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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Snoqualmie & Snoqualmie Falls, Washington

We were driving around a couple of days ago and found the cutest little town of Snoqualmie. Just outside of town are the Snoqualmie Falls is one of the most stunning waterfalls we’ve come across on this trip. The crashing falls are a sight to behold -- The waterfall is on the Snoqualmie River dropping 268 vertical feet over volcanic rock and sending a thundering mist back up the canyon walls and into the fir-covered hills. The Falls were also featured in the popular cult television show "Twin Peaks".

At the top of Snoqualmie Falls, there is a luxury mountain lodge hotel -- the Salish Lodge. Renowned for 4 star service and Northwestern style, the hotel features a famous dining room looking out onto the falls. A great place for lunch!

We then drove through town and first thing we saw was all the old trains on a track. Lots of them! There were many old engines & cars all waiting for someone to restore them. Also there was the Victorian Snoqualmie Depot. The Snoqualmie Depot was built in 1890 as an arrival point for tourists coming to hunt, fish and view the already world-famous Snoqualmie Falls. Just down the road from that was a train museum which we didn't go into but will when we come back next year

Train Depot and one of the restored engines

The town of Snoqualmie was built on the route of the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway (SLS&E). The railway started on Seattle's waterfront and wound around Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish (now the route of the Burke-Gilman Trail) on it's way to a planned crossing of Snoqualmie Pass

train museum

When the Snoqualmie Falls Lumber Company (now Weyerhaeuser) began it's operation about a mile north of town, the mill was set up to handle the huge Douglas-fir, sitka spruce, western hemlock, and western red cedar trees which covered the hills and mountains of the region. On display today is an example of those type of logs. Unfortunately, time and uncaring people have defaced this log. Logs 10 to 15 feet in diameter were carried by train to the mill, through a huge band saw, cutting timbers up to three feet square for trestle bridges and warehouse floors.

Sample of the logs processed in the lumber factory

The Snoqualmie Falls Lumber Co. Powerhouse and Brick Stack are key surviving components of an innovative, early 20th century milling operation that was the most expansive of its kind ever to operate in King County. The brick powerhouse and 211-foot brick stack functioned as the heart of the all-electric plant. According to the Weyerhaeuser Co., the Snoqualmie Falls Lumber Co. (SFLCo) mill was only the second such all-electric mill operation in the nation, and the first of its kind to employ electrical powered cutting operations in the woods. Today, the mill complex itself has all but disappeared. A large open space remains on the level valley floor previously crowded with buildings and structures containing machinery and operations for log cutting, planing, processing, and lumber sorting. Today the power plant serves as the last tangible symbol of the community of Snoqualmie Falls and its social and economic legacy. The Snoqualmie Falls Lumber Company Powerhouse was designated a King County Landmark in 2005.

remains of the old Snoqualmie Falls Lumber Co

Until Later... Have FUN, Travel Safe & Enjoy Everyday!


Sue and Doug said...

hi donna..just wondering if you are still up for a drop in visit on sunday???..we see that you are at thousand trails in Birch Bay??

cindy said...

Beautiful! Have fun in Alaska!


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