|Industrial Map of Washington published in 1945|
The industrial map at the top of this post is useful for both research and ambiance. It was produced in 1945 for school children and published by the office of the Secretary of State. Not only does its visual style capture the time, but it also gives a good overview of the kinds of industry appropriate for my railroad. It reinforces some of the assumptions I have been making in designing the 4th Subdivision as well as giving some guidance as I continue planning additional operations.
|By Seattle Municipal Archives from|
Seattle, WA - 4th & Westlake, 1953,
CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/
Another image that could be used to establish ambiance is this photo taken in Seattle. The photo, taken in 1953, shows 4th and Westlake looking north. While I came across it through Google, it is part of the Seattle Municipal Archives, a photo source worth further exploration. The autos seen in the photo and the central Great Northern advertising sign both help establish the time period and the relative importance of the Great Northern Railway.
Some additional resources for researching Washington state history related to developing an accurate operational plan, finding photo sources, or just establishing a sense of time and place are listed below:
- HistoryLink --an online encyclopedia of Washington State History
- Washington State Historical Society --the collections search page
- Mohai Digital Collections --another search page, this one from MOHAI
- Skagit River Journal --a web based collection of local history
As part of my long range plan is to include a harbor scene at Port Gulick Bay, the fictional western end of the 4th Subdivision, I will want to include logical industries that invoke the Pacific Northwest. One such possibility would be a salmon canning facility. Although based in Alaska, the Kake Salmon Cannery portrays such an industry and is very well documented online. Wikimedia Commons contains a large number of files including numerous photographs and drawings as the cannery was documented for its listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
|Postcard view of the Empire Builder|
Building or researching a model railroad includes more than just the setting; it also includes the railroad. Over the years I have found several useful sights specific to the Great Northern Railway:
- Great Northern Railway Historical Society
- Great Northern Railway Page
- The Great Northern Empire Then and Now
Recently, I came across an awesome railroad photography site: RR Pictures Archives. It has an amazing collection of railroad photos. By going into the fallen flags section I was able to go to the Great Northern collections of rolling stock and locomotives. What a selection! Great color shots to have as resources for weathering or detailing models.
Clearly part of my interest in model railroading stems from an interest in history. In this post, I wanted to not just document some of my recent trips down the rabbit hole of research, but to also keep a record of this collection of internet sources for future exploration.