The Impact of Railroads on Washington State
Railroads promoted settlement in Washington. They created new towns and shortened the journey that once took 3-5 months to only 5-6 days to the area. As a result of transcontinental railroads, travelers poured into Washington as cities and farms popped up all over Washington. Many Washington cities, such as Oakesdale, are named after railroad workers or managers. The “railroad era,” when railroads were a major part of both Washington and America, lasted from the 1870s to the 1920s.
Before transcontinental railroads connected the more populated east coast to the Pacific Northwest, early Washington railroads transported people and goods around the falls of the Columbia and moved wheat by Walla Walla. An early railroad was the Walla Walla and Columbia River Railroad, which gained good profits. The Northern Pacific Company serviced Seattle and Tacoma. Another railroad company was the Great Northern Company. Unlike its predecessors, it was a pay as you go railway, which encouraged agricultural settlement.
New railroads were welcomed into communities as railroads promoted growth and prosperity. The transcontinental railroad system opened a nationwide market up for local produce, such as wheal and timber. Railroads allowed for easier travel for both business and pleasure. Many communities were dependent on railroads for jobs, supplies, and transportation. The placement of railroad stations had a large impact on cities. For example, instead of building a train station in Yakima City, one was built several miles away. At this new position, a new city—North Yakima—was formed. And 30 years later, North Yakima became simply Yakima and Yakima City was gone.
Railroads also helped create major supply centers, such as Spokane, to the surrounding areas. During this time period, railroads were centers of community life and civic showplaces. Railroads were America’s biggest business.
Railroads contributed to industrial expansion, such as timber, urban development, large scale migration, and political reform movements in Washington.
More by this Author
I have always loved to write. Even if I didn't realize it as a child, I remember gravitating toward that writing club in 4th grade and how I loved writing stories, savoring how words flowed effortlessly from my pencil...
The Roman Empire was one of the greatest, but their fall was inevitable and the result of many separate causes. The main causes are as follows: Christianity As time wore on, the Romans discarded their original Roman...
Yes, after your deck is freshly painted, it looks very good and depending on the paint and sun exposure, it can last a few years. But soon, it will start to peel and before you know it, your beautiful deck will have...