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John Werner, Scarsdale, NY, and Ray Norton are the winners!

The railroad up Orofino Creek to the white pine district is the answer for Week 488 of Orofino History Trivia a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country.

Join in the discovery!

Monday: Northern Pacific Railway

Tuesday: A new direction

Wednesday: Brothers

Thursday: An area few see now

Friday: White pine

Saturday: Millions were waiting

Monday: It would take many crossings.

Tuesday: Construction

Wednesday: Trestles

Thursday: A creek runs through.

Friday: A concern during the 1996 flooding

In 1925, Twohy Brothers of Spokane, WA, were selected to construct the 41-mile railroad line up Orofino Creek to the Headquarters area to open the white pine district owned by Weyerhauser. Charles Donnelly, president of the Northern Pacific railway announced that the railroad would reach approximately the center of the Clearwater National Forest, the largest body of white pine in the U.S. The project was to cost $3 million. Another $3 million was to be invested in the Clearwater Timber Company mill at Lewiston which would include a dam, power plant and mill pond.

Spokesman Review accounts ran with headlines: "Twohy Brothers conquer wilds", "Construction of Railroad into White Pine District near Orofino Herculean Task", "Material for work and supplies for men taken in by pack trains and toboggans".

One of the challenges of constructing the standard gauge railroad in the regions between Orofino and Pierce was the narrow canyon and vertical walls that made delivery of construction materials and supplies for the men a challenge. It denied them the delivery of the big machinery that the Twohy Brothers had built other railroads. Materials were brought in by pack train, snowshoes and toboggan.

An article in the Jan. 16, 1926 Spokesman Review related that 15 camps had been established through 41 miles and 900 men were breaking rock. Fifty bridges were built in the 10 miles where the altitude took a particular climb. The altitude varied from 900 to 3,500 feet between Orofino and the hills overhanging the canyon. The land away from the creek was covered with forest.

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Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Orofino 476 0733
Fax: 208-476-4140