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Fruit From Washington - CM&SP Railway Travel Scenes

Fruit From Washington, located in the Kittitas Valley, invites you to follow the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway across the United States, and click on various stops to view old souvenir album scenes along the way!

See Washington First - The Olympian in Kittitas Valley

Except for the Asahel Curtis postcard of the Olympian traveling through the Kittitas Valley on the Chicago Milwaukee and St. Paul line (shown above), the color illustrations which appear here are from an exclusive edition scenic guide book published and originally copyrighted by The Van-Noy Interstate Company. The format is that of a scrapbook made up of dark colored pages upon which are glued 6"x8" color prints of interesting travel scenes. The publication appears to date from about 1926. A title page, map of the railway and two page introduction complete the album.

According to the title page description, "The color illustrations shown in the following pages are all made expressly for this book from photographs taken by special artists of the most striking objects of interest which abound to a most remarkable extent along the C.M. & St.P.Ry. Great care was taken to select only such views as are most noteworthy on this trip. Everyone desires to secure souvenirs of the journey, and, knowing this, we have endeavored to make this volume such a record of facts, and such a collection of beautiful, accurate and attractive views, that it will be recognized by all as the most appropriate and interesting souvenir of the Transcontinental Journey."

“...the train is heading east from Ellensburg...toward the Rye Grass Hills...in fact, the train had just traveled through the Craig's Hill cut...about where Knudson's Lumber is today. Eventually, the train would cross the Columbia River at Beverly. A. Curtis was in Ellensburg in 1912 and 1914 taking pictures of the area. He also took a picture of the train heading west between Ellensburg and Thorp. And the pictures I like best are the four or five he took from the top of Barge Hall on the Washington State Normal School's campus looking south down Anderson, Sprague and Sampson Streets and 8th Avenue.” - M.

Fruit From Washington - Send a Friend an iCard

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I really enjoyed sending my friends Milwaukee Road postcards...what a great idea...Interest in the Milwaukee Road in this area does run deep. Again, thank you for sharing these wonderful images of the Milwaukee Road, Hmmm...time for a cold crisp apple!! Regards, M.B. - Seattle, Washington, 11/29/01

The Milwaukee Road Super Dome Hiawathas and DomelinersThe Milwaukee Road Super Dome Hiawathas and Western “Cities” Domeliners

From the late 1950's to 1960's, the Milwaukee line was featuring western travel in domed passenger cars on trains with names like "Challenger," and "City of Portland," "City of Los Angeles," and "City of San Francisco." The dome coach, dome lounge and dome dining cars made train travel a great sight-seeing experience for the railway traveler. In the eastern states, the Milwaukee ran "The Morning Hiawatha" and "The Afternoon Hiawatha," between Chicago and Twin Cities which included Skytop Lounge and Super Dome cars. It seemed to be the hey-day of commercial railroad passenger travel.

A Reader's Note - Most of the passenger trains you mention (Challenger, et al) were Union Pacific creations handled a relatively short distance (Omaha-Chicago) by the Milwaukee, and then only from 1956 to 1971. Milwaukee’s own trains (“Hiawathas”) operated from Chicago to Milwaukee and the Twin Cities over its own tracks. Its Seattle train, the Olympian Hiawatha, made its last run west in May 1961. - T.R., 4/19/02

Milwaukee Road Goes Bankrupt and Parts of the Line are Converted into a Recreational Trail

In 1980, the Milwaukee Railway declared bankruptcy. Within two years, the State of Washington obtained a quit claim deed to the railway and through other subsequent acquisitions consolidated holdings which became the Iron Horse State Park Trail. Today the historic Milwaukee Road no longer runs trains but is traveled by hikers, non-motorized bikers, horseback riders, cross-country skiers and even dog-sledders. The roadbed, converted to a 105 mile recreational trail, including the Kittitas Section from Thorp, Washington to the Columbia River, gives these outdoor adventurers access to the same mountain and valley views as seen by rail travelers generations ago. The Iron Horse Trail also known as the John Wayne Pioneer Trail, stretches from North Bend across the Cascade Mountains to Vantage on the Columbia River passing through the Kittitas Valley on the way. Twenty years after the demise of the Milwaukee Road, the Trail which runs through tunnels, over tressles, along its old rail grade received designation as a National Millennium Legacy Trail.

A Reader's Note - Milwaukee didn’t go bankrupt in 1980. Its THIRD bankrupcty occurred in 1978 and they embargoed all lines west of Miles City, MT in 1980, the largest railroad mainline abandonment in American history. They continued to operate in the midwest for several years until acquired by the Soo Line (Chicago, Minneapolis & Sault Ste Marie Rwy--Sault = “Soo”), which has since lost its identity to long-time parent Canadian Pacific. Amtrak’s Seattle-Chicago Empire Builder still operates over Milwaukee Road tracks between the Twin Cities and Chicago, as trains have for over a hundred years. - T.R., 4/19/02

Scenic Views

Mount Rainier and Reflection Lake, Rainier National Park, Washington
New Chicago Union Passenger StationThe Olympian on Short Line Bridge Between St. Paul and MinneapolisMissouri River Bridge at Mobridge, South DakotaThe Olympian in the CascadesCrossing the Missouri River, Lombard, Montana Crossing the Spokane River, Spokane, WashingtonBridge over Columbia River, Beverly, WashingtonKittitas Valley, WashingtonThe Olympian Leaving Tunnel on the Yakima RiverThe Olympian on the West Side of the Cascade MountainsOn the Road to the Inn, Rainier National ParkSnoqualmie Falls in the Cascades

CM&SP Transcontinental Railway Map

Click for a larger view of the CM&SP Railway Map

Courtesy of FruitFromWashington

Courtesy of FruitFromWashington

University of Washington Libraries Digital Images Collection Links
CM&SP Terminal Freight Yard, Tacoma, Washington (Photograph by Asahel Curtis, 1918)
CM&SP Newly Laid Tracks, Ellensburg, Washington (Photograph by Asahel Curtis, 1911

 

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Page Update November 19, 2010

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