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

Clamshell Railroad Driving Tour

 
 
Clamshell Railroad Driving Tour Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 10, 2015
1. Clamshell Railroad Driving Tour Marker
Inscription.
"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.

The Nahcotta and the depot in front of you tell of the "Clamshell Railroad's" diverse form and function. The freight depot was built to store products and cargo that was transported on the line. Without safe
Marker detail: Driving Tour Map image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Driving Tour Map
This driving tour was developed by the Heritage Railroad Committee of the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in partnership with Washington State Parks and supported by the following sponsors: the Port of Ilwaco, The Depot Restaurant, the city of Long Beach, the Breakers Hotel, the Friends of the Columbia River Gateway, Jacks Country Store and the Port of Peninsula.
storage and passage of freight the richness of agricultural produce grown on the peninsula, such as cranberries and aquaculture products like oysters, couldn't have reached the markets of Portland and other large cities. Travelers to the beach also needed secure transportation of their belongings. This depot was moved just over a block away from its original location along the tracks at the intersection of Spruce Street and 1st Avenue. Standing here, you would have been able to see the train roll by to your right.
 
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. Touch for map. 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. Marker is at or near this postal address: 115 Lake Street SE, Ilwaco WA 98624, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 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);
Marker detail: Ilwaco Passenger Depot image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum
3. Marker detail: Ilwaco Passenger Depot
The Ilwaco passenger depot in its original location a couple of blocks away. Note the coach car behind the train is similar to the one in front of you.
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); Battery Pratt (approx. 7.9 miles away in Oregon). 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, a caboose to
Marker detail: Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 10, 2015
4. Marker detail: Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum
The Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum features exhibits that introduce visitors to the diverse history where one of North America's largest rivers meets the Pacific Ocean. Exhibits inside interpret the Chinookan people, early maritime explorers, community life and more. Inside the lobby of the museum is a 1/24 scale railroad model made by Arthur Shumway during the 1930s. In the depot is a 50 foot long diorama of the North Beach Peninsula as it was in 1925, complete with a working N-scale model railroad built and maintained by the Peninsula Model Railroad Club. Be sure to visit these exhibits and then continue on the Clamshell Railroad Driving Tour.
carry crew members was at the tail end of the freight trains. (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.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNotable PlacesRailroads & Streetcars
 
Clamshell Railroad Driving Tour Marker (<i>wide view; Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in back</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 10, 2015
5. Clamshell Railroad Driving Tour Marker (wide view; Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in back)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 19, 2018. This page originally submitted on April 19, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 37 times since then. 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.
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