“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Spokane in Spokane County, Washington — The American West (Northwest)

A Legacy of Railroads

A Legacy of Railroads Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 2, 2015
1. A Legacy of Railroads Marker
Inscription.  Beginning with Northern Pacific tracks in 1881, railroads propelled Spokane's early 20th Century growth. Transcontinental lines linked Chicago and Minneapolis to Spokane, Portland, Seattle and the Pacific Coast. Rails reaching Spokane brought wealth to the region fueling the growth of downtown and financing mansions built in Browne's Addition.

The Coeur d'Alene mining district, the mines of the Kootenays in British Columbia, the timbered slopes of northern Washington and Idaho and the rich soils of the Palouse and Big Bend of the Columbia were connected by rails from Spokane. Electric urban and interurban lines brought workers to businesses and resort-goers to towns in northern Idaho and the Palouse, carrying 25 million passengers in 1910. Spokane's population was just over 104,000 at the time.

The Oregon-Washington RR & Navigation Company (a subsidiary of the Union Pacific) and Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway built a steel viaduct and the Union Station along the south bank of the Spokane River in 1914 joining the Great Northern terminal already in use on Havermale Island.

By 1917 Spokane boasted having 7
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transcontinental connections and being the largest transportation center of the Pacific West. It serviced the shipping needs of agriculture, timber and mining for an area of 150,000 square miles.

Along the River
In 1970, a group of five railroads — including the Great Northern, the Northern Pacific, Spokane, Portland, and Seattle which all served Spokane — merged to form the Burlington Northern Railroad.

The Burlington Northern consolidated the rail lines covering the river corridor, allowing the removal of multiple tracks and terminals along the river making way for Expo ’74.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1881.
Location. 47° 39.709′ N, 117° 24.886′ W. Marker is in Spokane, Washington, in Spokane County. Marker can be reached from North Spokane Falls Court, 0.1 miles north of West Spokane Falls Boulevard. Marker is located along the Centennial Trail, overlooking the Spokane River, on the north side of the Spokane Convention Center. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 322 North Spokane Falls Court, Spokane WA 99201, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Industry on the Spokane River (here, next to this marker); An Evolving Shoreline (within shouting distance of this marker); Expo '74
Marker detail: Spokane Railroad Infrastructure image. Click for full size.
Courtesy The Spokesman-Review
2. Marker detail: Spokane Railroad Infrastructure
Between 1902 and 1973, steel rails, an elevated viaduct, bridges, warehouses and railroad passenger terminals dominated and walled-off the Spokane River banks from people and wildlife alike. The removal of railroad infrastructure brought local fauna and river access back to the city.
(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Washington State Pavilion (about 400 feet away); What's in the Water (about 400 feet away); How the River Became Home for Sqelix — Spokane Tribe (about 400 feet away); Bridges in Spokane (about 700 feet away); Spokane's Evolving Riverfront (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Spokane.
Also see . . .
1. Burlington Northern Railroad (Wikipedia). The Burlington Northern traversed the most northerly routes of any railroad in the western United States. At Spokane the routes split into three. The former Great Northern route ran west to Wenatchee, Washington, crossed under the Cascade Range at New Cascade Tunnel on Stevens Pass, and descended to the Puget Sound region through Everett, Washington. The former Northern Pacific turned southwest towards the Tri-Cities, then northwest to Yakima, Washington, and crossed under the Cascade Range at Stampede Tunnel, descending to the Green River Valley at Auburn, Washington where it connected with existing NP lines from British Columbia to Portland, Oregon. The Spokane, Portland
A Legacy of Railroads Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 2, 2015
3. A Legacy of Railroads Marker
(Spokane River in background)
and Seattle ran southwest to the Tri-Cities, then followed the north bank of the Columbia River to Vancouver, Washington. (Submitted on April 23, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. The Spokane River and Downtown Spokane. Since American settlers arrived in the Pacific Northwest during the 1830s and 1840s, they set about trying to impose their own agendas and their own economic designs on territory claimed by Great Britain and the Hudson's Bay Company. For the next twelve or thirteen decades — with the brief exception of times of economic downturn such as in the mid-1880s and the 1930s — the overriding impulse of the great majority of Americans in the region had been to accelerate the rate of growth. The future Expo `74 site in the 1960s was a complex of railroad yards, industry, and parking areas. (Submitted on April 23, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
1902 Great Northern Clock Tower image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 2, 2015
4. 1902 Great Northern Clock Tower
Looking west toward Havermale Island, the diamond shape pattern beneath the water’s surface is the rock-filled timber foundation of the Great Northern Railway steel truss bridge that crossed here. The bridge provided access to the Great Northern passenger terminal. Only its 1902 Clock Tower remains today.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 23, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 22, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 442 times since then and 54 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 23, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Apr. 13, 2024