Bonners Ferry in Boundary County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
Laborers hired for low wages, became experts in blasting rock, building tunnels, and grading the rail beds. They acquired colorful titles such as "swampers" and "powder monkeys."
Laborers constructed bridges and trestles across waterways, gullies, and swamps. "Tie hacks" hewed ties by hand, crews spiked rails to ties.
Railroads employed "track walkers" to inspect two mile sections of rail line for obstructions. Later, handcarts and speeders were used. Section crew men called "gandy dancers" continued to maintain the rail line.
The aroma of freshly baked bread spread throughout the railroad construction camps. Dome shaped rock ovens, attributed to the Italian laborers, were built of local rock and chinked with clay. This have been mistakenly called "Chinese ovens" because Chinese crews used similar ovens along other earlier railroads. A fire would be built inside and kept going until the rocks sufficiently hot. With the coals raked out, loaves of dough were placed inside to bake.
Erected 2009 by Boundary County Historical
Location. 48° 41.861′ N, 116° 18.693′ W. Marker is in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, in Boundary County. Marker can be reached from Main Street near Riverside Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7229 Main Street, Bonners Ferry ID 83805, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Spokane International Railway (here, next to this marker); Railroad Services (here, next to this marker); Kootenai Valley Railway (here, next to this marker); Great Northern Railway 1892 (here, next to this marker); A Town is Born Along the Way (here, next to this marker); Logging Railroads (here, next to this marker); Semaphores (here, next to this marker); Pelton Wheel (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bonners Ferry.
More about this marker. This marker is located on the backside of the building at 7229 Main Street near the entrance to the Boundary County Museum.
Categories. • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page was last revised on August 31, 2018. This page originally submitted on August 31, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 41 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 31, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.