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Newhalem in Whatcom County, Washington — The American West (Northwest)
 

Electric Forest

 
 
Electric Forest Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 28, 2015
1. Electric Forest Marker
Inscription.  Superintendent of Lighting J.D. Ross wanted his visitors to believe that “anything was possible with electricity” including heating the ground to accommodate tropical plants such as banana and palm trees. In the wilds of the North Cascades exotic orchids were planted along the pathways which, in turn, were illuminated at dusk by colored lights.

What appears to be inappropriate by today’s standards — light fixtures and wires hanging from live trees — was once a symbol of progress and the celebration of electricity in our lives. Look about, up into the trees and see if you can find the remnants of the historic lighting system in Ladder Creek Falls and Gardens.
 
Erected by Seattle City Light.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Man-Made FeaturesParks & Recreational Areas.
 
Location. 48° 40.524′ N, 121° 14.383′ W. Marker is in Newhalem, Washington, in Whatcom County. Marker can be reached from North Cascades Highway (Newhalem Street) (Washington
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Route 20) 0.2 miles east of Main Street, on the right when traveling east. Marker is located along the Ladder Creek Falls Trail, east of the Skagit River pedestrian bridge and south of the Gorge Powerhouse. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Marblemount WA 98267, 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. Lighting of the Falls (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to Ladder Creek Falls & Gardens (within shouting distance of this marker); Gorge Powerhouse (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Old Number 6 (approx. 0.3 miles away); Gorge High Dam (approx. 2.1 miles away); Transmission Lines (approx. 2.2 miles away); Chain of Dams (approx. 2.2 miles away); The North Cascades (approx. 7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Newhalem.
 
More about this marker. Marker is a large, framed composite plaque, mounted vertically on waist-high metal posts.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Skagit River Hydroelectric Project
 
Also see . . .
1. Technology and Innovation Land Ladder Creek Falls Outdoor Lighting Design Award. The first lights at Ladder Creek Falls were installed by City Light’s second superintendent, J.D. Ross, in the 1920s and 30s as part of his efforts to win public appreciation
Electric Forest Marker (<i>tall view</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 28, 2015
2. Electric Forest Marker (tall view)
for the municipally owned Skagit Hydroelectric Project. Ross was intrigued by the possibilities for using light in artistic ways and wanted to create what he called "a paradise of color in the wilderness.” (Submitted on January 29, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Upper Skagit River Hydroelectric Project. From the 1920s to 1941, the Skagit Project became a popular tourist attraction. City Light accommodated visitors with special facilities, tourist trains and boats, and exotic plants, trees, and animals. By 1942, well over 100,000 people had viewed the Upper Skagit and seen City Light's dream of the future with electricity. World War II and more construction ended the program. Tours were resumed in the 1950s, but not on the scale of earlier years. (Submitted on January 29, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Trail and historic electric light fixtures (<i>view from near marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 28, 2015
3. Trail and historic electric light fixtures (view from near marker)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 30, 2019. It was originally submitted on January 28, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 297 times since then and 106 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 29, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 22, 2024