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Dick B
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Dick B
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PostSat Nov 06, 2021 10:49 am 
Seems the Concrete and Grotto works shut down about the same time. Mid 60s? Does anyone know why they happened to close when they did? Was it lack of raw material, cost of production, loss of market, or environmental concerns? It would seem that the demand for cement would have been high at that time. Freeways, high rise building construction and continued dam construction should have created an increased need for the product.
Two other interesting histories of cement production are Roche Harbor in the San Juans, and the old quarry at Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island.
Thanks, thread posters. I am learning more about cement than I will ever need.

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Sculpin
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PostSat Nov 06, 2021 11:48 am 
Dick B wrote:
Two other interesting histories of cement production are Roche Harbor in the San Juans, and the old quarry at Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island.

Thanks, I'm always interested in places where limestone is found.

In this TR Brucester bashed his way up to the main quarry on the lower slopes of Palmer Mountain:

http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8016502&highlight=palmer+mt+mtn+mountain

...causing puzzlr to ask:  "Somebody went to a lot of trouble to get rocks down from way up there on the mountain. It must have been more than gravel. Any idea what was so valuable?"

...to which Waterman replied "It all came down the mountain to Grotto. I think there was a cement plant that provided material for the cascade tunnel."

Once again, when you connect the dots, NWHikers has it covered.   cool.gif

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RichP
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PostSat Nov 06, 2021 1:56 pm 
Regarding the quarry near Crosby Mtn, I seem to recall seeing a small structure like a shack still standing from above on the ridge top. I think it would be cool to poke around the area but there are apparently some access issues coming up from the Money Ck side now. As Sculpin stated, there must be a way trail up Lowe Ck though.

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Schroder
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PostSat Nov 06, 2021 3:21 pm 
I found this in a 1987 environmental report on the Grotto plant:

Quote:
Ideal Basic Industries purchased the old Grotto plant in 1957 from Northwestern Portland Cement Company, which had been operating the plant since approximately 1928. Ideal operated the facility between 1957 and 1967. The plant was reportedly shut down in 1967 because abundant particulate matter from the cement manufacturing process was littering the valley. The property was sold to Brazier Forest Products in 1980. Brazier filed Chapter 11 (bankruptcy) in August of 1984, at which time Rainier National Bank foreclosed on the property. Rainier still owns the property but is preparing to sell it to the City of Tacoma.

I found this interesting because I did some work for Brazier around that time and was unaware of this. I imagine both this and the plant in Concrete were under a lot of clean air pressure and the Clean Air Act would have shut them down anyway a few years later. They were probably not very profitable either compared to a modern plant.

Here's an article from the Concrete Herald in 1967 announcing the closure of that plant:
Cement Plant to Phase Out in 1968

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Dick B
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PostSun Nov 07, 2021 2:07 pm 
I assume the cement from Concrete went to the construction of the dams on the upper Skagit. This brings up another question regarding the Ross Dam. Why the waffle pattern on the face? I had heard that it was done in case they decided to increase the height hence thickness of the dam. The pattern would lend itself to a better bonding of the 2 pours. Any truth to that, or did they just want it to look different from any other arched concrete dam? It is unique.

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Malachai Constant
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PostSun Nov 07, 2021 6:49 pm 
Yes the checkerboard was to allow raising the dam. Several years ago (10, 20, 30 ?) there was quite a brouhaha about this with Canada and the Tribes objecting to raising the dam ever. It was decided to not raise it.

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ale_capone
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PostFri Nov 12, 2021 7:12 am 
Well, this has helped me possibly identify the source of some transient boulders. I live near goldbar like trying to figure out where the various boulders in our area came from. I found some large marble like boulders near zekes. I suspect the could be from that area. We have millions of boulders in our yard, but nothing like limestone or marble.

I tumbled some smaller pieces and they wore down pretty quick. Probably didn't survive the glacial grind at this elevation.


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pianodirt
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PostFri Nov 12, 2021 1:50 pm 
Schroder wrote:
Town of Grotto on Stevens Pass Highway, approximately 1913, Lee Pickett Photograph Collection. PH Coll 580
Town of Grotto on Stevens Pass Highway, approximately 1913, Lee Pickett Photograph Collection. PH Coll 580


Is the dirt road in this photo the "Stevens Pass Highway"? If so, are any of those buildings still standing in any form on the highway? I can't imagine they would be for how much precipitation that area gets.

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Schroder
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PostFri Nov 12, 2021 3:26 pm 
pianodirt wrote:
Is the dirt road in this photo the "Stevens Pass Highway"? If so, are any of those buildings still standing in any form on the highway?

Yes, that's Highway 2 and none of those buildings survived. Here's close to the same view today


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Sculpin
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PostSat Nov 13, 2021 5:49 am 
ale_capone wrote:

Looks like marble to this rank amateur.

All the marble outcrops occur on the slopes between Baring and Grotto, but I don't see any reason why this boulder couldn't have been carried down from up there.  The area around Zeke's is "recessional outwash."
"

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oldwild
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PostSat Nov 13, 2021 4:46 pm 
I believe my dad said the cement plant at Grotto was for making the tunnel and snowsheds for the railroad.

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Dick B
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PostSat Nov 13, 2021 7:24 pm 
Cement for the railroad makes sense. It was certainly handy. There were the 2 mile, 7 mile, & Windy point tunnels (was the Marten Creek tunnel lined?), the many snow shed retaining walls, and the snow shed at Wellington. I'm sure also the tunnels for the Chumstick bypass into Leavenworth. Any other major Great Northern projects during that time period?

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oldwild
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PostSun Nov 14, 2021 5:35 pm 
I believe the Marten creek tunnel was  under Stampeed pass on the Northern pacific line.  That tunnel was bricked inside.  I went through there once before it was opened up again for rail traffic.  There was soot about an inch thick on the walls.

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Schroder
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PostMon Nov 15, 2021 8:01 am 
That was the Martin Creek tunnel above Scenic

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Dick B
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PostMon Nov 15, 2021 11:07 am 
Further research on the Martin Ck tunnel says that it is mostly collapsed, so must not have been lined. It would have been punched thru when the RR originally switch backed over the pass prior to the Cascade tunnel. For those that are not familiar with this tunnel's construction here are the basics. As the RR came east up the canyon, it switch backed at Scenic, and began climbing west. It crossed on a trestle over Martin Creek and entered a tunnel. The tunnel continued to climb (2%?) and did a 180 degree curve inside the mountain. It came out and re-crossed the Creek several hundred feet above where it went in, resuming it's easterly direction. (the west end of the Iron Goat trail begins shortly after the upper creek crossing). Being an Ex surveyor, I find this to be quite a surveying and construction feat considering this all happened back in the late 1800s.

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