Thursday, May 30, 2013

3 BN geep's parked at Mansfield's grain facilities along with a string of box cars.  Date unknown.  Photo quality poor.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Close-up of boxcar in Withrow.  Photo by Blair Kooistra Aug 1, 1983

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Early morning Wenatchee-Mansfield turn crossing the Columbia River at Rock Island, Wa., over famous "double" bridge.  October 28, 1983 photo by John P. Henderson.  GP9 #1754 in the lead with  #1804 behind.  Information about that bridge here.  


Friday, May 10, 2013

Black diesel smoke rolls out of the locomotives as the 'Last Train' ceremonies come to a close in Douglas.  The gentleman in the middle of the picture holding the young boy was Herbert "Herb" Witten.  He was the Waterville School's Grounds Keeper for many years. He passed away in September of 1993 at the age of 63.  Herb's uncle, Henry A. Witten, a wheat farmer, was killed in the flood of 1948 between Waterville and Douglas when he drowned attempting to cross rushing waters.  Photo by Antia Sprauer, taken on March 2, 1985. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Mansfield Branch Line

Collage I put together for the Mansfield Museum.  It will reside in their finished basement in a 24"x36" frame.  The basement of the museum will contain information and artifacts of the Mansfield Branch Line on a permanent basis.  I also donated my reconstructed rail for permanent display as well.  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

GN Typical Sections Standard Plans

Great Northern Railway's Typical Sections for light traffic lines.  Approved in 1963.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

GN standard plans for trestles

Standard Plans for Branch Line Trestles.  1st and 2nd Class Railroads.  Plans were approved by the engineer in 1921.

Here are some reproduction drawings done in AutoCAD

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Information compiled by Dan Bolyard

Postal History of Post Offices on the Mansfield Branch
This tidbit of history is interesting in that the Great Northern breathed life into many towns it touched, or enlarged those it came across. While the post office dates to not coincide with the dates the railroad built through the area, it does give you an idea of how the population ebbed and flowed over time.

Established November 1, 1887.  Waterville had mail service from Wenatchee which was daily as early as September 14, 1894, and a Star Route from Coulee City provided additional mail daily on a circuit which made mail available to the small post offices of Baird, Spencer, and Farmer. Waterville’s own Star Route was opened in 1896 to take mail over Badger Mountain to make contact with the Great Northern at Columbia River Siding, and return the following day. This route ran until about 1915 or 1916.  From 1908 to 1911 before the Great Northern Railroad became the carrier of the mail, a steamboat service from Wenatchee dropped mail off at the foot of Corbaley Canyon near the present town of Orondo and from there it was brought by stage coaches to Waterville.  There was activity at the post office only at mail arrival time. It arrived at most any hour of the day or night.

Established February 14, 1888.  Discontinued July 12, 1968-mail to Waterville.  The town name honors Stephen Arnold Douglas, Illinois statesman after which Douglas County was named.  The first mail service to Douglas was provided between Coulee City and Waterville. In 1911 the GN branch from Wenatchee to Mansfield provided mail service. A local dray man, performed messenger service between the depot and post office.  In 1918 the GN reduced its daily service to tri-weekly which immediately proved unpopular so it became necessary to find other means of bringing the mail to Douglas.

Established February 1, 1905.  Mansfield stared at a point 1 ½ miles northeast of its current location, but when the GN halted construction of its branch in 1909, the town moved literally building by building to the railroad. The right-of-way had been surveyed to go through the original town of Nelson, Leahy, and Delrio. Failure to do so spelled eventual doom to those three post offices.

Established September 10, 1908.  Palisades post office actually started about 4 miles northeast up the coulee on what was known as the “Upper Ranch.”

Established March 4, 1910.  Discontinued December 29, 1967-mail to Waterville.  Withrow originated with the GN.

Established June 27, 1910.  Discontinued March 31, 1911-mail to Palisades.  Located 6 miles north of Palisades, 15 miles southeast of Douglas.  On December 12, 1916 the office of McCue was opened at this location.

Established January 23, 1912.  Discontinued February 28, 1927-mail to Palisades.  Located 6 1/2 miles southwest of Palisades.

Tonkey (Touhey)
Established May 21, 1912. Discontinued April 30, 1914-mail to Mansfield.  Located 5 miles southwest of Mansfield.  The railroad siding is named Touhey but when entered on the post office application it was misinterpreted. The office did not operate long enough for the error to be corrected.

Established May 9, 1913.  Discontinued June 15, 1934-mail to Waterville.  Located 5 miles south of Douglas.  The land hereabout was owned by one Al Rogers, who also had a store and thought it could hardly be called a town at the time, it did acquire the name of Al’s Town.

Established December 12, 1916.  Discontinued June 15, 1920-mail to Palisades.  Former location of Hopewell.

Columbia River
Established December 19, 1908.  Discontinued October 30, 1926-mail to Appledale.