|Title||Rainier Avenue Electric Railway streetcars, Columbia, 1891 |
|Caption||The two streetcars (car #6 and car #7) are on passing tracks at Ferdinand and Rainier. Conductor F.E. Bond is standing at the right of the southbound car. The paper boy was James Snyder. The car on the left is an open-end car and the car on the right is a closed-end car. Pity the poor motorman and conductor on the open-end car when the weather was bad. |
|Notes||Signs on cars read: Ranier [sic] Ave. Electric Railway Company.|
Handwritten on verso: Fr. Bond 1891.
Street car stopped at what was Columbia City - now Rainier Ave. Motorman hold on hand rail front car is Fred E. Bond - The boy selling papers was James Snyder - later a well-known Seattle doctor - He passed away in middle age.
Caption taken from RVHS records.
See transcribed article in "Additional Information" below for more information.
|Subjects||Street railroads--Washington (State)--Seattle|
Street railroad employees--Washington (State)--Seattle
|Places||United States--Washington (State)--Seattle|
Columbia City (Seattle, Wash.)
|Digital Collection||Rainier Valley Historical Society Photograph Collection |
|Accession Number||93.001.199 |
|Ordering Information||To order a copy of this photograph, please email Rvhsoffice@aol.com and mention the Accession Number. |
|Repository||Rainier Valley Historical Society, Seattle |
|Repository Collection||Hall-Summers Collection |
|Physical Description||1 photographic print mounted on cardboard: b&w; 5 1/4 x 7 in. |
|Digital Reproduction Information||Scanned as a 3000 pixel TIFF image in 8-bit grayscale, resized to 640 pixels in the longest dimension and compressed into JPEG format using Photoshop 6.0 and its JPEG quality measurement 3. |
|Additional Information||This photo was taken in Columbia City in 1891, the year the first lots were sold there and a year after the streetcar line was put in. The location was on Ferdinand Street looking east across Rainier Avenue. It shows two of the first streetcars of the Rainier Avenue Electric Railway Company standing on passing tracks. Most of the streetcar line, however, was a single track through the wilderness. Some of the tracks were laid on a trestle over the swampy areas, particularly Wetmore Slough that started at Alaska Street and went north almost to Franklin High. When Lake Washington was lowered 9 feet in 1917 the swamp mostly dried out.|
Rainier Avenue was built later and was a two-lane dirt road beside the tracks. Because of the mud it was "paved" with wood planks laid crossways the entire length of the valley. With more people coming into Rainier Valley, a two lane road was added on each side of the tracks and was paved with paving bricks from the "Denny Renton" brickyard in Renton.
Note the car on the left is an open-ended car that could be quite miserable for the motorman in our wet northwest winter weather. However pioneer motorman Will Brown stated in a newspaper interview that it had its advantages. He took his shotgun along on his runs through the uninhabited woods and meadows that were in abundance at that time in Rainier Valley and occasionally bagged a bird or two for dinner.
When firewood was needed on cold winter days for the streetcar's pot bellied stove, the motorman would stop in a wooded area and the passengers would all get off and help to gather wood along the tracks. The fare was 4 cents from the foot of the Washington Street counter balance in downtown Seattle to Columbia Station and an additional 5 cents to Rainier Beach Station.
By Buzz Anderson, 10/7/98