Images Of Rail North Beach Peninsula’s IR&N By Sydney Stevens and the Columbia P
Images Of Rail North Beach Peninsula’s IR&N By Sydney Stevens and the Columbia P
Images Of Rail North Beach Peninsula’s IR&N By Sydney Stevens and the Columbia P
Images Of Rail North Beach Peninsula’s IR&N By Sydney Stevens and the Columbia P
Images Of Rail North Beach Peninsula’s IR&N By Sydney Stevens and the Columbia P
Images Of Rail North Beach Peninsula’s IR&N By Sydney Stevens and the Columbia P
Images Of Rail North Beach Peninsula’s IR&N By Sydney Stevens and the Columbia P
Images Of Rail North Beach Peninsula’s IR&N By Sydney Stevens and the Columbia P
Images Of Rail North Beach Peninsula’s IR&N By Sydney Stevens and the Columbia P

Images Of Rail North Beach Peninsula’s IR&N By Sydney Stevens and the Columbia P

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Images Of Rail North Beach Peninsula’s IR&N By Sydney Stevens and the Columbia P
 
Images Of Rail North Beach Peninsulas IR&N By Sydney Stevens and the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum
Softcover 127 pages
CONTENTS
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1.Beginnings
2.North to Nahcotta
3.The IR&N Finds Its Way
4.Change and Growth
5.A Regular Schedule at Last!
6.The Final Ups and Downs
7.Gone but Not Forgotten
Bibliography
Index
About the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum
INTRODUCTION
The quirky little narrow-gauge railroad that once ran along the North Beach Peninsula in southwestern Washington is remembered by many names-"The Clamshell Line," "The Papa Train," "The Irregular, Rambling, and Never-Get-There Railroad," "The Delay, Linger, and Wait Railroad." The line, running from Ilwaco in the south to Nahcotta in the north, was completed in 1889, the same year Washington achieved statehood.
The driving force behind the railroad was Lewis Alfred Loomis. He had entered the transportation business in the 1870s by building a wharf at Ilwaco, acquiring a stage line, and establishing two navigation companies to handle the water transportation at each end of the peninsula. He soon secured the mail contract for the run from Astoria, Oregon, to Olympia, Washington's capital. Three steamers and three stage lines were required to make the journey, which followed the age-old Native American trail from the mouth of the Columbia River to Puget Sound by way of Shoalwater (now Willapa) Bay and Grays Harbor.
The most time-consuming part of the journey was the stage run along the hard-packed sand of the ocean beach on the North Beach (now called Long Beach) Peninsula. Also, an increasing number of families from the Portland area were seeking the cool coastal climate for their summer vacations-too many for the Loomis stagecoaches to accommodate. It was not long before he began to explore the possibility of using steam power for that part of the route, and in the early 1880s, Loomis began to seek support for a railroad line that would run from Ilwaco northward.
Loomis called his project the Ilwaco, Shoalwater Bay, and Grays Harbor Railroad and secured the help of Jacob Kamm of Portland. Kamm's background as a marine engineer, banker, and promoter enabled him to take an active part as vice president of Loomis's operation.
Rolling stock was purchased, and locomotive facilities, water towers, depots, warehouses, wharves, and 27 miles of track were constructed. Beginning in May 1889, under the management of the Ilwaco Railway and Navigation Company (IR&N), the fully equipped narrow-gauge railroad offered regularly scheduled passenger and freight service and the only land access to fledgling peninsula settlements. From its onset, the railroad provided employment as well as a unifying influence to the communities of the North Beach Peninsula.
Soon hotels sprang up all along the route, furnishing a variety of amenities to eager visitors. Miles of oceanfront vacation property became accessible, giving the North Beach Peninsula an edge over the isolated beaches of Oregon to the south. The peninsula's character as a tourist destination was established.
At first, a tide table, not a timetable, governed the railroad's schedule. Steamers transporting freight and passengers across the Columbia could reach the train dock at Ilwaco only after the tide was at mid-flood. Therefore, every few days, train departures were moved forward a half hour, and once a week the schedule was moved back two or three hours.
Old-timers of the area still talk about the train's unorthodox schedule and its informal and accommodating service. In autumn, when the geese were flying south, crew and passengers often carried their shotguns on the chance of bagging dinner along the route. Sometimes stops were made so passengers could see a whale that had washed ashore on the ocean beach.
Despite its relaxed attitude, the railroad prospered. By the mid-1890s, it looked likely that the IR&N could finally connect with the "outside" rail line to be constructed along the north bank of the Columbia by the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company (OR&N). The IR&N planned to extend its line 17 miles upriver from Ilwaco, where it would meet the OR&N's railway at Knappton. Loomis traveled to Washington D.C., where he acquired the necessary permits to build a railroad tunnel under the U.S. government reservation at Fort Columbia.
The Images of Rail series celebrates the history of rail, trolley, streetcar, and subway transportation across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the people, places, and events that helped revolutionize transportation and commerce in 19th- and 20th-century America. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all.

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