A Walking History of Railroad Avenue
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This Whereigo is intended to be a short walk downtown, although you may be able to drive most of it. If this cartridge doesn't work for you, please kindly let me know.
The cache is not located at the above coordinates.
You will need to complete a special Wherigo cartridge in order to get the correct coordinates. This Wherigo Cartridge will take you on a tour of Railroad Avenue. Please be mindful of parking rules and hours.
Before you begin this adventure you will need one of the following items:
1. Garmin Colorado, Oregon or Nuvi 500 series. 2.
2. A pocket PC with attached gps. 3.
3. An Android powered device with wherigo compatible app. 4.
4. An iOS device with a wherigo app.
See Wherigo.com for more information. The cartridge can be downloaded from here
It all began in 1852 with the discovery of coal in the root hole of a large blown down cedar tree. Roeder promptly mined 60 tons and shipped it off to coal hungry San Francisco. The mine operated as the Sehome Mine for many years and was the economic driver of the fledgeling towns of Sehome and Whatcom.
Multiple problems of gas, fires and flooding finally caused the mines closure in 1878. The economy of the Bay collapsed. Only five families remained in Sehome. For years the economy languished. Then in 1883 the Canadian Pacific Railroad announced that they would be bringing their transcontinental line down the Fraser River Canyon to connect with salt water near Vancouver. Soon, Cornwall, President of the moribund coal mine, announced the formation of The Bellingham Bay and British Columbia Railroad.
Work began in 1884 by grading a roadbed up from the Sehome Wharf along the bluff and finally rising to the present corner of RR.Ave and Maple St. the site of Depot Market Square. At this point the grade flattened as it headed North to Whatcom Creek createing what we now know as Railroad Avenue. Sehome’s principal street was Elk (State) Street so the broad R.R. right of way created a new street to its west.
Railroad Avenue remained a railroad street until 1980 when Burlington Northern who had bought out the B.B.& B.C. in 1911 finally abandoned their operations selling much of their land on RR Ave. to the City.
At one time there were three B.B.& B.C tracks on R.R. Ave and a Northern Pacific track running the alley to the east.
The old Avenue has seen much of the best and perhaps the worst of our city history. The Avenue’s bawdy houses and taverns were legendary. The Haggen grocery chain got its start at one of the corners.
Railroad Avenue continues to be at the heart of our community with its renaissance ofcommercial,residential and festive public structures. Feb. 8th, 2006 BLG
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