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Personal Experiences: Ghost Hunter Case Files

An Avalanche of Spirits:

Meeting Up With the Ghosts of Wellington By Karen Frazier


igh in Washington State’s Cascade Mountain Range, there is a former Great Northern Railway track that has been converted as part of the National Forest Service’s Rails to Trails project. Each year, thousands of hikers visit Stevens Pass to take a day hike along the nine-mile Iron Goat trail that runs from the trailhead at Scenic up to the former town of Wellington. The trail is heavily wooded and peaceful. Along the way, hikers pass through huge concrete snow sheds. These behemoths were feats of engineering in the early to mid-1900s, built by the Great Northern Railway to protect trains as they traveled along avalanche-prone slopes. As hikers near the Wellington trailhead, they come to the longest snow shed of all — a ½-mile-long concrete barrier that is slowly being reclaimed by nature. Hikers who bother to pause and read the few signs that mark the trail may be aware of the disaster that occurred on that very spot. A disaster that prompted hard-learned lessons, causing the Great Northern Railway to construct giant snow sheds to shield not only their trains, but also the lives of the souls who rode and worked on them. Can the hikers who pass through the Wellington snow shed feel the weight of history pressing down on them as they travel in the cool shade of the half-mile expanse of concrete? Or, are they blissfully unaware of the battle


Pictured above is the Western terminus of the Cascade Tunnel. After passing through this tunnel, the passengers’ fates were sealed.

that was waged and lost over a period of nine days in late February of 1910? What Happened at Wellington In February 1910, the Great Northern Railway was busy building empires. At that time in our country’s history, the railroad was king, and any town that had a major railway line running to it had a chance of becoming a booming city. This is why Seattle became the northwestern hub of trade — because it was the Western terminus of the Great Northern Railway mainline that ran from St. Paul, Minnesota. The final triumph in railroading

Paranormal Underground September 2009

had come late in the previous century, when the railroads conquered the last barrier to the West Coast, the rugged Cascade Mountain Range. Seeking to establish the northernmost line through the Cascades, the Empire Builder himself, James J. Hill, planned tracks in the steeply graded, avalanche-prone Stevens Pass. It was on these tracks in 1910 that two trains got stuck at the mountain railroad town of Wellington, high atop Stevens Pass. One train was a passenger train running from Spokane to Seattle. The other was a fast mail train, running mail across

September 2009 Paranormal Underground  

You can purchase paper copies of the magazine via a Publish On Demand option by visiting At Para...

September 2009 Paranormal Underground  

You can purchase paper copies of the magazine via a Publish On Demand option by visiting At Para...