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salish
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salish
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PostWed Jan 30, 2002 8:40 pm 
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Hello,

I would like to ask other members of this board, and our moderator, if they might be interested in a sub-board called "Cascade Mountain History", or some similar title. The idea came to me after reading one members profile after I read one of his posts (IBEX - it was you - hope you don't mind me using your handle). I, like IBEX, am interested in Cascade Mountain History, and/or any history of hiking and related activities here in our beloved mountains of the Pacific Northwest. As I get older I realize that, as a Seattle native, I have seen a lot of changes and some of them are not good. One of the things that sometimes bothers me is that bits and pieces of our local history are forgotten as time goes on, and as we grow older and die, so do many of those memories. I'm a history buff in general, but I don't know why this loss or potential loss of local history bothers me as much as it does. Maybe it's because I'm native american, and our people pass their traditions and history down to younger generations orally. I do know that what I know of cascade mountain history can fit into a thimble when compared to others knowledge on this board. For example, Brian Curtis is a walking encyclopedia of lake, mountain, and other place names.

So, I'll kick this off by giving some examples below of local stories I am interested in. If others on this board are not interested in this idea, we can just leave it like this, and no big deal. These things seem important to me, but may not be to others. If others are interested in this kind of stuff, perhaps they can contribute some stories they are curious about and we can all chime in. This turned out to be horribly long, so please bear with me.

Thanks.
Cliff

Lake Isobel
I first hiked to Isobel in 1966 as a boy scout. I recall the scoutmaster not allowing us to explore the mineshaft. I finally explored it three years ago. I had heard that these shafts were dug a long time ago, in the early part of this century. I've also heard they were used until just recently. Does anyone know when these were dug, and by whom? I've heard similar stories about the mines on the other side of the valley, near Lake Serene, although I've never been there. Are there people who know the general history of this mining district?

Scenic and other railroad towns
Does anyone know what happened to Scenic and when it virtually died? When did it come into being? I recently saw a History Channel program on the huge train/avalanche disaster around 1911 (?) near Scenic, in which there was a great loss of life. What about Merritt? How and why was it created?  Along the same corridor, does anyone remember Trapp's Saddle & Pack Horse Outfitting, near Merritt?  I got to know Norm Trapp and his family back in 1975, when he was, unfortunately, a guest of the Burn Unit at Harborview Medical Center. Great people, and I wonder if they were pioneer stock in the valley.

Trinity
My family started camping near Trinity around 1965, and it was a great place to be as a boy growing up. We always camped on the south side of Chikamin Creek, which is now private property. On the other side of Chikamin Creek was a large, two story log house called the "Halfway House". It was bare and barren of windows, doors, and furniture, but hunters had constructed a makeshift wooden table and bench. The story went that it was built around the turn of the century as a place for snowshoers to camp on their hike in to Trinity in the winter. It's roughly 10 miles in from Plain, with another 10 miles to Trinity. The cabin was dismantled and moved to a private location by the new owner at least 20 years ago. Does anyone know of the history of Trinity and the Halfway House? In the mid 60's a popular Seattle City Councilman, by the name of Wing Luke, went down in a Cessna up there. I recall others saying they found his plane and remains years later near Trinity. There was also a delicious story of a "hippie"caretaker at Trinity in the late 60's who got a bad case of cabin fever and decided to murder his wife and baby daughter, ala The Shining. I have my doubts about the validity of this, but it sure made for some good campfire stories just a couple of miles away from where the murders supposedly took place.

Stampede Pass
My family started camping on the ridges just below Stampede Pass in the late 1950's. There used to be a couple of old structures just below the pass, near Mosquito Creek, where we used to camp. These were definite commercial structures - not crude cabins, one of which was crumbling. Does anyone remember these places? The reason my family chose this place as an annual camp is because the surrounding ridges were thick with huckleberries, and we would harvest the berries by holding an old army blanket open underneath the branches while another sibling shook the branches. Berries would drop and we'd be in business. One of these structures had a large concrete and brick basement. The story was these were built by the CCC back in the 1930's, but there was no earthly reason why these would have been built where they were. The old crude road ran east and west along the ridge and went nowhere, really, except up. Maybe the place was used for ore or some other type of refining. I have my doubts it was built by the CCC because 1958 wasn't that far away from the mid 1930's, and there seemed to be more than 20 years worth of dereliction to them. They were close to the train tunnel near where The Mountaineers has its lodge, but there was no connection between the cabins and the train tracks other than a hiking trail. We lost track of these cabins in the early 1980's because Weyerhauser (or whoever owns the timber there) rearranged the local old roads and trails with their Caterpillars. We searched and searched and couldn't find an old road to the place. Then, in 1995, I found an old rutted road that I drove down and stumbled upon the site once again. One of the cabins is gone and looks like it burned down, judging from the few remaining charcoal blocks of wood. The other structure (which was crumbling back in 1958) is totally down, but it's old roof survives laying in the pit of it's concrete basement. It is hidden from view along the trail and one can drive down the track and miss it. When we saw it we climbed up the ridge and saw the weirdest site - someone had dug a pit toilet, and beyond that was a very crude, but well thought out structure assembled from the jumble of rotting wood. This place is a veritable Robinson Crusoe hideaway, complete with woodstove, bunks, kitchen nook and lockable storage, and provisions. Someone was obviously stocking it with staples. I left a handwritten note in there with my email and was contacted a year later by a NOAA  employee from the weatherstation. she invited me to attend a meeting at the station along with  original pioneers of the area, including the very first weather station employee from the early 40's, as well as that old lady from Lester - the last actual citizen of Lester (she was 90-something at the time and the news channels used to do stories and interviews of her almost every year. The plan was to visit and exchange history. I never made it to that get together, and I regret it. I would appreciate hearing from others who may know more history of this place than I do.

This has been unmercifully long. In the future I promise to keep my posts shorter.

Cliff

[B]

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My short-term memory is not as sharp as it used to be.
Also, my short-term memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
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Brian Curtis
Trail Blazer/HiLaker



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Brian Curtis
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PostWed Jan 30, 2002 9:17 pm 
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Great post, Cliff! I'm supposed to be working tonight but you'll have me digging through books and having a grand old time if I don't control myself. Here are a couple quick links that don't necessarily address your questions, but at least hit some of the history of some of the same areas.

A short Karen Sykes article about the history of Skykomish and the Wellington disaster.

A history of Lester and Stampede Pass.

Here's a Lester Christmas story.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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Brian Curtis
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Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Location: Silverdale, WA
Brian Curtis
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PostWed Jan 30, 2002 9:33 pm 
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Here's a quick history of the Trinity Mine.

A bit of Trinity history.

This site is full of great Okanogan County historical tidbits.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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Beave
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Beave
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PostThu Jan 31, 2002 12:54 am 
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Cliff,

Just happen to be a railroad buff myself... Thanks for the long (and interesting!) post....

Here's a couple links you may like... One from a hike I did to the abandoned Iron Goat railway near Stevens Pass and two others documenting the history of it...

http://www.geocities.com/res0677400hike/irongoat.html
http://www.bcc.ctc.edu/cpsha/irongoat/
http://home1.gte.net/mvmmvm/index.html

Enjoy!

Craig smile.gif

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Craig
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Beave
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PostThu Jan 31, 2002 12:57 am 
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And yes,

I give a "two thumbs up" for a new section dedicated to the history of this land we all enjoy so much....

Craig

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Scrooge
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Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Location: wishful thinking
Scrooge
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PostThu Jan 31, 2002 7:46 am 
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I found a pretty good history of Trinity in the library a couple of years ago. I'll look for it again and see if I can give you the title and author.

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Something lost behind the ranges. Lost and waiting for you....... Go and find it. Go!
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Scrooge
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Scrooge
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PostThu Jan 31, 2002 8:10 am 
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The history section is an intriguing idea, and a good one. I suspect NWHikers will need another administrator to manage it, someone who can ask for/insist on rewrites or edit if necessary - and I nominate Salish.  agree.gif

I suppose it can be argued that "Cascade History" should be a separate website, but I like the idea of having it be part of NWHikers. It fits the concept of our being an information resource, and not just a chat room.

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Something lost behind the ranges. Lost and waiting for you....... Go and find it. Go!
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Sawyer
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PostThu Jan 31, 2002 11:32 am 
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Aha, a great topic! I'll second or third the motion to have a special area for trail/mountain history. There are several people on board here who have done extensive study of trail history. It would work best if moderated, posts concise and edited, with sources listed. Accuracy is important here. Well-chosen topic titles are important too.

Maybe I'll get inspired and jot down some of my favorite resources in a few days.
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Backpacker Joe
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Backpacker Joe
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PostThu Jan 31, 2002 6:26 pm 
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I learned to fly in my dads Aeronca L3.  Landed at lester and other little strips around the state many times.  Sometimes we went fishing there too.  Good memories.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

— Abraham Lincoln
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IBEX
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PostThu Jan 31, 2002 6:49 pm 
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I like the Cascade Mountain History that is evolving, un-moderated and free-wheelin’. I call it…..

IBEX tales.

In the late eighteen hundreds during the silver boom in Monte Cristo, a young Irishman came across the sea and then traversed the continent to make his fortune and to seek adventure. To his dismay, he arrived too late in the mining district to stake a good personal claim. Instead, he hired on with a company mine near the Pride-of-the-Mountains Range. The pay was good and on each day off he would travel down river to seek good drink and the company of a lady. It was with the greatest of luck that he was befriended by a wonderful maiden while the train was broke down along the banks of the Stillaguamish River. Their friendship quickly grew and he was soon supporting the orphaned Indian girl. They were both very happy and together they built a cabin to share in the abundance of the Sauk Prairie. On one especially dark day he was hurt in a mining accident and he lost his leg. His loyal mate lovingly nursed him back from the brink of death, and through the experience they both were enlightened with religious conviction. He was so struck by his conviction that he began preaching to all that he could gather. His flock eventually grew until he created a ministry that extended south into the Snoqualmie Valley. Over the years he moved on to develop a preaching circuit that stretched along the Yakima River Valley. He was so successful that he and his wife were able to retire to their favorite spot near the head of the Cle Elum River. They summered at their cabin perched high above Deep Lake. They were surrounded by a heavenly beauty and they chose appropriate names like Mount Daniel, Cathedral Rock, and The Citadel for the nearby peaks. Some say the quaint pond behind the cabin he named after his loving wife. But, the more romantic story is that the pond shares the name she affectionately gave to the one legged preacher.

Peggy’s Pond

This piece is submitted without a reference list and without a statement of authenticity. Just a good story told by an ageing mountain traveler. Laid down for the fun of the telling and the enjoyment of the listener. Gleaned from a few assorted facts and liberally embellished in the tradition of his Native American ancestors and the way they told their stories.

biggrin.gif

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"....what is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen...." -Rene Daumel
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polarbear
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PostThu Jan 31, 2002 9:34 pm 
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Nice story IBEX, and appropriate for such a pond.

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...and a window that looks out on Corcovado...  Corcovado Hill
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salish
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salish
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PostThu Jan 31, 2002 9:43 pm 
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Thanks Brian, Beav & Scrooge, for your links to Trinity, Stampede Pass, and railroad history - very interesting and it sparked even more inquisitiveness on my part. I'd be curious, Backpacker Joe, about your aviation stories in the mountains. I was always too chicken to enjoy flights in light planes, although I thought they were neat. I've always wondered what the Alpine Lakes area looks like from above.

IBEX - that was a great story. thank you. Every time I walk into Glacier Basin I think of how tough those early miners were.

Thank you all.
Cliff

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My short-term memory is not as sharp as it used to be.
Also, my short-term memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
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salish
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salish
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PostThu Jan 31, 2002 9:45 pm 
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PS - and thank you too, Sawyer, didn't mean to leave your name out. -Cliff

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My short-term memory is not as sharp as it used to be.
Also, my short-term memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
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Sawyer
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PostThu Jan 31, 2002 9:59 pm 
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Clever story, Ibex. I'm ready for another! Ol' peg leg was originally known as MacPeg from the way I heard it, but everybody called him Peggy.

Well, I know three people with humongous libraries of old tales that are slightly better documented. Mr. Bauer, Ms. Sykes, and another person who doesn't frequent chat boards. I know of at least one lopping loper who frequents the library in search of tales also. There are some great stories out there. Like the stories of the lookouts. There is a book on the Miners Ridge lookout. Also on Pilchuck and Three Fingers. There is another book that lists hundreds of lookouts and many humorous stories about many of them (Ray Kresek is the author).

Then there are the mining history books, especially about Monte Cristo. Also railroad books and logging books. Beckey has quite a bit of good historical info, especially in the end notes. There is a book on Stevens Pass, and another on Snoqualmie Pass.

All of these make the trails come alive.

Did you know, for instance, that the Mt Dickerman trail was built by the Big Four Inn proprieters, for their customers? Did you know that an old mining trail, still easy to follow, goes much of the way up Helena Peak? And another mining trail heads up to Marble Pass? And the Martin Creek trail is really an old roadbed for a mine? And the area burned down early in the 1900's? But a trail continued up to Granite Pass and around to Lake Kelcema and Deer Creek Pass area?
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polarbear
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PostThu Jan 31, 2002 10:04 pm 
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I like the freewheeling discussion as well, but it would be nice for things that are well documented go get posted in the history links section rather than ultimately get lost in a trail of posts.

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...and a window that looks out on Corcovado...  Corcovado Hill
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