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Thread: Wilburton, Washington

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Renton, WA

    Default Wilburton, Washington

    Since its incorporation in 1957, the city of Bellevue, Washington has grown from a bucolic farming community with 500 residents to a technology center with over 120,000 people that call it home.
    With the expansion in population obviously came an expansion in land area, and unfortunately, some of its smaller neighbors disappeared as Bellevue prospered.

    Among these was the logging community of Wilburton. This logging camp was established in 1895, and named after its part-owner Manley Wilbur. By the turn of the century, the community had around 400 residents, and lent its name in 1904 to a large wooden railroad trestle nearby, which still stands.

    While the name clings to the trestle and a nearby park, most people have forgotten that Wilburton was once an independent community, but a few signs of it can still be found. In my opinion, at least, this openly qualifies this populated place as a ghost town worthy of being featured.

    A view down what was once likely the mains street of Wilburton:

    An abandoned house or store:

    A house dating to the early days of the community:

    Where the railroad passed through the town after crossing the Wilburton trestle. Note the buildings of downtown Bellevue in the background:
    Easily distracted.

    Current distraction: Railroad Depots

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    N. California


    A very interesting post to me because of my employer for over 28 years. Perhaps you can determine who it was from some clues.

    The home office was in Bellevue on a forty acre parcel locally known as the "Farm". Next door was a High School and Microsoft was about a quarter of a mile away, in neighboring Redmond.

    Your photos look very familiar, as I wandered around Bellevue and environs every once in a while in my spare time when not in meetings and all the rest of that corporate BS. Trying to recall where the trestle is, but not having much success recalling it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    The trestle is just south of the downtown area - it spans a large valley mouth. Anyone travelling south on I-405 towards Boeing or the I-90 interchange can't miss it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018

    Default Wilburton Neighborhood Bellevue WA

    I grew up in Wilburton from birth in 1973 until age 20. My parent's house is in the Belridge neighborhood and they still live in the same house. Walked along the train tracks as a kid and found all sorts of fun artifacts where the old wilburton school was. Pieces of blue and white china, slate chalkboards. We weren't supposed to be playing in the woods but we loved the adventures. Now, the Wilburton Park near my old Wilburton Elementary school sits at the site of where we used to explore the woods. At the top of the hill to the west is the Bellevue Botanical Garden - a wonderful gift from Mr and Mrs. Cal Shorts, who donated their land to the City of Bellevue, just a short walk to the west is the home of the East side Heritage Museum.

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