads & Streetcars.
Location. 46° 18.485′ N, 124° 2.531′ W. Marker is in Ilwaco, Washington, in Pacific County. Marker is on Lake Street east of 1st Avenue South, on the right when traveling east. Marker is located at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum. Marker is attached at eye-level to the perimeter fence near the northeast corner of the museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 115 Lake Street SE, Ilwaco WA 98624, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies A Disastrous Year (approx. 1.1 miles away); An Evolving Playground (approx. 1.1 miles away); Life of a Lighthouse Keeper (approx. 1.8 miles away); Fort Canby (approx. 2.1 miles away); Keeping Pace with Technology (approx. 2.1 miles away); Lewis and Clark Trail (approx. 2.2 miles away); Cape Disappointment Lighthouse (approx. 2.3 miles away); Fort Columbia (approx. 6.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ilwaco.
Also see . . .
1. Clamshell Railroad.
In 1900, the Ilwaco Railway & Navigation Co. was acquired by the much larger Oregon Railway and Navigation Co. In 1903, a new superintendent was dispatched to inspect the line. Unimpressed with the small railroad, he muttered, “Hmph! Clamshell Railroad” and the name stuck! The “Clamshell Railroad” not only carried passengers, but they also carried a substantial amount of freight. Trains also carried, milk, oysters, coal, cranberries, and finished lumber as well as packaged goods for the merchants on the Peninsula. Much of this freight was carried in box cars added to one of the regularly scheduled passenger trains making it a “mixed train” but occasionally an “extra” freight train would be added on the line. This might be true for a shipment of logs, or for the transport of cranberries at harvest time. Also, (Submitted on April 19, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. The Nahcotta.
The NAHCOTTA provided 41 years of service for the railroad and its successive owners:
•1889-1907 – Ilwaco Railway & Navigation Co
•1907-1910 – Ilwaco Railroad Co
•1910-1930 – Oregon-Washington Railroad & Navigation CO (under Union Pacific)
The Nahcotta was a typical passenger coach for the 1880s, not a fancy custom built car. However, it was the only Pullman coach owned by the IR&N. Thus, its distinctive characteristics make it recognizable in historic photographs. The most noticeable features being the double-hung windows, 13 on a side. The end door windows are in the upper 2/3 of the door, and the top of the door has right angles in the corners. The letter board is narrow, the end curves on the roof are distinct, and the lower truss rod is clearly visible under the car on each of the long sides. (Submitted on April 19, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 19, 2018. It was originally submitted on April 19, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 67 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 19, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.