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View Full Version : Grisdale and Lester, Washington



Ghosttowns.com
03-23-2002, 04:00 AM
Originally posted by Tom

: I was looking at a highway map of Washington and noticed two locations which are indicated as being ghost towns; Grisdale and Lester, Washington. There are no entries for either of these in the Washington section of this site. Does anyone have info on either or both of these locations?

Ghosttowns.com
03-23-2002, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by Jordan

: I am not sure if you want them or not, but I have some online topographic maps for you of these locations. If you want them just post back and tell me so.

: Jordan

Ghosttowns.com
03-24-2002, 08:56 AM
Originally posted by Tom

: : I am not sure if you want them or not, but I have some online topographic maps for you of these locations. If you want them just post back and tell me so.

: : Jordan

: Jordan, Are these from the http://www.topozone.com/ site?

: What I really need though is info on these towns such as remains, history ect., but thanks.

Ghosttowns.com
07-03-2002, 08:38 AM
Originally posted by Darin

: Grisdale is a logging camp that closed in 1986. It was quite developed at the time, but is now mostly just foundations. I would not call it a ghost town.

Ghosttowns.com
07-15-2002, 11:00 AM
Originally posted by Kathleen A. Hunt

: Lester was forced out of existance by the City of Tacoma because it is located in Tacoma's watershed. The last legal resident was Gert Murphy who still retained the 100 year lease on her house and lived there during the summer. I suspect she has finally passed on. My mother lived in Lester during the early 1940's and my grandfather worked for both the forest service and the railroad from Lester.

Ghosttowns.com
08-14-2002, 09:56 PM
Originally posted by Mark

: : I was looking at a highway map of Washington and noticed two locations which are indicated as being ghost towns; Grisdale and Lester, Washington. There are no entries for either of these in the Washington section of this site. Does anyone have info on either or both of these locations?

: Lester was a old railroad town that went back many years. It had a school, library, train depot, houses, etc. It is deep in the cascades and is really scenic. That land is so nice there. My dad's friend's dad found out about it in the 1950's and they started going up there alot to hunt and camp. We still go up to camp to this day and we really love it!

Ghosttowns.com
08-20-2002, 06:06 PM
Originally posted by Shawn

: : : I was looking at a highway map of Washington and noticed two locations which are indicated as being ghost towns; Grisdale and Lester, Washington. There are no entries for either of these in the Washington section of this site. Does anyone have info on either or both of these locations?

: : Lester was a old railroad town that went back many years. It had a school, library, train depot, houses, etc. It is deep in the cascades and is really scenic. That land is so nice there. My dad's friend's dad found out about it in the 1950's and they started going up there alot to hunt and camp. We still go up to camp to this day and we really love it!

: Scott paper also had a building there. You can still see the air strip although it is pretty overgrown. There was a tavern, and a ranger station too. The last of the town was torn down in the seventies although there are still some remaining buildings,(ranger station, rangers home and equipment barn). An elderly woman refused to sell to the watershed and has remained up there all of these years, her home still stands as well. The watershed staff have taken over the other remaining home. One fellow there would actually paint the word "COW" on the side of his cows because he had lost a couple to hunters mistaking them for elk. My father in laws' uncle logged up there. He lived up there himself as a boy and is very familiar with the land. We go up there often. If you do go up there and you really should, be sure to take everything you take up there with you when you leave. I don't know if the elderly woman is still alive or not but they did a story on her a year ago or so. Hope this helps you.

Ghosttowns.com
10-02-2002, 09:29 PM
Originally posted by John Schroeder

: Gertrude Murphy, 1903-2002, passed away today. She was the last living resident of Lester, Washington. The Seattle Times has a very nice story about her in the paper today.

Ghosttowns.com
10-04-2002, 06:39 AM
Originally posted by Shirl

: There was a story in the Tacoma News Tribune also. She was 99 years old. Says she moved there in 1929 when the town had about 1,000 residents.

Ghosttowns.com
10-23-2002, 02:36 PM
Originally posted by Susan

: Do you know exactly where Lester is/was? I have been up there and followed Hwy. 54 over Stampede Pass to the end where the road is blocked. Is this where it was, or somewhere else nearby?

Luigi
01-18-2004, 11:46 PM
Kathleen:
I saw your message regarding Lester. Who was your grandfather? My grandfather lived there and my dad was born there. My grandfather's name was Dalt Noble and my dad was Bill Noble.
Thanks,
Diana

Originally posted by Kathleen A. Hunt

: Lester was forced out of existance by the City of Tacoma because it is located in Tacoma's watershed. The last legal resident was Gert Murphy who still retained the 100 year lease on her house and lived there during the summer. I suspect she has finally passed on. My mother lived in Lester during the early 1940's and my grandfather worked for both the forest service and the railroad from Lester.

cjmg
04-27-2004, 11:39 PM
I've seen Gertrude before at the cabin that she lived in on Stampede Pass near the town of Lester. This was in the late 1990's and I was on a day trip just driving around when we saw her near the road that went into Lester. We didn't know who she was then, nor did we talk to her. Infact, I didn't even know who she was until tonight, when I was reading a thread on a forum that I post on about ghost towns and found a link to a good site about ghost towns, and I looked up Lester and they mentioned Gertrude.
Well, I did a little search on her name in Google and found out that Gertrude (RIP) was indeed the woman that we saw up there on that day. Interesting how things happen, isn't it?

Anyway, if anyone has something that they could share about her or the town of Lester, I'd love to hear about it. I regret not talking to her while we were there (at least a simple hello) because she sounds like she was such an amazing woman (and from what I've heard veyr friendly and nice) with a lot of interesting stories to share about life in and around the town of Lester, Washington.

dd3781
10-23-2004, 07:03 PM
I grew up in Grisdale, Washington. I lived there from 1965 to 1978. It was a small logging community. No grocery store, no gas station. Nearest were in Montesano, Washington. Grisdale was closed down in 1985. There are no longer any buildings. Some of the houses were sold and transported out.

Pete43
01-21-2005, 10:11 PM
I was in Lester in the mid 80's cutting Christmas trees on Railroad lands. We had contracts on both sides of the river and passed back and forth by Lester as we were coming and going over Stampede Pass. There were quite a few buildings there then including the school. The BN forester told us that the name "Lester" was the first telegrapher at the station..."Calling Lester...Calling Lester..." probably pretty common in those days when building the Railroads, and it stuck. Never heard his last name...probably lost to history.

bisondave
01-31-2005, 10:49 AM
Grisdale was a company town owned by the Simpson Timber Co. All the houses closely resembled each other. There was no private ownership that I am aware of. The town had a comapny store, small movie theater, and school. Grisdale was the last operating company logging town in the lower 48 states. With its location in the southern edge of the Olympic Mountains, it had a very beautiful location. With excellet hunting and fishing literally minutes from the town. In fact deer, elk, and black bears where frequent visitors to the town. The area has been bulldozed and little is left.

Marie T.
08-29-2005, 08:10 PM
I've seen Gertrude before at the cabin that she lived in on Stampede Pass near the town of Lester. This was in the late 1990's and I was on a day trip just driving around when we saw her near the road that went into Lester. We didn't know who she was then, nor did we talk to her. Infact, I didn't even know who she was until tonight, when I was reading a thread on a forum that I post on about ghost towns and found a link to a good site about ghost towns, and I looked up Lester and they mentioned Gertrude.
Well, I did a little search on her name in Google and found out that Gertrude (RIP) was indeed the woman that we saw up there on that day. Interesting how things happen, isn't it?

Anyway, if anyone has something that they could share about her or the town of Lester, I'd love to hear about it. I regret not talking to her while we were there (at least a simple hello) because she sounds like she was such an amazing woman (and from what I've heard veyr friendly and nice) with a lot of interesting stories to share about life in and around the town of Lester, Washington.
My husband and I are traveling to the Northwest in a couple of weeks and plan on driving in as far as we can to Lester. I went to Gert's wedding to Frank Murphy. It was in Seattle about 1955. My family moved to a cabin between Lester and Nagrom (Morgan spelled backwards) in 1945 but moved into Seattle in 1948. The cabin was buried by a blizzard and my mother gave up living there! We used the cabin in the summer until we moved to California in 1957. My last trip to Lester was in 1989 and since the gate was open where the road runs close to the Green River we were able to get all the way to the cabin site above Green Canyon Creek. Does anyone know of Ellen Rainey who was the postmistress of Lester or her children, Carl and Dede Rainey? Their father, Roscoe, was a logger.

Grisdalekid
01-17-2006, 12:24 PM
I grew up in Grisdale (1962-1977). The houses and buildings were razed in 1988, but the campsite is still pretty easy to find. From Montesano it is 37 miles up the Wynoochee valley road. The campsite sign has been torn down, but there are a set of old mail boxes on your right hand side (A big set) just a half mile inside the Olympic National Forest boundary. Park by the mail boxes and follow the old road in. The old road goes in about 100 yards and then a road forks to the right; this road takes you right in to the old family home sites. If you follow the other road strait you will come to a fork to the left which will take you to the work area and the area where the bunkhouses for the single guys were located.

steve bush sabklb@msn.com
01-28-2006, 12:12 PM
Kathleen:
I saw your message regarding Lester. Who was your grandfather? My grandfather lived there and my dad was born there. My grandfather's name was Dalt Noble and my dad was Bill Noble.
Thanks,
Diana
Diana,

Iwas looking at this site and found your message. My dad is acousin of yours his name was Bob Bush. the Bill Noble I knew lived in Auburn and also worked for the railroad as a engineer like my dad.My grandmother was named Mildred (Darker) Bush, I know she had a sister who lived next door to Bill Noble and a brother named Auggie Darker who lived in West Seattle. there was another brother that lived on Hoods C**** that was named Andy. I rember my grandfather Percy Bush telling me about the time Andy and Auggie were shooting at the chimminey of the schoolhouse and getting in trouble. We loved in Lester and my dad ran the snowplow and the helper engine. I rember some of the time that we lived there as we moved out in 1954 when my dad was transfered to Seattle as a engineer.

jlock
01-09-2009, 06:26 PM
Hey, I know all about Lester Washington. I grew up there. Well, until about 1984. My dad was the superintendent of the school there until it closed.

Gma
09-25-2009, 07:49 PM
I knew Gertrude Murphy very well. Gert was my great-aunt. Lester is an old logging/railroad town. It is located just over Hwy 90 heading east. It is at the Stampede Pass exit. You go up and over the mountains and down into a very beautiful valley. Lester is located there. So was a little town called Nagrom, Little Italy and others. I spent my summers there as a child. It is difficult to find history on Lester due to the City of Tacoma's intent to wipe it from history. Quite literally by dynamiting houses and blocking the roads so that none could enter. But at one time it was a booming logging town. It had a depot, store, school, tavern, library etc. Gert and her husband, Frank, had their own little home there until Gert (after Frank's passing) moved into the "school house". Gert's home was dynamited. The "school house" was approximately 100 years old when it burned to the ground. It had previously been used to house teachers for the school. It was kind of like a boarding house. Gertrude had taught at the school for many years. We had many family reunions at that house as well as Gert's first house and the cabin she was relocated to. She absolutely loved the visitors that would pass through over the years. She particularly enjoyed feeding the passing hunters and hikers. She refused to cash in on her 100 year contract with the City of Tacoma. Her family was allowed into Lester to visit her whenever she desired. And that is a very brief overview. If there is a ghost wandering through Lester, Nagrom, Little Italy etc., it would be Gertrude Murphy watching over her home and her town and cursing the City of Tacoma. She was the last survivor of Lester, WA.

bma
11-30-2009, 08:28 AM
My boyfriend asked me to look up Grisdale, wa because he used to work there.

He knows where the place is but was curious as to what happened to it.