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Steam & Excursion > Skookum!

Date: 03/13/19 23:36
Author: DelMonteX

On the eve of the first Trains Mag-Oregon Coast Scenic  - Skookum photo charter, here's a shot from the Niles Canyon Training runs of a couple weeks ago (3/3/19). 

In case you don't know about the Skookum, Here's some of it's colorful story. 

The Skookum is a rather unique locomotive. By design, an early unsaturated mallet logging steam engine. But really what makes it unique is it’s story. Built in 1909 for a Tennessee logging railroad, it was deemed unsuitable and sold to the Columbia River Belt Line Railway and given the moniker of “Skookum”. The Skookum worked for years in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, but in 1954 it derailed and rolled in to a creek. It was left there to rust away, but a determined railfan bought the unfortunate locomotive from the insurance company, and with several friends, they took it apart and brought it to the Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie Washington. There it sat for decades, until the owner passed away. It was sold and moved in pieces to the Mt Rainier Scenic Railway shops in Mineral WA, where it again sat for a very long time until the second owner also passed away. Not that long ago, it was purchased by Chris Baldo of Roots Of Motive Power (Willits, CA) and was moved to Oregon Coast Scenic Railway where during the past 15 years, it has been meticulously restored. After a couple of false starts, you see it here on a training run with some of the folks who will be operating it in it’s next home at the Niles Canyon Railway. But before it is trucked to California, the Skookum will host 3 or 4 photo charters during the weekend of Wintrail 2019. You might just see a few more photos in the weeks to come.

I'll add a little story from someone using the handle of DanaM, who added this to my Railpictures.net posting.
Truth be known - that first "determined railfan" who bought "Skookum" from the insurance company was actually one of my relatives. In July 1960, my relative, Charles Morrow gathered a band of railfan friends and went into the Washington woods, and camped for about 3 weeks at the wreck site and spent as much daylight hours they could to disassemble "Skookum" and worked in the hot Summer heat to break her down into small enough pieces they could carry out of the woods to waiting trucks and haul her to Snoqualmie, WA. The tools they had were few and rather crude, and yet their determination kept them dedicated to the project. Unfortunately, after all of his and his friends hard work, their efforts stalled when money, and talented people to rebuild "Skookum" were not available and couldn't be found. In 1978, my relative, Charles Morrow died, and Rogan Coombs from California approached my relative's estate and bought "Skookum" in 1980. By the way - the name "Skookum" comes from the Salish/Chinook Native American language meaning "Powerful, Brave, Sturdy, Tough, Durable, and Exceptional"! So, this powerful little "forgotten" locomotive lives up to its Native American moniker of "Skookum"! And in case anyone is wondering, no I never got to meet my relative Charles Morrow, as he lived in Washington, and I was born in Ohio. Though I did visit Washington in February of 1977, (one year before Charles Morrow died in 1978), when my father took our family to Winthrop, WA to visit an Army friend he served with in Korea. I was 9 years old at the time."

Steve Carter
Gig Harbor, WA
My Photography

Date: 03/14/19 04:06
Re: Skookum!
Author: refarkas

An "A+" pan photo.

Date: 03/14/19 13:48
Re: Skookum!
Author: CPRR

Excellent photo. I am glad there are others who got shots of her.

Date: 03/17/19 14:13
Re: Skookum!
Author: SteveD

A+ for the accompanying narrative, too.

Steve Donaldson
Pacific Grove, CA

Date: 03/25/19 15:55
Re: Skookum!
Author: Sasquatch

Sweet pan, Steve!  /Mitch G. would be proud. And agree with others that the narrative is great and very informative.


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