Washington State Railroads and Lumber Mills
Today, I received an interesting vintage postcard from a new friend who had found it on Ebay.Â Postmarked 10 May 1915, it was a confirmation from the Mumby Lumber and Shingle Company of Bordeaux, Washington sent to George F. Nilder (or Hilder), a representative of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad, informing him that his order CFL6540 was being loaded on P & R car No. 530.Â This postcard was sent for a penny and was received 11 May 1915. Pretty good overnight service for 1915, huh?
You know, railroad cars from many lines sometimes ended up in places that you wouldn’t think were ‘normal’, but railroad cars are probably like rental cars or trucks we see today where they can be from any state in the union depending on their type or usage.Â Lumber would likely be shipped all over the nation because of its ubiquitous usage.
My husband said that when he worked at Clinton Corn Company in Iowa that they would get grain and coal cars from other regions, but usually from the Midwest. But their cars that went out with corn in them were shipped country-wide.
Â So, a lumber or shingle order was filled at Bordeaux, Washington into a Pennsylvania and Reading Railroad car and sent out to a larger connector railroad line there in Thurston County.Â At this point I can only guess on which one, but it could have been the Northern Pacific Prairie Line.
There’s also no way to know if it stayed on that line all the way to Seattle, but most likely for expediency it wouldn’t have languished anywhere too long but delivered as soon as feasible to the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad yard so they could send it on its way and fulfill their order.
In 1915 my grandfather, Elvin B. Moline was age 22 and just beginning his career in the lumber business.Â It wouldn’t be until 1933 that he would take up residence in the town of Bordeaux with his second wife “Eppie” and his three daughters Jeane, Joan and Joyce.Â His occupation from 1933 until 1941 when he left Bordeaux was as a lumber salesman for Mumby Lumber and Shingle Company.
History of the Northern Pacific Prairie Line