Forum Index > Pacific NW History > The Empire Builder - James J. Hill & Great Northern Railway
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Schroder
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PostWed Oct 12, 2022 4:31 pm 
Article in the Herald about this documentary series: Rail tycoon who spurred ‘Pittsburgh of the West’ finally gets spotlight
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“The Empire Builder,” a four-part docuseries produced and directed by Northwest filmmakers Stephen Sadis and Kyle Kegley, covers the life of James J. Hill, one of America’s greatest entrepeneurs. A two-disc set of “The Empire Builder” is available at https://greatnorthernfilmworks.com/. Viewers can also rent on demand or buy the series on Vimeo.
The Empire Builder: James J. Hill and the Great Northern Railway from Great Northern Filmworks on Vimeo.

ale_capone, Anne Elk, bk
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Pyrites
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PostWed Oct 12, 2022 6:30 pm 
Rockefeller did just fine. Everett WA, as in Everett Rockefeller. Avery ID, as in Avery Rockefeller. I’d bet a rail buff could list more.

Keep Calm and Carry On? Heck No. Stay Excited and Get Outside!

ale_capone
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PostWed Oct 12, 2022 8:11 pm 
"He has since faded from modern memory." Well he does have Jim Hill mountain. And the Iron Goat trail. This description of the documentary suggests it's basically a hagiography. There must have been another side to him. On the Iron Goat one of the interpretive signs says he was referred to as: "The one-eyed, scraggly-bearded, sonovabitch of Western railroading."

No matter how cynical you become, it's not enough to keep up. Jane Wagner/Lily Tomlin
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Riverside Laker
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PostWed Oct 12, 2022 10:23 pm 
Everett has a small park named Jim Hill Park. Never heard of Everett Rockefeller. Everett was named after Everett Colby though.

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Malachai Constant
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PostThu Oct 13, 2022 6:58 am 
His son built Maryhill Castle and Stonehenge in the Columbia Gorge. He planed to populate it with Romanian Peasants he imported. Most of them ran off when they saw the place.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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PostThu Oct 13, 2022 8:56 am 
Malachai Constant wrote:
His son built Maryhill Castle and Stonehenge in the Columbia Gorge. He planed to populate it with Romanian Peasants he imported. Most of them ran off when they saw the place.
Actually Sam Hill was his son-in-law, and basically a looney. Among other things he was convinced Trotsky was out to get him.

No matter how cynical you become, it's not enough to keep up. Jane Wagner/Lily Tomlin
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Malachai Constant
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PostThu Oct 13, 2022 12:05 pm 
I stand corrected. He also is the origin of the old saying, “What in Sam Hill” for a nutty statement.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Pyrites
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PostThu Oct 13, 2022 6:19 pm 
Riverside Laker wrote:
Everett has a small park named Jim Hill Park. Never heard of Everett Rockefeller. Everett was named after Everett Colby though.
I was misinformed.

Keep Calm and Carry On? Heck No. Stay Excited and Get Outside!
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yorknl
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PostThu Oct 13, 2022 7:07 pm 
Amtrak's Seattle/Portland - Chicago train, which uses the former GN line most of the way from Seattle to Fargo, is still named the Empire Builder. I doubt many passengers or even Amtrak crew could tell you the Empire Builder's actual name though.

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Anne Elk
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PostFri Oct 14, 2022 8:40 pm 
I've traveled on the Empire Builder several times; it's a great trip and so relaxing if you get your own little compartment. My favorite part was coming into western WA and recognizing the mountains around Index after coming through the tunnel early in the morning. Thanks for posting about the film Schroder, I look forward to watching it.

"There are yahoos out there. It’s why we can’t have nice things." - Tom Mahood

Pyrites
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HitTheTrail
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PostWed Oct 19, 2022 3:50 pm 
Burke Hill appartments, Wenatchee Built in 1930, it was once the high-end rental building in Wenatchee. The concrete framework was reinforced with steel. It was the city’s largest apartment house at the time, a 1930 Wenatchee World advertisement said. The Burke Hill was named after Judge Joseph Burke and railroad pioneer James Hill, who played key roles in the creation of Wenatchee. It cost $230,000 to build and cost $85 a month to rent on the top floor, an October 1930 Wenatchee World article reported. The developer had plans for the building to be “strictly modern,” the article said. The building was furnished with refrigerators and radio hookups at the time.
Burke Hill appartments, Wenatchee now.
Burke Hill appartments, Wenatchee now.

hikerbiker
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treeswarper
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PostThu Nov 17, 2022 8:35 am 
That railroad hauled a lot of Scandihoovians out here. Family lore has it that our Scandihoovians immigrated with plans to settle in Minnesota, but all the good land was taken. They continued west, using the train and ended up growing wheat in the eastern part of WA. I'm betting this is a common story.

What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human––animals and aliens are great possibilities
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Dick B
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PostThu Nov 17, 2022 8:56 am 
That scenario fit our family well except raising wheat. My maternal great grandmother was Norskie. My grandmother came west from Minnesota. My paternal grandfather's parents were Swedes and settled in Wisconsin or Michigan. Story goes that they changed their name from Nickleson to Nickles with the thought they would fit in better. I understand my grandfather rode the rails to Central WA. and raised a family in Plain. His transportation west had to have been on the Great Northern, but don't know for sure. Too much family history has disappeared over the years.

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jinx'sboy
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PostThu Nov 17, 2022 9:46 am 
treeswarper wrote:
That railroad hauled a lot of Scandihoovians out here. Family lore has it that our Scandihoovians immigrated with plans to settle in Minnesota, but all the good land was taken. They continued west, using the train and ended up growing wheat in the eastern part of WA. I'm betting this is a common story.
If you want to read a great history about this very stage of western expansion; homesteaders in Montana, drought/depression and eventual movement onto WA, Jonathan Raban’s ‘Bad Land: An American Romance’ is an excellent read. The railroad figures prominently. Brief synopsis here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Land:_An_American_Romance

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Malachai Constant
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PostThu Nov 17, 2022 10:35 am 
My Scandinavian ancestors landed in Minnesota then moved out to Ballard that too is a common story. Ya sure ya betcha, uffda

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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