The Dungeness River Audubon Center's mission is to interpret the natural history of the north Olympic Peninsula, focusing on the Dungeness River watershed, to enable residents, students and visitors to explore, understand, preserve, and enjoy our unique natural environment.
History of the Bridge:
Grading for the the Railroad Bridge and the railroad bed started in January 1914, from the west side of the river with equipment and materials brought by ships and barges to Port Angeles. The Chicago, Milwaukee, and St Paul Railway, later called the Milwaukee Road, built the bridge. The timber for the bridge was cut at railroad saw mills maybe in the northwest but possibly in the Midwest. The iron jigs used to size and bore the timbers and the steel for the bridge were likely made in railroad yards and foundries near Chicago, IL.
The fabrication and erection of the bridge took about 3-4 weeks in the summer of 1915. The lower timbers (stringers) were assembled first and set to grade on log cribbing to support their weight. Then the rails were laid. A train could then carry the heavy timbers for the vertical parts of the bridge, which were lifted and bolted into place directly from flat cars. Then the cribbing was removed. The bridge first carried trains in July, 1915.
From 1915 to 1980 the Milwaukee Road operated the rail line from Port Townsend to Port Angeles and then west to connect with several logging railroads. The overwhelming cargo carried by the railroad was Olympic Peninsula timber. The line did operate a passenger service until the 1930’s. The Milwaukee Road sold the line to the Seattle and North Coast Railroad in 1980 who, in-turn, abandoned the line in 1985. The last train crossed the bridge in March, 1985.
Wednesday, Jun 30, 2021 at 1:00pm Eastern Time
Thursday, Jul 1, 2021 at 4:00pm Eastern Time
Tuesday, Jul 6, 2021 at 4:00pm Eastern Time
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