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View Full Version : Anyone heard of a Weston, WA?



Vostok 7
09-07-2005, 09:30 PM
I know of some of the other ghost towns of WA, I've been to Lester numerous times, in fact I drove up to the gate just yesterday. Still haven't been all the way into the town itself yet but now that it's open to the public I plan on doing it soon (it used to be completely off limits).

In any case, a friend of mine was saying that at some point there was a Weston, WA somewhere near North Bend, WA on the west side of Snoqualmie Pass that was a companion town to Easton, WA which is on the east side of Snoqualmie (and is still alive). Supposedly it's hidden somewhere up in the woods and still has alot of remains. Anyone heard of it? I did a search and found no records of a Weston, WA (other than a reference to a deceased soldier from Weston, WA), so I'm not sure if there is any truth to it but I thought I would ask.

Patrick

Fairlane500
09-13-2005, 09:07 PM
According to an atlas I have, Weston was located about 4-5 miles east of Lester on the Green River. It looks like that currently no roads head towards the area, only a single trail that veers away from the river. You may have to follow the river. Strangely, a more detailed atlas I have of the area doesn't show Weston.

If you do go looking for it, good luck and give us an update.

Vostok 7
09-15-2005, 08:32 AM
Hmmmm this is intriguing... Any clues about the road names/numbers around it? And what atlas was it? Maybe I can find a copy and start doing some searching.

Patrick

Fairlane500
09-15-2005, 03:06 PM
You'd need to take NF 54 over Stampede Pass. The trail (NF 52) that follows the Green River leaves the road just before the Lester Airport, and immediately looks like it crosses Sunday Creek. Looks like the Weston site is probably just after the trail crosses Intake Creek.

Weston is shown on the Thomas Guide to the Northwest, and the DeLorme Washington Atlas and Gazetteer shows good road and trail detail.
If you look at Google Maps, it seems to show more roads in the area than my atlases.

I also found some references that there was a rail yard at Weston, four east on the railroad from Lester, and that it was a telegraph town and helper station. Also, another reference stated it had a tunnel that caved in. It also seems as if there may be both a rail loop and a trestle near Weston.

Interestingly, another map I found on the internaet, dating to 1909, shows the town farther north, midway between Lester and Kennedy, which would make more sense in the telegraph town reference. The map is here:
http://www.rootsweb.com/~usgenweb/maps/washington/wa-crams/kittitas.jpg

Personally I'm more inclined to believe the railroad refernences more than one map, unless there were two Westons, but the rail connection would justify Easton/Weston.

EDIT: I found on Terraserver what could be a townsite. If it is, if not Weston, it could be another former town such as Kennedy (which may be likely for as defined the location is).
http://terraserver.microsoft.com/image.aspx?T=1&S=10&Z=10&X=3100&Y=26162&W=1&qs=%7cLester%7cWashington%7c
Also, I was thinking, combining the two maps, Weston could have been near where the RR crosses the Green River. I did see mention of Weston on the Washington Stae Parks site for Lake Easton SP, you may be able to contact someone associated with the park for information.

Vostok 7
09-19-2005, 08:12 AM
Wow thanks for the info. I plugged those coordinates of that townsite you found into a topo map and found this:

http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=47.23592&lon=-121.41328&datum=NAD83&u=5

If you notice it says there's a "transmission line" in that area. Telegraph?

My buddy and I are planning on heading up to Lester in a couple weeks and I was telling him about Weston and he's dying to go up and look. And we're the type who have no problems going and hiking up 4-5 miles into the middle of nowhere.

I found a mile list from Auburn to Ellensburg and they list Lester and it had a blurb about an annual report for the railroad in 1891 that mentioned moving Weston yard four miles down the mountain, which was the town of Deans or Lester.

http://pw2.netcom.com/~whstlpnk/stampedemp.html

It is interesting though that the parks site mentions Weston being on the John Wayne Trail. That's on the other side of the valley from Lester/Our Weston. Maybe there was two of them?

Patrick

Vostok 7
09-19-2005, 01:22 PM
Doing some more research, I found some old Washington maps that list Weston. I found one from 1891 that shows Weston on Stampede pass, and one from 1907 that shows both Lester and Weston and finally another one from 1892 that shows Weston as well. All these maps also show towns such as Cole (1891, 1892), Hot Springs (all three), Martin (all three), Borup (1907), and Stampede (1891, 1892) all in the same general vicinity.

What's interesting is the map that you came up with from 1909 says that Weston was 4 3/4 miles east from Lester, and that spot on the map you found just happens to be exactly 4.19 miles as the crow flies from Lester.

Thats gotta be it! I'm excited! I don't imagine that there's anything up there, but it never hurts to explore and find out for sure!

Patrick

Fairlane500
09-20-2005, 05:34 PM
First, good luck if you do find the site.

Second, interesting reference to the John Wayne Trail, mybe they were referring to the Iron Goat trail, but they got the rail line wrong, that trail follows the Snoqualmie line. The Stampede rails have been reopened to traffic, and are definetely not a trail.

Third, maps I have also shop the towns of Borup and Stampede in that general area, but not Hot Springs, Cole, or Martin, though one web site I found could have mentioned them, as it listed all the little towns along the railroad over Stampede Pass. I believe there are some ruins at the town of Stampede, which had a some kind of railroad structures at the western end of the tunnel.

And again, good luck on your quest.

snoopy 1
09-28-2005, 07:52 PM
Hi Patrick, yes there was a Weston, Wa. I don't know anything other than the Railroad had a telegraph shack there. I don't know of it's exact location but it would be worth researching just the same. Try to find real old metzker maps,and forest service maps, they are a big help. Good luck in your search. Bonnie

old judge
09-29-2005, 06:18 AM
Try Googling "U.S. Atlas 1895" and check King County. OJ

Vostok 7
09-30-2005, 09:44 PM
Thanks for the infos. We're going up there to check it out soon, I can't wait.

I'm getting the impression that the site of "Kennedy" was at one time Weston. I can't find any record of a name change at any point, but Kennedy just fits the bill for Weston too well. Kennedy is about 4 miles east of Lester and it's between Lester and the Borup Loop and Martin, exactly where old maps (1890s-1905) show Weston being.

The story of Kennedy says it had quite extensive facilities (just like Weston was supposed to) before it was taken down to just a simple whistle stop when they changed the tracks in the early 1900s. According to what I know of Weston, it had pretty extensive facilities too but was abandoned in favor of Lester (which is more down grade from where Weston was supposed to be) sometime in the late 1890s.

So because of the evidence I'm certain the site of Kennedy listed on Topo maps and in satelite pictures is or at one point was the site of Weston. I'm not expecting much is going to be at the site, but we're going any way to look.

Another interesting site I'm going to be looking for is a site listed on Northern Pacific mile lists as well as topo maps as "Hot Springs". According to the Northern Pacific information, as of the late 1890s and early 1900s there was a large very nice station at Hot Springs, as well as some sort of sanitarium which made use of natural mineral hot springs in the area. There's two sites listed on topo maps as being "Hot Springs, WA", one near the Green River between Nagrom and Lester (where old maps also list it being) and one a few hundred feet from there right on the train tracks (possibly the location of the station). So I'm interested in finding that site if I can since it sounds like there was some interesting stuff there.

A third location that sounds interesting is an abandoned ski resort from the 1930s that's up on Rainier mountain somewhere that supposedly has all it's facilities still just left there but it's like 30 miles into deep woods from the nearest road. Sounds interesting if it's true!

Patrick

Vostok 7
07-05-2006, 09:33 AM
Time for an update.

I finally got up there yesterday. We had a good hearty winter with tons of snow and Stampede Pass was unpassable for some time. Yesterday we finally got a chance to go up and explore. I spent all winter doing research and found very little about Weston. It would seem it wants to stay hidden!

I wrote some of what I found in a small article on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weston%2C_WA

My belief is that Weston, WA is exactly where it was reported to be in this thread, along the Green River where it meets Intake Creek. When we went up there yesterday, the area around Green River and Intake Creek off of FR52 is too heavily forested to be easily passible (believe me, I tried) so I will have to try another way. Interesting enough though, there are large clearings in the area that look machine flattened and ALOT of old burned cut wood (cut logs, not dimensional lumber). That area was logged recently (past 20 years or so) but the burned wood was an interesting departure. I will have to get down to the Green River somehow to find anything.

My research has found a 1900-1901 USGS topographic map that shows buildings four buildings in the area along the Green River and Intake Creek, so it would seem I'm on the right path.

But this is where the mystery enters. The reason Weston disappeared was because the rail line was changed and a trestle was installed over the Green River in between Lester and the Borup Loop going by Kennedy. Near to Weston there was the "Weston Loop" - all of which was replaced by the trestle. The trestle was built sometime in 1913-1914. But the 1900-1901 map shows the train tracks going the way they go today, when they wouldn't have been that way for another 13 years!

So the question is... Where's the old track? Where did it go? My assumption is the old track was turned into a forest service road (Possibly FR52 is the old track) sometime in the 1920s-30s. It would only make sense. The problem is, where's the loop? And how exactly did the tracks route to meet up with the Borup loop and Stampede tunnel (both of which would have been built in the 1880s)? And why does a 1901 USGS topo map show the railroad go the way it would go 13 years in the future? That's the mystery.

Now, interesting enough the Snoqualmie quadrangle was mapped in 1900-1901, but the next quadrangle to the west, Cedar Lake, wasn't mapped until 1913 (this quadrangle shows alot of buildings at Hot Springs, another place I'm looking for). It's VERY possible that the Snoqualmie quadrangle was adjusted to show the new track at this time, but they never changed the date. (Apparently it was common for the USGS to adjust maps for changing roads and area names without changing the dates) It would be real nice if I could find an original 1901 copy of the Snoqualmie quadrangle, but I doubt any exist anymore. Otherwise those old atlases are just too unreliable since topography was largely ignored or completely wrong.

Patrick

NWNative
07-05-2006, 10:00 PM
While not giving any concrete info on finding Weston his was a good reada about the area:
//home.netcom.com/~whstlpnk/nagromv2.html

Also here is a picture of the Weston depot in 1913:
http://www.wsrhs.org/pict/weston.jpg

OK, and this is short notice but why not go to the Lester Town reunion? Someone there may know something!
http://www.trains.com/community/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=68635

NWNative
07-05-2006, 10:48 PM
Also ran across this:
http://home.netcom.com/~whstlpnk/mhsdeghi.html
Sounds like they have some history of ours! Wonder if they'd send a copy?

Vostok 7
07-06-2006, 07:43 AM
Thanks for the links and the email! I had seen the whstlpnk site before and referrenced my Wikipedia articles on the information there. The picture is welcome though! I had never seen a picture of anything at Weston before now, though I've heard there's a few floating around in private collections.

The link about Gertrude and the Lester Reunion did tell me one thing I didn't know - Lester was renamed in 1913-1914, if they're right. They said Gerd moved to Lester in 1927 only 12 years after it had been renamed from Deans to Lester. I thought that had happened much earlier, like in the 1890s. It also confirmed the reports I've heard about Weston, that it was a "booming railway town" and that it would have had impressive facilities back in the day. That means there's gotta be SOME sort of remains up there!

It would be interesting to look through postal records. I found a place that has microfilms of post office records from like 1880-1920 or so by county which would tell us if there was a post office in Weston at any point.

Thanks for the leads!

- Patrick

NWNative
07-28-2006, 04:13 PM
Actually, according to my map from 1915, Weston and Kennedy were two seperate towns.
I just got this map, it is a geo/topo map of the NP rail route from Lester, east to Indio.

Vostok 7
07-31-2006, 08:01 AM
Actually, according to my map from 1915, Weston and Kennedy were two seperate towns.
I just got this map, it is a geo/topo map of the NP rail route from Lester, east to Indio.
Yeah I found a map on the University of Washington archives that showed Weston and Kennedy as separate towns.

We went up there yesterday to see the Borup Loop and see if we could find Kennedy and Weston. Kennedy is hard to get to. Looks like we're going to have to park down where the road used to cross the railway and walk up it a couple miles into Kennedy. No roads go near it and the ones that do would be quite a climb down into it.

More in a few minuites.

- Patrick

Vostok 7
07-31-2006, 09:30 AM
Down on the Green River south of Lester there's alot of logging clearings. This is where I believed Weston to be.

Yesterday we had a chance to go and find it. Hiking down Intake Creek to the Green River we found a large obviously man-made but long grown over clearing with big straight cleared out "roads" that went off of it to the north (and possibly to the south). The area had been allowed to grow over for a very long time but definitely at one time was used for something. The area was in between Intake Creek and the next creek to the north - Exactly where Weston was supposed to be. Some old artifacts were found in the area on the surface, an old broken jar and a very very old rusted out tin can. I assume with some digging some more artifacts would be found, so I can't wait to get back out there.

Exploring more of FR 52 I have reason to believe that at least parts of FR 52 were at one time the old rail way bed back before the trestle went over the Green River. There used to be a big loop in the area like the Borup loop called the Weston loop. I believe the railway followed the Green River down south a ways, looped around, and then came back up where roughly FR 52 is now, went up the hill and then met up with the line before Borup Loop. Unfortunately there's no accurate maps that show the old 1880-1913 routing of the railway, but we know this: Borup Loop has been there since the beginning, Kennedy has been there since at least the early 1900s and there are old rail beds that go south from Lester that have definitely been unused long enough to be dated back to the 1880s and the early 1900s.

So, I truly believe I have found the site of Weston.

- LC

coolguy0621
07-31-2006, 12:34 PM
http://smilies.vidahost.com/cwm/cwm/lurk.gif I love reading posts like this, I just wish I could help. Good luck finding your stuff. Isn't it fun, looking for places when your so close? When you find it, it will be anyway. Good luck again folks, I look foward to your pictures!!!

NWNative
07-31-2006, 10:06 PM
I have a rail map from 1915 that shows what you are talking about. I have been trying all day to get the dang thing scanned in small enough to attach and big enough to read. Cain't do it!
I'm sure it CAN be done - just not by me!
So, I can email it to you as an attachment or if you want, I can mail a copy of the thing o you.

Vostok 7
08-01-2006, 07:34 AM
I have a rail map from 1915 that shows what you are talking about. I have been trying all day to get the dang thing scanned in small enough to attach and big enough to read. Cain't do it!
I'm sure it CAN be done - just not by me!
So, I can email it to you as an attachment or if you want, I can mail a copy of the thing o you.
If you can get it to email send it to me by email. My good email for that is patrickw @ tadco.com (take out the spaces).

There's a map my dad saw down at the old Cle Elum station that they converted into a resturaunt that shows Weston and Kennedy and Lester and all those. I should probably get down there and take a look at it.

- Patrick

Vostok 7
08-01-2006, 01:09 PM
I have a rail map from 1915 that shows what you are talking about. I have been trying all day to get the dang thing scanned in small enough to attach and big enough to read. Cain't do it!
I'm sure it CAN be done - just not by me!
So, I can email it to you as an attachment or if you want, I can mail a copy of the thing o you.
Just got your email and printed out the picture you sent me. I'm amazed. It's pretty much exactly what I've been looking for: a reasonably accurate and detailed map of the original 1880-1913 line. I'm suprised it's from 1915. Do you have any information on the scale?

Thanks for the email, it gave me some much needed information!

- LC

NWNative
08-01-2006, 05:55 PM
Scale is 8 miles to the inch. Contour level is 200 feet. The crossties on the raiilroad are 1 mile apart.

I actually found this map on ebay when this post originally came up. Being from the area myself, I was curious and started digging around. How could I pass this one up? (Especially for only ten bucks!) If you email me your address I can get a good copy made and send itto you. I'd love to hear what you find out there. If I can't go on my own I may as well travel vicariously!

Fairlane500
08-11-2006, 11:20 PM
While browsing at the Barnes and Noble in Issaquah today, I came across some interesting information in a railway pictorial. In particular, it showed a picture taken at the "Borup Telegraph Station" showing about four men standing in front of a building. In the caption, it stated that similar telegraph relays were also at Weston and Kennedy, and that all three were disbanded in 1915 with the rerouting of the railway. So it may be that truly all Weston was was an office and one or two houses for a handful of railway telegraph workers.

Also of interest was the "community" of Martin, located on the eastern opening of the Stampede Tunnel. Apparently Martin was very similar to Stampede on the west end, and mainly consisited of a train station. According to captions, the station existed until sometime after 1960, when the last picture of it was taken before its demolition.

Vostok 7
08-30-2006, 09:29 AM
While browsing at the Barnes and Noble in Issaquah today, I came across some interesting information in a railway pictorial. In particular, it showed a picture taken at the "Borup Telegraph Station" showing about four men standing in front of a building. In the caption, it stated that similar telegraph relays were also at Weston and Kennedy, and that all three were disbanded in 1915 with the rerouting of the railway. So it may be that truly all Weston was was an office and one or two houses for a handful of railway telegraph workers.

Also of interest was the "community" of Martin, located on the eastern opening of the Stampede Tunnel. Apparently Martin was very similar to Stampede on the west end, and mainly consisited of a train station. According to captions, the station existed until sometime after 1960, when the last picture of it was taken before its demolition.

What a coincidence. I bought that book not long after you must have read through it! :D

It is a nice book. One nice part is it has a simple map showing the old pre-1913 routing of the railway along with the current post-1914 routing... Boo-yah!

Unfortunately I haven't been back up there. I'm pretty certain we found the old rail bed, though. I think Weston was further up the hill though, not down on the river like I initially thought.

I need to get back out there.

- Patrick

NWNative
08-30-2006, 10:40 AM
Last week we were coming home from Eastern Washington and blew a tire on the freeway. We pulled off at the nearest exit and drove through the booming metropolis of Easton. I had never been and found it interesting to end up there. It seemed an odd coincidence!

Vostok 7
08-31-2006, 07:20 AM
Last week we were coming home from Eastern Washington and blew a tire on the freeway. We pulled off at the nearest exit and drove through the booming metropolis of Easton. I had never been and found it interesting to end up there. It seemed an odd coincidence!

It's an interesting town to say the least.

Yesterday we were over in Bellevue and I had to go to the Lego store in Bellevue Square to pick up the Lego model of a BNSF GP-38 diesel in the Heritage II scheme. Pretty neat model. Too bad they don't make anything from the NP line.

http://cache.lego.com/images/shop/prod/10133-0000-xx-13-1.jpg

- Patrick

FBTdra9
01-06-2007, 10:35 PM
Hello Fairlane,
I am most interested to know what "former ghost town" you live in. I live in SE King County myself and am a history buff with a great lover for this area.
Sandra

Well, after reading many more posts with local subjects, I have found out where you live. I have been in the area for my whole life including much time around your area but did not know of the park. I will be going there as soon as the weather picks up. There is also the entrance to a mine on the way up to puget hill on the other side of Renton. It has nearly been covered by freeway but was left in tact and I think it has a marker. Most of the "hillside" halfway between Renton and Maple Valley on the West side of the Maple Valley Highway is actually made up of old tailing piles. We live in a rich area, don't we?
Sandra (ammended post)

Vostok 7
01-29-2007, 01:36 PM
Now that I have the location somewhat fixed I plan to go up there and get some pictures of the area so everyone can see what I have found.

I submitted the entry to the Ghost Towns site but they put the dot on the map in the wrong location :( Oddly enough, they put it around where the supposed Weston I first heard of is supposed to be along the old Milwakee Road now known as the Iron Horse Trail. I've never been able to find any information about this second "Weston" other than a breif mention on the Iron Horse Trail website for the section between Easton and North Bend.

I really need to find a book or something on post office openings and closings. The website I've referenced on my Wikipedia entry for Weston has a few books that would probably be worthwhile for me to find.

- Patrick

Vostok 7
06-21-2010, 03:00 PM
Little bit of an update (after a few years!!). I went back up to the spot where I believe Weston to be, where I bushwhacked in a few years ago and found a developed area, but the brush was MUCH too thick to get in this time. I actually placed a geocache in the vicinity so I will be visiting often. Hopefully later in the year some brush will have died off and I can get in. Last time I actually walked up Intake Creek to get to the spot but the creek was flowing pretty deep this year since we've been so wet.

Here's my geocache up there:

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=d3f61dff-0bdc-4a62-bbed-115ea7127f5b

Always looking to see if anyone has info about Weston!

Davidw
06-23-2010, 10:00 PM
Hello Fairlane,
I am most interested to know what "former ghost town" you live in. I live in SE King County myself and am a history buff with a great lover for this area.
Sandra

Well, after reading many more posts with local subjects, I have found out where you live. I have been in the area for my whole life including much time around your area but did not know of the park. I will be going there as soon as the weather picks up. There is also the entrance to a mine on the way up to puget hill on the other side of Renton. It has nearly been covered by freeway but was left in tact and I think it has a marker. Most of the "hillside" halfway between Renton and Maple Valley on the West side of the Maple Valley Highway is actually made up of old tailing piles. We live in a rich area, don't we?
Sandra

Those tailing piles are from the coal mining ghost town of Cedar Mountain. I've heard that there are more remnants of the Renton Coal Mine in the woods above the highway.

Davidw
06-23-2010, 10:14 PM
Little bit of an update (after a few years!!). I went back up to the spot where I believe Weston to be, where I bushwhacked in a few years ago and found a developed area, but the brush was MUCH too thick to get in this time. I actually placed a geocache in the vicinity so I will be visiting often. Hopefully later in the year some brush will have died off and I can get in. Last time I actually walked up Intake Creek to get to the spot but the creek was flowing pretty deep this year since we've been so wet.

Here's my geocache up there:

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=d3f61dff-0bdc-4a62-bbed-115ea7127f5b

Always looking to see if anyone has info about Weston!
I saw the listing in the weekly mailer after it was published, as I keep an eye out for historical caches for my Washington Historical caches bookmark (http://www.geocaching.com/bookmarks/view.aspx?guid=964a4eab-b7be-42b2-8ed6-84deb69c1ccc).

chiawana
07-04-2010, 06:36 AM
Just FYI: I have a 1936 Shell road map that does not show Weston at all. It's not listed in the cities, nor could I find it anywhere in the area where it is supposed to be. Either it had already disappeared by then, or was so small as to not have been included. There are, however, a lot of other towns there that I'm sure were just as tiny...??