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(Seattle & Northern 1890)

Skagit River Journal

of History & Folklore
Subscribers Edition Stories & Photos
The most in-depth, comprehensive site about the Skagit.

Covers from British Columbia to Puget sound. Counties covered: Skagit, Whatcom, Island, San Juan. An evolving history dedicated to the principle of committing random acts of historical kindness
Noel V. Bourasaw, editor (bullet) 810 Central Ave., Sedro-Woolley, Washington, 98284
Home of the Tarheel Stomp (bullet) Mortimer Cook slept here & named the town Bug

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Photos of logging and cement trains
and trestles in old Concrete, Washington

(Lake Shannon trestle)
1. Lois believes that this picture is of Lake Shannon in 1926 or 1927 with the Baker River Railroad bridge that was behind the Lower Baker Dam.

      Lois Pinelli Theodoratus is the granddaughter of Hamilton/Birdsview pioneer Angelo Pinelli, who came to the U.S. in 1881 and became a naturalized citizen in 1896. He brought his parents, with his parents, Giacomo and Saveria Pannone Pinelli, and a sister and her family, and another Pinelli brother followed them. Lois's future grandmother, Elisabetta Scasserra, came to the U.S. alone in 1906 and they met and married in Seattle two years later. Another related family, the Castrillis, came to Hamilton about the same time, and soon opened a cheese factory near the schools on Maple avenue.
      "My sister was born in Lyman in 1930 and then my family moved to Hamilton in 1931, just a few years before I was born. I was born in the back of a bicycle shop on the block to the east from Jacabino's store, near Russell's grocery store and the drug store," she says. The Pinelli family had a dairy farm near Birdsview and Angelo invested in the Hamilton Gold and Copper Mining Co. Lois has been a contributor to the website since almost Day One and was one of the first subscribers to our separate subscribers magazine. Her father, John Pinelli, gave her all the photos on this page except for the one below of the 190-foot trestle, which came from a turn-of-the-century postcard donated to us by the late Howard Miller. If you have any comments or memories of the area or people in these photos, or want to submit some of your own, please use the email or guestbook at the bottom of the page.

Click on these thumbnails for full-sized photos
(Baker river trestle)
(Rock train, Concrete)
3. Center left: Rock Quarry at Superior Portland Cement in Concrete. Man in cab is Frank Gee, on front of engine is Hobe Hollyfield, first row #1 is "Peanuts", #2 and #3 unknown.
2. Above left: This old postcard has a caption, "railroad bridge, 190 feet, near Concrete, Wash." In Dennis Thompson's fine book, Logging Railroads of Skagit county, page 224 and 227, the trestle is explained: "Early view of the Baker River Bridge as originally built, Forney locomotive and the bridge gang. Before logging trains could be operated over the bridge in later years, a Howe truss was placed in the bridge as a center span. . . This was one of the most spectacular pieces of railroading in the county prior to its inundation by lake waters after completion of the hydroelectric damn [Lower Baker Dam, constructed in 1924]." Thompson's book has been reprinted and is widely available.

(Rock Train Concrete)
(Climax locomotive)
(Cement lokey)
[4-left] Lois thinks that this photo of the "Rock Train" in Concrete dates from 1920 and she thinks that her father got the copy from Niels Larson of Van Horn. Dennis Thompson's Logging Railroads of Skagit county, page 223: Former New York City elevated railway locomotive has made her way west to the the city of Concrete to work on the Baker River and Shuksan. The little 0-4-4 Forney spent many days working the Baker River Gorge just above town.
[5-center] 3-spot Climax locomotive, built in 1916, in action near the cement plant. 1st owner was Norse Kepple & Co. West Virginia; 2nd owner in 1920 was Superior Portland Cement; 3rd Owner 1925 was Jennings & Estas Logging, Faber, Washington, and then to Marblemount, Washington. Hobe Hollyfield is standing; Gee Frank in cab; brakeman unknown.
[6-right] Dennis Thompson, page 226: quarry and cement plant chores were performed by this 0-4-0 saddle-tanker under the employ of parent company, Superior Portland Cement. Photo by Darius Kinsey and his Timber Views Co. of Seattle, circa 1920.

      Can any of you identify any of these folks or tell us more about the trestles or railroad equipment? We are also looking for research and writing about the towns of Concrete, Baker, Van Horn and Grasmere; the cement plants, the old steam trains, the hydroelectric dam and Baker Lake and Lake Shannon. See our complete upriver section about the upper Skagit river region of Skagit county, Washington. See our special trains section.

Story posted on August 6, 2002
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