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WhidbeyBoy
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WhidbeyBoy
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PostSun Sep 14, 2014 9:45 pm 
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I have been up to the SB-17 crash site four times now and have some questions if anyone has the answers?

1. The little mineshaft just above the Tubal Cain Mine Trail at the Tull Canyon Junction - did it have a name?
2. Is "Tull City" the log cabin ruins we find up near the SB-17 crash site?
3. Was there a mine up in Tull Canyon?  If not, why did anyone build log cabins up there?  It doesn't seem like it was along any routes and was too far from the Tubal Cain mine to be practical.
4. Were there any cabins or mines south and uphill/up-creek of the SB-17 crash site, as you ascend up to Hawk's Peak area (the pass between the SB-17 crash site and Silver Lake)?
5. I saw a photo from the 1950's which showed the Tull City "hotel" still standing.  Did the survivors of the SB-17 use it, or even know they were just a hundred yards away?
6. Does anyone know if any of the SB-17 crash survivors are still alive?

Thanks for any help.
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IanB
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PostMon Sep 15, 2014 7:32 am 
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This very valuable thread by RPBrown contains answers to many of your questions:

http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7996639&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

This website has the most complete info about the B-17:

http://members.peak.org/~mikey/746/index.htm

The map I posted in this trip report indicates the location of the upper debris field on Hawk Ridge where the plane impacted, and the location of a significant test shaft south of Tull City in lower walls of Mt. Worthington:

http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8001641&highlight=

Best of luck in your explorations!

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"Forget gaining a little knowledge about a lot and strive to learn a lot about a little."    - Harvey Manning
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RodF
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PostMon Sep 15, 2014 10:53 am 
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A new book by David L McCurry, Aircraft Wrecks of the Pacific Northwest Volume 2, includes a chapter on this.  (Several libraries in the northwest hold copies of his first volume; I'm not sure if they all have the second volume, but you could check their online catalogs.)

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WhidbeyBoy
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PostMon Sep 15, 2014 3:17 pm 
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I just noticed the Tubal Cain Mine (privately owned) is back on the market - $1,200,000 - see http://www.matrix.nwmls.com/Matrix/Public/Portal.aspx?k=877927X6W48&p=DE-40307028-204
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Dick B
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PostMon Sep 15, 2014 6:34 pm 
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Whidbeyboy: I visited Tull City and Tubal Cain in the mid 50s while working for the Forest Service out of Quilcene. I have a picture of myself and a fellow FS guy standing in front of what I believe was the only standing structure that was there at the time. Above the door was a sign that said "Tull City" with a date of 1915 I believe. We had climbed  to the ridge out of Silver Lake then descended thru the B-17 debris field. I would post some pics but don't know how. The fellow from Sequim posted some for me some time back. Where on Whidbey? I was born and raised on the south end.
Dick B
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WhidbeyBoy
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PostMon Sep 15, 2014 9:14 pm 
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Dick - I saw another string that you were involved in a few years ago and I saw all those old wonderful pictures.   Can you confirm that the Tull City hotel structure that you saw and took a picture in front of in the 1950s was right next to the SB-17 debris field?  Today and all that's left is two log level foundation of an old cabin and about 30-40 feet away another one log level foundation. My assumption is that these two old foundations are the two structures we see and all the old pictures, with one of them being called the Tull city hotel.  But for the life of me I can't understand why somebody would go to all the trouble to build structures up there so far away from the Tubal Cain mine, unless there was a mine up in Tull Canyon very close to these old cabins.
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trestle
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PostTue Sep 16, 2014 5:36 am 
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There was definitely a mine shaft above Tull City, hence the need for buildings. Track down a copy of The Lure of Tubal Cain and many of your questions will be answered. There is a copy on reserve in the North Olympic Library System. In fact it was written by the aunt of RPBrown, who contributed the wonderful thread listed above.

As I recall from my research, the crash survivors didn't know about the buildings until the next day (crash was at night) when they were on their way out with rescuers. Plus there was deep snow everywhere so the cabins weren't very evident immediately after the crash.

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WhidbeyBoy
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PostTue Sep 16, 2014 9:30 am 
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I would be curious where that "upper" mine would be, in relation to the crash site.  I was just hiking up there a few weekends ago and did the trail from the crash site up to (almost) Hawk's Peak, just N-NE of Tull Pass.  We found a high meadow up there about 45 minutes S (uphill) from the crash site, which looked like a great place to settle down, but there was no water up there.  The stream which flows past the crash site/Tull City only started about 20 minutes uptrail.  Above that there was no water source, except snowpack in the colder months.   Some kids came down trail as we went up and reported they found the remains of more cabins about 35-45 minutes uphill from the crash site as you go up toward Tull Pass.   We never saw what they said they found.

I own a copy of The Lure of the Tubal Cain Mine and wish it had more information about "Tull City."
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RPBrown
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PostSat Oct 18, 2014 8:53 pm 
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Good to see you on here again Dick.  The Tull City sign was 1905.  My grandparents rescued the sign soon after you were there in the 50s.  They painstakingly removed the shakes and hauled them out on their Tote Gotes.  Here it is hanging in my grandparent's place a few years back.  They've both passed away and another relative has the sign now.  Hopefully it ends up in the Quil Museum someday. 
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Dick B
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PostFri Oct 24, 2014 7:40 am 
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RP: Regarding the "Tull City 1905" inscription. I was amazed to see that part of the old building had been preserved. Seeing the sign was, as Yogi Berra would say "deja vu all over again". Try to get it in the museum. It's certainly part of the history of that part of the country.
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OlympicExplorer
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PostWed Nov 29, 2017 6:34 pm 
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I was wondering if anyone knew of additional mine locations in the Tull Canyon/Tubal Cain Region besides the main Tubal Cain shaft and the test shaft just off the spur trail to the SB-17 crash? Reading previous posts, it sounds like many mine shafts were drilled in the area. I'd like to explore these other locations off the beaten path.
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trestle
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PostThu Nov 30, 2017 2:18 pm 
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This thread helps.
http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7994612

And this one.
http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8001641

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OlympicExplorer
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PostThu Nov 30, 2017 4:37 pm 
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Thanks for the links. I was able to open one of the maps provided and saw at least one mine shaft marked within the Tull Canyon itself. I would be very interested in checking this one out. I also have always wanted to explore the upper impact debris field of the SB-17 crash. I have seen pictures of parachute cord, wooden pieces from the Higgins Life Boat that was attached to the bottom of the plane, and one of the prop hubs perched on the hill side. I have been fascinated by this crash for years and have researched it from a few sources. My father used to work with a guy who said that he had visited Tull City back in 1959 as a kid. He clearly remembered the plane wreckage and talked about how the rear tail section was fairly intact. I remember reading news articles about how the U.S. Forest Service used some kind of burning explosive to melt down & tear apart the remains of the plane. I suspect they did not want anyone using the plane for a shelter?  I do know that Boeing representatives have hiked to the site and collected some pieces for a B-17 restoration. I would absolutely love to see some old, vintage photographs of this wreck site during the late 50's/early 60's.
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trestle
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PostFri Dec 01, 2017 1:39 pm 
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There are photos from the wreckage and from the rescue included on this site.

http://members.peak.org/~mikey/746/index.htm

In case you struggle with site navigation, this is the page with the old pics of the tail:
http://members.peak.org/~mikey/746/images.htm

Here's another page with a few pics:
http://www.aerovintage.com/485746.htm

Quite a few of us share the passion for Flight 746.

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OlympicExplorer
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PostFri Dec 01, 2017 3:50 pm 
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Trestle,
I appreciate the links. I am definitely no stranger to these websites and viewing all the pictures provided. I remember viewing http://members.peak.org/~mikey/746/index.htm several years ago when it first appeared on the net. I guess what I am looking for specifically is someone in the past who has taken pictures during the Spring-Summer-Fall months, (when little to no snow is present) during the mid 50's to early 60's. It seems this would have been before heavy vandalizing and souvenir hunting occurred. I have always been curious as to what the wreck site looked like in the earlier years. The original black & white pictures taken after the crash are cool to look at, but so much of the aircraft is not seen in the deep snow. The first time I visited the wreck site (early 90's), I took many pictures of parts and pieces. One particular picture was the bottom side of a wing. It still had the U.S. Air Force "Star" insignia! I can tell you now, that this is long gone. The entire blue & white "Star" insignia was cut out of the wing and removed. I do know that 2 of the props are on public display: One at a Military Veteran's Museum in Port Orchard and the other one at the Olympic Flight Museum in Olympia.
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