< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >
Seattle & Walla Walla Railroad runs first train on March 7, 1877.
HistoryLink.org Essay 755
: Printer-Friendly Format
On March 7, 1877, owner James M. Colman (1832-1906) operates the first train over the Seattle & Walla Walla Railroad, a line that runs from Seattle to the coal town of Renton.
The Seattle & Walla Walla Railroad was established in 1874 after the Northern Pacific Railroad chose Tacoma rather than Seattle as its western terminus. The citizenry of Seattle was incensed at the decision and promptly began building their own railroad. After a time, James Colman hired Chin Gee Hee and his crew of immigrant Chinese workers to extend the line to Newcastle, Washington.
Although the Seattle & Walla Walla never got close to Walla Walla, the 21-mile line earned quick profits hauling coal from South King County mines to Elliott Bay piers and helped to establish Seattle as the economic center of Puget Sound.
Robert C. Nesbit, He Built Seattle: A Biography of Judge Thomas Burke (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1961), 35.
Travel through time (chronological order):
< Browse to Previous Essay
Browse to Next Essay >
Roads & Rails |
Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that
encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both
HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any
reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this
Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For
more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact
the source noted in the image credit.
Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided
By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins
| Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry
| 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle
| City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach
Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private
Sponsors and Visitors Like You