"It is fair to say that the arrival of the Great Northern Railroad to Seattle and Puget Sound in 1893 remains the most historically economic event in the Pacific Northwest.
James J. Hill’s relentless ambition to tap the resources of the Northwestern United States and then the Orient. He put the great engineer, John F. Stevens in charge of finding a pass through the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. This crossing would cause Jim Hill and the Great Northern to continually experience difficulties that cost the railroad unknown fortunes in man-made and natural disasters. Accidents and disasters that would finally culminate in the worst avalanche disaster in this country’s history.
The Wellington Avalanche is described in this book in the most detailed manner ever published. However, an aspect never before examined, is the story of the Japanese laborer who worked on the Great Northern. It is a sad story in railroad history. It is the story of a number of outstanding businessmen who enhanced their fortune and power by the illegal importation and exploitation of thousands of Japanese.
Ruby El Hult, author of “Northwest Disaster” says “Gary’s book is a scholarly and well documented story of both the best and the worst of how the northwest grew from struggling logging communities, to diverse cities of aerospace, high technology, and important international port cities."
About T. Gary Sherman
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Published November 17, 2004
Education & Reference.