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Mike Collins
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PostSat Jan 11, 2003 6:27 pm 
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A while back there was a thread comparing Glacier NP with the North Cascades NP. There is a historical connection between those two areas which people may not be aware of. Jim Hill, the railroad magnate, brought his Great Northern railroad through Marias Pass in 1889. This is at the southern border of what would become Glacier NP in 1910. The GN went through Spokane, Wenatchee and then Stevens Pass to Seattle. His son, Louis, was instrumental in developing Glacier NP in the early years of the park. One park historian figured that Louis and the GN had "...spent almost $10 there for every one spent by the government." He directed the building of hundreds of miles of trails and roads. He paid for construction of Glacier Park Lodge in 1913 and also the Many Glacier Hotel in 1915. Louis also came up with the familiar logo of "Rocky" the mountain goat perched on top of a crag as well as the slogan "See America First." Stevens Pass is named after John Stevens a construction engineer for the railroad who travelled up Nason Creek to locate the pass in the spring of 1890. Beckler Mtn name for Elbridge Beckler the chief engineer for the GN. Jim Hill Mtn. is of course named for the "Empire Builder" himself. A train with the same moniker goes by Glacier NP on the way to Chicago everyday.
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polarbear
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PostSun Jan 12, 2003 11:58 am 
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John Stevens was also a key figure in building the Panama Canal.  He laid out the railroad system for removing all the dirt.  He also helped build the Trans-Siberian Railroad.
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Mike Collins
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PostSun Jan 12, 2003 3:09 pm 
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It is the same John Stevens. He directed the construction of the Panama Canal for a time before being persuaded by Jim Hill to return to the NW to help build the Spokane, Portland, and Seattle railroad. The railbed went along the north side of the Columbia and construction was expensive.
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