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Saturday, December 2, 2017

One Hundred and Nine Years Ago Today AND the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition of 1909

Happy Birthday to my sister, Mary!! I am dedicating this blog entry to her - even though she was not born when this post card was mailed.
This map is taken from: http://www.alpharail.net/corp/cowcreek/cowcreek1.htm I recommend that you visit their website for a more recent tour of the canyon than this post card.

Between Glendale and Riddle, Oregon the Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad takes a scenic detour from Interstate 5 and civilization through Cow Creek Canyon (green line on the map above). When the Siskiyou Line was originally surveyed in the 1800's it followed natural drainages rather than tackle the mountains of southwest Oregon. For years the Southern Pacific was the sole means of transport through the Canyon.
This post card shows a train as it winds it way with passengers through the beautiful scenery.

The Southern Pacific Railroad built the original line by following the natural terrain of Cow Creek. It is, as you can see from the map above, a short north and south route between Glendale, Oregon and Riddle.

The post card was mailed on December 2, 1908. That is one hundred and nine years ago, today at 3:00 PM. The message on the back is a friendly response to another message.
"Dear Friend. Rec'd your card Was glad to here (sic) from you. We are all well, hopeing (sic) this will find you the same. We are having fine weather here now. I am going to the skating Rink at Newberg, Ore tonight. From your loving friend, John W Sheppy" He is writing to a MISS Myrtle Walter in Bonanza, Oregon. Bonanza is down toward the California border. He is writing from Dayton, Oregon. It is half-way between Portland and Salem. I have to point out that some savage pulled the stamp off of the post card!! How shameful!

The post card was printed in Germany and published by The Portland Post Card Co. They had offices in both Portland, Oregon (I bet you are surprised by that) and Seattle, Washington. Speaking of Seattle, did you notice the little round seal in the bottom left. It is advertising the upcoming "Alaska - Yukon - Pacific Exposition" soon to happen in 1909.

The following information was taken from: http://www.seattle.gov/cityarchives/exhibits-and-education/digital-document-libraries/the-1909-alaska-yukon-pacific-exposition

The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (AYPE), held in Seattle from June 1 to October 16, 1909, followed on the heels of the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland, Oregon. Initial inspiration for the fair came from a group of Alaska's gold rush pioneers in 1905. In 1906, Seattle businessmen altered the original plan, postponed the 1907 date (so as not to conflict with the Jamestown, Virginia tricentennial celebration) until 1909, and sought financial support for an enlarged scope. The AYPE followed a tradition established in 1876 when Philadelphia held a Centennial Exposition. It was an opportunity for Seattleites to display pride in their heritage and their patriotism. Although the anticipated influx of people and the anticipated stimulus to economic growth did not materialize as a result of the Exposition, the City and promoters counted AYPE as a success. Traffic was handled well, the boulevard system was completed in time for visitors to enjoy the scenery, and the police ably protected "the lives and property of the citizens and visitors during the Exposition." The University benefited by the expansion of its campus. Permanent benefits for the city included many additional miles of streetcar tracks, additional fire alarm boxes, a boulevard system, and a statue of William Seward.

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If you know anything about the history of the cards, the trains or the locations, please add them.