When two trains met on the single track Milwaukee mainline one train would have to “go in the hole”. One train moved onto a side track or siding, letting the other train pass by.
Timing a “meet” was extremely . . . — — Map (db m45635) HM
Bitterroot winters are frigid and long-lasting, with the snow staying on the ridges and packed into the draws and gullies well into the spring.
Roland and East Portal can receive up to a foot of snow an hour during a big storm. The snowpack . . . — — Map (db m45561) HM
“Change is inevitable. Change is constant.” Benjamin Disraeli
At the beginning of the 20th century, majestic western white pine, western larch and western red cedar, some over 400 years old, along with Douglas-fir and . . . — — Map (db m45563) HM
Turntable & Townsite
Roland, Idaho s started as a construction camp in 1906, housing men working on the west portion of the St. Paul Pass Tunnel. It evolved from a tent camp scattered along . . . — — Map (db m45556) HM
Wood to Steel
The Milwaukee Road built temporary wood trestles at all but Kelly Creek and Clear Creek. Fire danger prompted the railroad to immediately begin replacing the wooden structures with earth-filled embankments or building steel . . . — — Map (db m45614) HM
In 1925, the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway Company suffered the largest business failure in the history of the United States up to that time.
The bankruptcy resulted from a combination of problems related to the construction of . . . — — Map (db m45650) HM
A logging railroad known as Bogle Spur snaked from here up the North Fork of the St. Joe River for seven miles. The spur was built to salvage timber killed during the 1910 fires. The little railroad operated from 1912 to 1915. When the logging . . . — — Map (db m45654) HM
When Water Powered the Road
It made a great deal of sense to the Milwaukee Road’s directors to electrify portions of the mainline when building the western extension.
They could reduce the high cost of oil-fired, steam powered . . . — — Map (db m45624) HM
“Fire in the Hole!”
In 1908, a Milwaukee contractor named Johnson needed to blast out a path through the rock face next to the Barnes Creek Trestle, #218. Blasters chiseled out five “coyote holes”, stuffed them . . . — — Map (db m45629) HM
For the price of a Pullman ticket, a common rail passenger could be waited upon and pampered in the grand manner of privileged gentry.
The Pullman porter provided the labor for that luxury…
After the Civil War, the Pullman Palace . . . — — Map (db m45648) HM
(Little Joes, The Locomotives Big Joe Stalin Never Got!)
Made for Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union, the United States embargoed these magnificent locomotives as strategic material at the start of the “Cold . . . — — Map (db m45633) HM
If you stood on this spot with a railroad surveyor in 1906, you would have gazed across a lush patchwork forest of large trees. The super hot 1910 fires burned the valley below and for years afterward the area presented travelers with a bleak view . . . — — Map (db m45567) HM
It took a lot of mechanical muscle to pull the Milwaukee Road’s long, heavy passenger and freight trains over the rugged Rocky Mountains and tough Bitterroot Range. The Milwaukee Road used a great variety of powerful locomotives to do the . . . — — Map (db m45625) HM
Depending on who you talk to, the hills around you contain either rich copper deposits or a lot of hot air....
Between 1889 and 1922, miners explored a number of promising mining properties near Adair. They encountered ore containing . . . — — Map (db m45622) HM
It's nature’s “fault” this tunnel is closed…
Several major geologic fault lines run under these mountains. The mountainside here is slowly shifting along a fault line into the right side of this tunnel, collapsing it. . . . — — Map (db m45613) HM
The Lucky Swede and Pearson Mining Companies used this siding to bring in mining equipment and hopefully, send out copper ore…
According to old-timer Harold Theriault,
“The lucky Swede Mine was a fairly large company, but . . . — — Map (db m45656) HM
Driving across the country today, fueling up at fast food outlets, it is hard to imagine that travel was once much more luxurious. The Milwaukee Road's Olympian and Columbian passenger trains carried elegant dining cars the entire distance from . . . — — Map (db m45632) HM
The Milwaukee Road transported tons of war material and thousands of troops during World Wars I and II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
During World War I, the Federal Government seized railroads in the United States including the . . . — — Map (db m45641) HM
Primitive construction camps dotted the Bitterroot Mountains between 1906 and 1912.
Hardy colorful gangs of workers from around the globe called these bleak and often ugly temporary settlements home.
The hard work and disagreeable . . . — — Map (db m45553) HM
High steel trestles, long curved tunnels and steep rocky embankments could be accidents waiting to happen…
But diligent, hard-working Milwaukee Roaders saw that relatively few wrecks shattered the quiet beauty of the Bitterroots. . . . — — Map (db m45649) HM
You are standing on what was Falcon, Idaho, a lonely but important Milwaukee Road siding named for the raptors that nested in the area. Train passengers gave the place scant notice, but by 1915, a depot, a section house and several other . . . — — Map (db m45634) HM
Patrolling for problems on the track was the job of the section foreman and his “section gang” of 2 to 7 hardy laborers.
In the early 1900s the Milwaukee Road’s mainline was divided into 5.5 to 9.5 mile-long sections. A . . . — — Map (db m45610) HM
Grief could come to a big, fast train suddenly. Railroaders needed to see and hear warnings and orders clearly and quickly.
The engineer and crew watched for standard signals over each section of track and kept their eyes and ears open . . . — — Map (db m45623) HM
“Highballing” fast freight trains..
…known as “Silks”, sped raw Asian silk from west coast seaports across the United States for processing into finished garments.
The silks had the right-of-way over freight . . . — — Map (db m45640) HM
Get the Line Open Quickly!
That was the policy of the Milwaukee Road. To do this in 1907 and 1908, the Chicago, Milwaukee & Puget Sound Railroad built numerous sturdy, but short-lived, wood trestles to prepare the new line for track as . . . — — Map (db m45579) HM
One of the largest forest fires in the history of the United States
...swept over Idaho and Montana on August 20 and 21, 1910, including the area where you now stand. The fire burned three million acres, destroyed eight billion . . . — — Map (db m45615) HM
The forest fires of August, 1910, burned millions of acres in Idaho, Montana and Washington. On the night of August 20, engineer Johnnie Mackedon, returning from a trip to St. Paul Pass, found the Falcon siding on fire. Over one hundred terrified . . . — — Map (db m45617) HM
Time Runs Out for “America s Resourceful Railroad”
Never-ending financial problems, speedy new interstate highways and jets killed Milwaukee's passenger service to the Pacific Coast by 1961. Stiff freight competition and . . . — — Map (db m45651) HM
The Unknown Locomotive
Called the “unkown” locomotive by some rail enthusiasts, few people now recognize the heavyweight of the Milwaukee’s Rocky Mountain Division, the Baldwin-Westinghouse EP-3.
Between 1919 and . . . — — Map (db m45630) HM
On June 29, 1947 the pride of the Milwaukee Road was introduced-- an all new streamlined train called the “Olympian Hiawatha”.
The name “Hiawatha” originated with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “Song of . . . — — Map (db m45631) HM
Looking for the Right Route
In 1905, the Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway began looking for a route for their western extension over the Bitterroot Mountains. After five and a half months, exploring 930 miles, the railroad chose a route . . . — — Map (db m45559) HM
The Last Transcontinental Railroad
“It was the finest railroad in America.”
Those were the words of many former employees of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific (Milwaukee Road). This trail follows the route of . . . — — Map (db m45652) HM
People used to say “Taft, Montana was the toughest town in the west until Grand Forks, Idaho developed.”
Located across the valley at the mouth of Cliff Creek, a Forest Service employee described it as,
“…a wild . . . — — Map (db m45636) HM
An astonishing contraption called “The Traveler”, a giant rolling crane, erected Kelly and Clear Creek Trestles in record time.
The Milwaukee decided to build Kelly and Clear Creek Trestles out of steel right From the . . . — — Map (db m45618) HM
During the 1910 fires, fire fighters hopping off a train here at two in the morning wondered, “why anyone bothered to give this spot a name.”
In fact, Adair started out several years earlier as a boisterous railroad . . . — — Map (db m45620) HM
Snaking its railroad down the western side of the Bitterroot Mountains, the Milwaukee Road burrowed 16 tunnels to maintain a uniform grade down to Avery.
These tunnels were dug largely by hand using sledgehammers and hand drills. In some cases . . . — — Map (db m45608) HM
A powerful man-made jet of water blasted the mountainside…
…washing soil and loose rock downslope to fill in the trestle.
By 1911, the Milwaukee Road filled twenty-two temporary wooden trestles between St. Regis, Montana and Avery, . . . — — Map (db m45568) HM
Who’s Been Working On The Railroad?
If you stood here sometime between 1907 and 1911, you would have heard a multitude of languages.
The hundreds of people employed during the construction of the Milwaukee Road included; . . . — — Map (db m45637) HM
Do you have the right stuff to be a FOREST RANGER?!
Forest Service District Rangers today are resource professionals. She/he could be a forester, fish or wildlife biologist, hydrologist, botanist, landscape architect or other . . . — — Map (db m45643) HM
Lead-silver discoveries in 1884 attracted a railroad to Burke by 1887. Hundreds of miners lived there in a canyon so narrow that they scarcely had room for streets.
So in 1888, S.S. Glidden's Tiger Hotel had to be built over, rather than . . . — — Map (db m122822) HM
During a gun war that broke out between company and union miners here, several boxes of dynamite were exploded shattering a four-story mill, July 11 1892
Overwhelmed by union miners, company managers surrendered. Six fatalities -- half from . . . — — Map (db m122820) HM
With a grubstake of one jackass and $18.75 worth of flour, bacon, and beans, Noah Kellogg came here prospecting in 1855.
Not far from here, his jackass strayed away. Kellogg finally found his wandering burro grazing on a tremendous . . . — — Map (db m122876) HM
More than 3,000,000 acres of timber in this area burned during an exceptionally dry summer in 1910. A gigantic fire storm on August 20 did unprecedented damage.
Skies in Montreal and London were blackened by its smoke, which interfered with . . . — — Map (db m122814) HM
Lookout Pass is one of the original U.S. Ski areas. The area was first utilized by local Scandinavians who hopped off Northern Pacific freight cars to enjoy a day of alpine skiing at the Pass. A rope tow was installed in 1936 through use of parts . . . — — Map (db m45200) HM
In more than a century after rich lodes were discovered in 1884, this valley has become North and South America’s largest producer of silver.
More than 5 billion dollars worth of lead, silver, and zinc—including more than a billion ounces . . . — — Map (db m91487) HM
After prospecting north of here from 1878 to 1882, A.J. Prichard showed a few fortune hunters where to find gold. More than a year later, a horde of miners rushed there to start Eagle City.
A permanent camp followed at Murray, Jan, 22, . . . — — Map (db m122815) HM
More than 1.2 billion ounces of silver have been mined in Idaho's Silver Valley where once hundreds of mines were actively worked. Today there are just a few active operations remaining. Below you is the impoundment that stores tailings from . . . — — Map (db m122888) HM
A spectacular avalanche, Feb. 10, 1903, swept away part of a trestle—300 feet high—that let Northern Pacific Railway trains descend from this pass since 1890.
An engine that plunged 80 feet was buried in 30 feet of snow; a passenger . . . — — Map (db m91447) HM
Gold was first discovered near the town of Murray in 1882. A.J. Prichard and his partners, Markson, Gellatt and Gerard, had come to the Coeur d’Alenes from Walla Walla, WA. following Mullan’s Military Road.
Their prospecting started near . . . — — Map (db m73474) HM
The hardened but humble hero of “The Big Blowup”
Strong and mature Edward C. Pulaski was just the type of experienced man the fledgling Forest Service was looking for in 1908 when he was hired.
Pulaski left school in . . . — — Map (db m109993) HM
Walls of flame pushed by hurricane-force winds raced through the region, trapping fire crews, destroying mines, homesteads, and igniting towns.
Much of the town of Wallace, Idaho was left in ashes.
In the end, over 1,700 fires ravaged three . . . — — Map (db m110374) HM
Crews disembarking trains were a diverse group of laborers with little knowledge of the rugged northern Rockies and almost no firefighting experience.
Many of their names are known, however many are unknown and their histories will never . . . — — Map (db m110375) HM
Built in 1911, the Hercules Mill towered 87 feet above the railroad tracks and fed lead-silver concentrates to rail cars. It was situated on the hillside north of the Coeur d'Alene River and served by Northern Pacific rail line entering Wallace. . . . — — Map (db m122977) HM
Stepping into History Nestled in a narrow mountainous valley with a booming population, Wallace had little place to grow except onto the hillside. The steepness of the south hill prevent roads from being constructed in a standard city block . . . — — Map (db m122829) HM
This two-mile trail
will take you to The Pulaski Tunnel.
There, during two days in August 1910, Ranger “Big Ed” Pulaski, in the midst of a raging inferno, saved the lives of all but 6 of his 45-man crew.
The firestorm . . . — — Map (db m109992) HM
In August 1910, this area was ravaged by one of a series of huge forest fires which swept the inland empire at that time.
Small fires had been burning for days in timber parched by a record drought.
Despite the efforts of hundreds of fire fighters . . . — — Map (db m109956) HM
Welcome to the Pulaski Tunnel Trail
This beautiful trail offers a scenic, rewarding hiking experience and recounts the dramatic events of the “Great Fire of 1910.”
The trail’s two-mile course ends at an overlook across . . . — — Map (db m109963) HM
Founded as a mining town in 1884, Wallace became a railroad center in 1887 and the Shoshone County seat in 1898.
Rebuilt after a disastrous fire in 1890, Wallace has preserved its pioneer mining heritage. North Idaho's 2,000,000-acre forest . . . — — Map (db m27170) HM
For Your Tomorrow They Gave Their To-day
Bror Anderson • Lewis N. Bailey • Carl G. Beck • Braxton Bigelow • E.N. Carroll • Clyde Carson • Henry Carruthers • Thomas DeGroot • Norah E. Downing • Herschel V. Edwards • Lloyd A. Ellington • W.E. . . . — — Map (db m122974) WM