Subscribe to Archaeology

Early 20th-Century Trolley Tracks Found in Washington State

Monday, September 14, 2020

WALLA WALLA, WASHINGTON—The Union-Bulletin reports that trolley tracks installed in 1906 were unearthed during an infrastructure repair project in Walla Walla. The 450 feet of track were once part of a system that connected the center of the city to outlying areas. Each trolley car, equipped with an onboard electric motor connected to overhead wires with metal rods, held 28 to 72 passengers. A previous archaeological investigation of the city’s trolley system studied a different section of rails, which was marked with the name of the manufacturer and date of construction. A piece of these rails was preserved at the Fort Walla Walla Museum. The trolley line closed in 1926 as the automobile became popular. “I don’t know what the financial investment was back then but it had to have been substantial,” said city engineer Mike Laughery. “I don’t know if they just didn’t foresee the development of the automobile or how that played out.” To read about preserved petroglyphs made by the ancestors of Washington tribes, go to "Off the Grid: Columbia Hills Historical State Park."

Advertisement

Advertisement


Advertisement