Wednesday, February 29, 2012

This Day in History March 1, 1910

Here I am a Washington state native although I do not recall learning about any of it!  But at least I know now.  On this date in 1910, one of the worst train accidents ever occurred in Washington state.  It is also the anniversary of the worst avalanche in history.  Read on.

On February 23, 1910,  two Great Northern trains set out from the town of Leavenworth in Washington.  They were headed west, and all seemed normal.

Once they had passed through the Cascade tunnel, avalanches and snow caused the train to stop in the town of Wellington, a little town comprised almost completely of Great Northern employees.  At least, that was the plan until snow and avalanches stranded them on the train cars for six days.  And finally on the last day of February, things were looking up.  The snow turned to rain, and this was a recipe for disaster.

On March 1, "White Death" came without warning--except for a rumble.  The death toll climbed to 118 within a couple days.  Some reports say 96, but it makes no difference.  It was a horrid disaster to say the least.

This spot is now the Iron Goat Trail, named after the Great Northern corporate symbol.

For more information, check out these sites:


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