The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current, September 13, 1914, Section One, Page 14, Image 14

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

Completion of North Coast Road Marks Great Achievement for Which Foundation was Laid Many Years Ago
by Robert E. Strahorn.
aalsHfele XSaESf5$aElf :
through the heart of the Takima Val
ley to the city of North Yakima, ami
the important electric railway system
of some four or five lines diverging
from North Yakima into the surround
ing fruit districts. This line and its
feeders add to Portland's trade terri
tory one of the most important and
highly productive regions in the North
west. Speaking of the addition of new
trade territory, the new Portland-Spokane
line passes through some of the
finest sections of the Big Bend country,
taps an important wheat territory
south of the Snake River, in the vicin
ity of Ayer, and proceeds northward
through the very fertile Palouse and
Cow Creek Valleys and taps more big
wheat country lying between Sprague
and Spokane. All of the traffic on
these lines flows on a steadily down
hill water grade to Portland.
Completion of any enterprise which
so materially shortens time between
two great trading centers and which
practically assures additional competi
tive railroad facilities to Portland, is of
sufficient importance to justify the
Portland Commercial Club and the
Chamber of Commerce in sending rep
resentation to participate in a celebra
tion, and both will be at Spokane Tues
day morning.
', Accomplishment la Great.
"When the golden spikes are driven
at Spokane Tuesday, the ceremony will
mark the accomplishment of the great
est undertaking in the life of this busy
developer of the West, a task that
would have daunted many of the brav
est financiers or far-seeing Argonauts
who have made the West what It Is.
The history of the building of the
North Coast railroad by Mr. Strahorn
gives assurance that here in the Wil
lamette Valley of Oregon the big red
cars of Fourth street and the 104
miles of electrically operated interur
ban lines of the Portland, Eugene &
Eastern may be accepted as evidence
of the final completion of the great
electric system originally planned for
the district. It required ten years to
complete the North Coast with the
backing of Robert E. Strahorn, the
Oregon-Washington Railroad & Navi
gation Company and J. D. Farrell. Be
hind the red car line in Oregon are
William Sproule, Robert E. Strahorn
and the Southern Pacific. Either ag
gregation forms a rush line that will
break through the defense of any
financial storehouse.
The history of the building of the
North Coast road is one of the Inter
esting chapters in the annals of Ameri
can railroading. The men behind the
millions required were successfully
shrouded In mystery at the beginning.
It was put in motion at a time when
a great contest for the empire impend
ed, the struggle was fought inch by
inch, in and out of the courts, and was
only determined after the North Coast
forces had driven the opposition from
Its last intrenchment.
Rejuvenation of Wild Life in West of Half Century Ago, With Hundreds of Cowboys, Cowgirls, Pioneers and
Vicious Beasts Is Programme.
Sen ss ti'ojri a I. i-.
On s Botcfrtn
Ctrr'yors sxrS cx A"jp. gas 7yc
SPOKANE. Washingrton. will be 10
miles nearer Portland Tuesday,
and the famous North Coast Road,
the cut-off for which the Oregon-Washington
Railroad & Navigation Company
has struggled for years, will be an ac
complished fact.
The new railroad is to be christened
Tuesday morning, a golden spike will
be driven on the great viaduct in the
heart of Spokane, a reception will be
held in the new union station that
rears its stately colonnades where
'stood the old city hall until a railroad
builder waived the wand of progress
and caused its disappearance, and Tues
day night the new equipment provided
by the O.-W. R. it N. Company for its
Spokane service will start on its Initial
trip to Portland. Spokane will cele
brate from sun-up to sun-down, and
then banquet her distinguished guests.
The 102 miles of the North Coast
Road is completed from Spokane to
Ayer. a point on the Snake River di
vision of the O.-W. R. & N. main line
to Eastern Washington. The building
of the new "Ayer Air Line" actually
shortens O.-W. R. & N. mileage be
tween Portland and the chief city of
Eastern Washington by 54 miles, while
the line is 10 miles shorter than any
other route.
New Terminal Possible.
Aside from this annihilation of space
by the Harriman interests, Portland is
concerned in the Spokane celebration
through the possibility that the Chi
cago, Milwaukee & St. Paul may make
use of the cut-off to establish through
service and make Portland a terminal.
The fact that the Milwaukee Rail
road has arranged to use the North
Coast tracks from Spokane to Marengo
gives rise to the rumor, and hope, that
the big, yellow trains of the Milwaukee
will enter this competitive territory.
At Marengo the North Coast crosses
the Milwaukee line, running west to
Puget Sound territory, but the Mil
waukee has no line of its own be
tween Marengo and Portland. The
fact that the Milwaukee and the O.-W.
R. & N. Company, the latter represent
ed by the North Coast Road, were suf
ficiently friendly to Join forces in the
construction of a $600,000 union station
in Spokane, that these roads have joint
ly expended J6.500.000 in the construc
tion of elevated" railroads through the
heart of that city, and the fact that
the Milwaukee will use O.-W. R. & N.
and North Coast facilities between Bell
and Spokane and from Spokane to Ma
rengo for handling its Spokane busi
ness, furnish the basis upon which pre
dictions are founded that the Milwau
kee is coming to Portland over the
short cut to be placed in operation
next Tuesday. Under the arrangements
pointed out it is believed that the Mil
waukee will not continue to haul Port
land business to Puget Sound and then
pull it south for almost an equal dis
tance to reach Its Columbia River des
Inland Empire Trade Desired
The construction of the Spokane-
Ayer cut-off indicates the intention of
the Oregon-Washington Railroad &
Navigation Company to compete more
strongly with the Hill lines for all In
land Empire business. The line over
which the O.-W. R & N. has heretofore
operated its Spokane trains has been
an expensive one. It was a road with
heavy grades and curvatures. The old
route started east from Spokane, . then
turned to the southeast, then toward
the southwest and finally came west
into Portland. The new North Coast
road leaves Spokane on almost a di
rect southwest line to Ayer, and then
follows the Snake and Columbia Riv
ers directly to Portland. In coming
out of Spokane the North Coast paral
lels the Spokane, Portland & Seattle
for about 81 miles, and then uses Pa
louse canyon to the Snake River. Com
parison of the grades of the old O.-W.
R & N. road with that of the new
North Coast shows a reduction of from
3s per cent to an average of 0,6 per
cent and a change In curvature from
10 degrees to 3 degrees. To make these
gains it was necessary to cut through
mountains, remove them in some cases,
remove graveyards, change United
States reclamation canals, move county
roads and to put in some of the heavi
est fills to be seen on any railroad con
struction in the West, the one at Field's
gulch containing 800,000 yards of ma
terial. The Portland contractors.
Flagg & Standifer, were in charge of
much of this construction.
South of the Snake River 13 carloads
of black powder were used in blasting
out one cut, the charge containing
431,000 pounds of powder, all of which
was set off at one shot. In making an.
other , fill it was found necessary to
erect a tower on one side. From the
tower a cable was stretched to the op
posite embankment. On the cable was
movable platform. The rails were
laid on the platform, cars run out on
it to be dumped, and as the "fill filled
up" the platform was hauled further
out on the cable and the process re
peated. Hundreds of thousands of tons
of steel and concrete have been used in
bridges and roadbed.
Terminal I nequnlnl In West.
The terminal yards and Union sta
tion which are a. part of the system
to be opened for use next Tuesday are
without parallel west of Chicago. The
tracks which will carry trains through
the city are elevated above the streets
and all grade crossings are avoided, as
trains come and go in moving the com
merce of Spokane, the everyday uses of
the streets of the city will go on down
underneath. Just south of the Union
Station the North Coast crosses Spo
kane River directly over the wondrous
ly beautiful Spokane Falls and above
the big white arcfc bridge erected by
the city.
The new Union Station is only two
blocks from the business heart of the
city and faces Front street, opposite
Stevens. It is as large as the old Chi
cago Union Station, and in the magnlfl
cence of its architecture and finish is
the equal of any railroad building West
of the great lakes.
Probably the most interesting fea
ture of the O.-W. R. & N. Portland line
from a construction and scenic stand
point Is Palouse Canyon. This is an
eight-mile gorge, beginning at a point
a short distance below Hooper, on the
Palouse River, and extending to Snake
River. There is no single piece of
scenery outside of the greatest moun
tain ranges that compares with it in
the singularity of formation and beau
ty generally. The lava palisades form
ing the sides of the narrow gorge are
worked into the most fantastic shapes,
from the facsimile of a cathedral tower
to the almost perfect outlines of me
dieval castles, and the beauty of the
entire ensemble is wonderfully height
ened by the great falls of the Palouse
River over a sheer drop midway in the
canyon of about 200 feet. At the foot
of the canyon is the wonderful high
bridge across the Snake River, an engi
neering work which experts have al
ready come from the other side of the
continent to see.
Scenery Is Beautiful.
Following the bridge en route to
Portland is the always interesting
chasm of the Snake River and the great
passage of the Columbia through the
Cascades. These features, with the
more peaceful and always beautiful
pastoral scenery along the Upper Pa
louse and among the lakes southwest
of Cheney, and the now exceedingly
interesting situation presented by the
construction of the three railway lines
through Marshall Canyon and the pic
turesque entrance into Spokane
through the portion of the city afford
ing the most pleasing aspect altogether
constitute in this new Spokane-Port
land route the finest scenic attractions
of any similar mileage in the entire
West. The construction features at
all points are of absorbing interest,
and particularly so in the Palouse and
Marshall canyons, where the hardest
problems imaginable were attacked
with a determination to produce what
has been pronounced the most perfect
transportation line possible to get
and still stop short of unjustifiable
cost. There is thus added to the scenic
attractions a feature of which Spokane
may Justly boast and from which the
Pacific Northwest may hope to gain
a vast amount of publicity as the years
go by.
With this enticing trip and the com
pletion of the Willamette Pacific add
ing another wonderland along the West
Coast, Portland is in better position
than ever before to become a tourist
Region Open to Portland.
An important detail of the construc
tion of the new Oregon-Washington
Railroad & Navigation Company's line
is the completed section of what was
designed by Mr. Strahorn for the main
North Coast line leading from the East
to Puget Sound, which diverges from
the Spokane-Portland line at Attalla
and runs in a northwesterly direction
Vision of Possibilities Seen.
After years of adventurous Western
experience as newspaperman, Indian
fighter, confidential investigator of In
dustrial possibilities and developer on
his own account, there came to Mr.
Strathorn a vision of the vast expanses
of Western territory as they are com
ing into settlement and development.
He not only saw what the railroads
could do to this end. but what they
should do to make that development
Ten years ago Mr. Strahorn con
ceived the idea of a steam railroad
running west from Spokane to Puget
Sound, southwest to Portland and mak
ing a saving in distance for Spokane
business over the O.-W. R. & N. lines
to the East. Having years before been
Identified with the Union Pacific, he
worked out the idea and took It to
New York to lay before E. H Harri
man. This late wizard of the rails
gave his approval and Mr. strahorn
returned to Spokane, Incorporated the
North Coast road with himself as presi
dent, his attorney, his confidential sec
retaary and his stenographer as offi
cers and directors. Few in Spokane
knew Mr. Strahorn, as his large per
sonal enterprises were in other West
ern cities and few cared who he was
at the time. Shortly came an awaken
ing. Mr. Strahorn was found to be
buying right-of-way in the country of
the enemy; he was purchasing numer
ous tracts of expensive Spokane real
estate and ho was paying out so much
real cash that it seemed that he must
have inexhaustible funds. One day in
1908 he suddenly filed deeds to 114
pieces of Spokane's valuable business
property. The town went wild.
Information Is. Veiled.
Newspaper men, detectives, rival rail
roads everybody took a hand in try
ing to find out who was behind the
man who was dubbed the "bpnlnx. Mr.
Strahorn talked to everybody who
called on him. but gave no Information.
His officers and directors were just as
While people were speculating about
Mr. Strahorn. the Milwaukee had its
representatives in the field, and it was
after the Milwaukee plans were devel
oped that Mr. Strahorn began urging a
union stationVfor the use of the two
roads. Between the properties of the
two roads stood two blocks of ground,
occupied by the Spokane City Hall and
many substantial business structures,
and a few blocks west a 12-acre tract
was held by the Hlfls.
It became necessary to condemn the
latter property.
Mr. Strahorn was still able to con
ceal the identity of the people and in
terests behind him. He paid for prop
erty with checks on his personal bank
accounts in New York and Spokane,
and it proved impossible for investiga
tors to ascertalrr-from whence those ac
counts were replenished. In these con
demnation suits Mr. Strahorn, his at
torneys, chief clerk and stenographer
we.-e mercilessly grilled on the witness
stand by opposition attorneys to make
them divulge the secret of the source
of their funds. These people agreed
with every theory as to where money
was coming from, and it gave them
Just as much pleasure to adopt the sug
gestion that the Northern i-acmc was
supplying the money as it oia to agree
with one that the funds came from the
Iillinois Central. In the panicky time
of 1907-08 the favorite guise assumed
by detectives was to appear at the
Strahorn headquarters as bond dealers,
and to offer unlimited financial aid to
the new road provided they could be
informed of all the inside workings of
the North Coast Road, which arrange
ment included the names of Its backers
It was not until 1910, when the North
Coast was reincorporated as a part of
the O.-W. R & N. that the official an
nouncement of the Harriman identity
was made.
ALL A WALLA, Wash., Sept 12.
(Special.) Frontier days ami
Round-Up at Walla Walla will
be the biggest and best show ever held
in this city. From start to finish It
will be fascinating, dangerous and ex
citing. The entire three days' programme U
one grand array of entertainment and a
rejuvenation of the early days of more
than half a century ago. The big pa
rade, in which pioneers will participate,
and the paraphernalia of the olden
times that they will bring forth will be
a show of itself. The luncheon given
for these old pioneers, who blazed the
trail for the West, is a tribute to their
worth and struggles. It will be an
occasion when they can sit around
campflres and recount the events that
have transpired since they first put
foot on the soil of what was once the
big Walla Walla country. All old
timers have been invited to join In the
The programme calls for 30 events
each day, including bucking contests,
roping wild horses and cattle, fancy
riding and roping, bulldogging cattle.
wild horse races, Indian races, cowboy
races, cowgirl races, relay races, stage
coach races, chariot races, by both men
and women of world fame, among
whom are to be seen Lucile Mulhall.
undefeated champion in more than 100
contests; Tex McLoud, who has never
been surpassed; the Wier brothers, with
their skill and daring, and many others
well fitted to compete for purses and
honors will be seen at the big per
formance. It Is not a one-man show, but an un
dertaking requiring hundreds of beasts
and hundreds of men and women prop
erly to portray the times and scenes
of the West when It was young and un
developed. In addition to the Western sports,
music lovers will be favored by a band
of renown, the Cavanaugh Band. This
aggregation is composed of musicians
of note. They will appear in every pa
Sc?r7 &r
rade and at all concerts. The famous
Cowboys' Frontier Band is another fea
ture. At the Walla Walla Frontier Days
the grandstand and bleachers are no
arranged that every person can see ail
that is going on without having to
stand up, the seats being raised higher
than usual, and the whole circle of the
track being In unobstructed view of all
the grandstand and bleachers. All the
dangerous and daring feats of the cow
boys and cowgirls within the ring of
the race track will be In plain view of
every part of the grandstand and
"I have heard some startling tales
told by the men and women who came
to this section when the only method
of transportation was the freight
wagon and the stage coach," said Will
iam McMurray, general passenger
agent of the Oregon-Washington Rail
road & Navigation Company. "We are
going to bring you an audience In pa
latial cars, and when the men and
women reach here they will be enter
tained In great modern hotels. Out st
the grounds where the frontier days
Is staged they will see how men and
women and children came to Washing
ton when the country was a wlldsrnass,
and they will be told of the privation,
hardships and perils which were un
dergone. "True, the encounters with the In
dians, the stage coach robberies and
other happenings Incident to the pio
neer life will be but representation,
but participants and men and women
who witness the reproduction will be
in part those who were In real encoun
ters In the past."
Howling Dog, Roaming Chickens, Cost of Water Supply and Weed Tax
Keep Guard on Pins and Needles.
Oelerich at 2 6.25 0 Feet Says Air
Apparatus Is Weak.
BERLIN, Sept. 7. (Special.) It Is
officially stated that the height reached
by the German aviator Oelerich at
Leipzig was Just 8000 meters (about
26,250 feet), and not 7500 meters, as
was. at first reported.
Oelerich gives some interesting de
tails of his experiences in flying to a
height almost equal to v that of the
highest mountain in the world. They
show that the airman who sets out to
Improve materially on this record will
have to be dressed in a sort of driver's
suit and helmet, which will protect
him against the reduced pressure of
the atmosphere, and he will have to
carry his own supply of air for breathing.
Oelerich says that at 11,800 feet ha
found regular breathing impossible,
and had to resort to his oxygen ap
paratus. Between 20,000 feet and 23,
000 feet that apparatus did not render
him much assistance. Over 23,000 feet
the airman experienced a general and
severe feeling of illness.
In most Chinese cities the finest snoDS
are those for the sal oi coffins.
THE City Hall was closed and de
serted on Labor Day. Watchman
Albin paced the tiled corridors
alone, trying to while away the long
hours. It became so lonesome finally
that he decided to answer some of the
telephones which could be heard ring
ing Intermittently here and there in
the building. Calls of various depart
ments were switched to one telephone
and here are some of the usual every
day City Hall questions and complaints
Watchman Albin heard:
Enraged woman There's a dog howl
ing out here in a woodshed. Can't you
send some one out to let him go? He's
torturing the whole neighborhood and
someone'U kill him if you don't do
Another enraged woman I want to
know if I have to put up with other
people's chickens running over my gar
den? Ain't there a law against It and
ain't the City of Portland required to
enforce the law?
Enraged Women Numerooe.
Young student Can you tell me,
please, how much Portland's water de
partment cost in the Montavilla dis
trict? Still another enraged woman I just
got back from the beach and round
notice of an assessment against my
property for cutting my weeds. I think
this is an outrage. The city Is in
mighty small business to be doing petty
things like this. Somebody's going to
hear from this; I simply will not pay
this assessment.
Feeble feminine voice Health De
partment closed, you say? Gracious!
That's too bad. Well. say. don't you
think you could find some of the health
physicians? There's a valuable cat
here that's sick and I want something
done for It.
Peeved taxpayer Too blankety blank
bad they can't rake up enough out of
all .the taxes paid in this city to get
someone beside a bonehead to answer
Young woman Will the city pay me
anything for a big spider for the museum?
-Im My Dog in Pound V
Woman Can you tell me if they have
my dog at the dog pound? Closed, you
say? Well, that's an outrage. This dog
pound business is a disgrace.
Man What car will take me to 1168
Fiftieth avenue Southeast?
Woman Is there an ordinance in
Portland against women buying liquor
in a saloon?
Woman Can you tell me who Is the
Mayor of Toledo, Or.?
Watchman Albin remarked, after an
hour of this, that he favored his Job to
that of a clerk In the city service.
mals In the City Hall Museum. After
looking at the animals they went Into
the water office and stopped at the
window at Cashier Sebolt'a cage. While
the receipt for the water payment was
being made out, the mother felt the
toddling youngster tugging at
"What do you want?" asked
mother, bending over to the babe.
"Lift me up, mamma, I want to see
the animals, too," said the youngster.
PHE fire department was called out
& to a brush fire on the Bast S
and after considerable of a fight got
the blaze out. At this point the woman
who had sent In the fire alarm called up
Mayor Albee's office at the City Hall
and asked If she might not start the
fire again while the department was
there, so the dry grass of the neighbor
hood might be burned off?
"Absolutely no!" replied Secretary
Warren, who answered the telephone
"What would you do If I'd start It
again, anyway?" laughed the woman.
"Madam, we would arrest you and
prosecute you to the full extent of the
law," replied Warren in hi sternest
"Oh," (uttered the woman, "of course
I wouldn't think of doing anything of
that kind. I was just wondering, that's
ERE'S one that is being told on
Commissioner Bigelow: Some time
ago the City Hall messenger boy was
in quest of a raise In salary. He ap
proached Commissioner Bigelow and
made a carefully-prepared and re
hearsed appeal.
"How much are you being paid?"
asKed Mr. lilgeiow.
"Thirty-five a month," replied the
"How old are you?" asked Mr. Bige
"Fifteen last May." said the messen
ger. "Do you know, young man," said
Bigelow, "when I was your age I
worked for $3 a week?"
"Well." replied the boy, "maybe that
was all you were worth.
ILL" WARREN, private secretary
to Mayor Albee, was out stroll
ing a few nights ago with his young
son, when the youngster asked a ques
tion whlcb Warren wishes someone
would answer. Tbe question Is, "Why
can't we see the back of the moon?"
A YOUNG woman went to the City
Hall s few days ago to pay her
water bill and Incidentally to show
to her baby daughter Hit stuffed aul-
URN on" and "shut off" clerks In
tbe water department have bad
a rather difficult time the past few
months In handling the lawn sprinkling
situation. When a water uer make
application for water service, the clerk
nuit find out whether the patron In
tend to use ho. It' urprllng how
many women have got offended when
the clerk ha asked, when fixing up
the application, "Do you use ho?"
ISHING to congratulate Mayor
Albee on hi birthday, member
of the board of chief of the fire de
partment prepared a congratulatory
telegram to send to the Mayor at Bea
vlew, where he pnt hi birthday. On
of the "bunch" delegated to send the
message forgot and wrote on It "Hon.
H. R. Albee. Portland." Th meisag
was rushed down to the telegraph of
fice so It would be cure to go before
the Mayor left the beach for home.
The Mayor got the telegram all right,
but not until the next day at hi offl. ..
at the City Hall. And the chief were
none the wiser.
Illodor, Champion of Masses, linn
Disappeared From Kumla.
ST. PETERSBURG. Sept. 7. (Spe
cial.) The unfrocked monk Illodor ha
disappeared mysteriously from Marlln
ky, near Rotoff-on-Don, where be re
dded under police aurvelllanc. Th
wildcat atorle are current to explain
hi abaence. It la said by one that he
has been kidnapped and driven off In
mysterious motorcar and by others
that he has voluntarily fled to Siberia
to aupport tbe cauae of the woman who
stabbed Raaputin.
Rasputin Is out of danger, and the
presa believes that the attempt on hi
life will now be hushed up. Inasmuch
Mm private life will hardly bear In
vestigation. The public Interest la
theae two significant figures fully 1
accounted for when It la realised that
Rasputin has tbe protection of the
highest circles notwithstanding the
crimes laid to his charge, while Illodor
regarded as the champion of the
people in religious question.
n th Alps thera Is letter box ln.occ
feet sbuv the sea level, from which dallv
collections arc made.