Edmonds Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

By Tim Raetzloff
History Files 

Railroad beginnings would eventually reach Edmonds


Last updated 5/20/2021 at 9:27am

May is a significant month in Washington history. May 1871, 150 years ago, the Northern Pacific Railway drove its first spike in Kalama, Washington. Northern Pacific intended to link the Pacific Coast with Minnesota’s Twin Cities.

Kalama wasn’t an accidental selection. Kalama was below the likely area of ice in the Columbia River. It was a deep-water port, half a day closer to the Pacific Ocean than Portland. Kalama was also situated between Portland and Puget Sound.

Northern Pacific would build north to Puget Sound, then east across the Cascade Mountains. Northern Pacific built a fer...

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