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Seeking info and name of railroad contractor for this job
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Author:  Harry Nicholls [ Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Seeking info and name of railroad contractor for this job

In going through a file at DeGolyer Library, SMU in Dallas, the attached photo was placed in a folder by it's self. We would like to find out more about when this loco would have operated, the area of the Levee rock installation, and who the rail contractor was, if possible. The words at the bottom are "Rock Train - Columbia River Levee."

There are no notes attached to the photo nor any writing on the back. I am guessing the time frame is in the 1880 -1900 era due to the type of loco, the link & pin couplers and the dress of the workers. Any info, or clues I can search for details, will be appreciated.

Harry Nicholls

Attachments:
Columbia River.pdf [60.58 KiB]
Downloaded 228 times

Author:  David Johnston [ Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Seeking info and name of railroad contractor for this jo

Harry. In this time frame, I think the big job on the Columbia River was break waters at the rivers mouth at the Pacitic. I think this work was done by the army. They still exist and are still maintained. I believe there is still railroad track on the southern break water. The title of the photo is " Columbia River Jetty", not levee. There is a museum or visitor's center near the southern break water with more photos.

Author:  Harry Nicholls [ Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Seeking info and name of railroad contractor for this jo

Thanks, David,

I shall try to find the museum/visitor's center to see what may be available.

Harry

Author:  David Johnston [ Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Seeking info and name of railroad contractor for this jo

There is a light ship musuem in Astoria. It has a lot on the wrecks in the mouth of the river and the Coast Guard's effort to rescue these people. The mouth of the Columbia is a very tretchorous place. The photos I saw may have been at the light ship musuem. Any way that would be a good place to start, as might be the Astoria Library. Most of the Army base is no longer used by the Army, but I think there was a visitor center there. There were guns on both sides of the Columbia to defend its enterence, maybe as early as the Civil war into the 1950s. As I recall the Corp of Army Engineers maintains the break waters, but from barges now.

Author:  Dick_Morris [ Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Seeking info and name of railroad contractor for this jo

One of those forts was Ft. Columbia in Oregon. My grandfather served in the military there in 1910. He was also at Ft. Stevens in Oregon, another of the gun batteries protecting the Columbia.

Author:  John T [ Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Seeking info and name of railroad contractor for this jo

The US Army built the jetty on the south side of the Columbia River in the late 1880s. Here are two of the Baldwin locos used:

9951 36” gauge 9x12 30” 0-4-2T 4/1889 (SC) 6-11 1/3C-21
US Army “Clatsop”

10295 36” gauge 9x14 30 0-4-2T 9/1889 (SC) 6-11 1/3C-24
US Army, Corps of Engineers “Ilwaco”

I have an article on this project that I can dig out if you are interested.

Author:  Dennis Storzek [ Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Seeking info and name of railroad contractor for this jo

The late Dick Yeager took me for a brief tour of the south jetty some years ago when I was out in Portland. There are still places where the construction trestle work is visible.

I seem to recall that the shore battery near the south jetty, which has been preserved, after a fashion, was the only place in the continental United States to come under enemy fire during WWII. One night early in the war a Japanese submarine surfaced and fired a few rounds with its deck gun, apparently in hopes of getting the shore defenses to open up so they could plot their locations. Much to the displeasure of the gunners, the battery commander did not let them return fire, on the judgement that it was more important to keep their position hidden than to sink one isolated sub.

Author:  Dennis Storzek [ Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Seeking info and name of railroad contractor for this jo

This article may be worth a read:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1898-Scientific ... 2387259121

Author:  Randy Hees [ Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Seeking info and name of railroad contractor for this jo

The Army Corps of Engineers had at least two 3’ gauge jetty construction railroads associated with the Columbia River. One on the south side associated with Ft Stevens, the second on the north, which may have shared some track with the Illwaco railroad.

All the known locomotives were sent to Ft Stevens, suggesting that it might have been the project headquarters.

I have identified 11 locomotives purchased for these operations, the earliest a Baldwin 6-11 1/3C (0-4-2) from 1885, followed by two similar Porters, then 6 more Baldwin 6-11 1/3c locomotives followed by three slightly larger Baldwin 8-11 1/3 C (0-4-4) locomotives, the last purchased in 1903. Most of the locomotives were not numbered at the factory, (and of those the highest number is 8) and there is a photo of one numbered 13, suggesting we don’t know of all the locomotives. Alternately, the locomotives used in Washington may have been numbered in a different sequence.

The three Baldwin 0-4-4 locomotives were sold to the John Sexton of Eureka-Nevada Railroad, and at least one was burned in a 1927 engine house fire while on that railroad.

Randy

Author:  Jim Vaitkunas [ Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Seeking info and name of railroad contractor for this jo

Dennis Storzek wrote:
the battery commander did not let them return fire, on the judgement that it was more important to keep their position hidden than to sink one isolated sub.


I know this is off-topic to an extent, but being a student of US coast defense, I can't help myself.

Dennis, you are correct in this somewhat surprising statement. Here is a quote from the website of the Friends of Fort Stevens. "On the night of June 21, 1942, Fort Stevens saw its only action when a Japanese submarine (the I-25) fired 5.5 inch shells in the vicinity of the fort. The shelling caused no damage. The Fort Commander refused to allow return fire. The incident made Fort Stevens the only installation to be attacked by an enemy since the War of 1812."

One of the reasons that there was no return fire is that the enemy sub was outside the range of the guns mounted on the disappearing gun carriages. Guns mounted on disappearing carriages had limited elevation because of the basic design of the carriage. There was no point in returning fire.

Thanks!

Author:  John T [ Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Seeking info and name of railroad contractor for this jo

Some more bits.

From another forum
http://ngdiscussion.net/phorum/read.php ... msg-221542

Baldwin
21848 0-4-4T 3.1903 United States Army, 6
23427 0-4-4 12.1903 United States Government
24040 3' 0-4-4T 4.1904 United States Government - Fort Stevens, 9
24041 3' 0-4-4T 4.1904 United States Government - Fort Stevens, 10

Author:  Adam Phillips [ Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Seeking info and name of railroad contractor for this jo

The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers has an archive/library system. They even do interlibrary loan. Likely they have a historian under their employ. The Division H. Q. is in Portland and would probably be able to direct you to someone who could help you.

USACE, Portland, Oregon
P.O. Box 2870, Portland, OR 97208-2870
503-808-3800

The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, WA, had a steam locomotive I was trying to learn more about and the yard historian informed me that a huge amount of archives had been transferred to a regional satellite facility of the National Archives in Seattle. If the USACE doesn't have the contractor records, NAS is probably your best bet.

https://www.archives.gov/seattle/contacts.html

Good luck.

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