Posted from Chimacum, WA
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The town of Concrete, WA
Skagit Tour of Newhalem, WA
The closest town to our Thousand Trails Grandy Creek Campground is Concrete, WA. Concrete is located about 6 miles east of us along The Cascade Highway (Rt. 20). The land area now known as Concrete has undergone several name changes throughout the years. The earliest settlers arrived in 1890 and a small town was established and named Baker. In 1905 a settlement across the Baker River was established by the Washington Portland Cement Company.
For those interested in a wonderful walking tour guide of the town please click on this link. A brief history of the area is included in the guide.
Further east along the Cascades Highway is an interesting little place called Newhalem. Newhalem is truly a company town owned by Seattle City Light. Only employees of this company and surrounding local and federal government employees live here. Newhalem's earliest settlers logged the area, but in the early 1900s Seattle City Light harnessed the power of the Skagit River by creating several dams in the area. This unincorporated town was home to the workers and their families.
Dam Good Chicken Dinner and Ladder Creek Falls By Night". Although the tour is run by Skagit Tours, the National Park Service also is jointly involved with the presentation. The Chicken Dinner is $19 per adult and was excellent. The dinner precedes the slideshow and walking tour of the area. The dinner is prepared in the same manner, and served in the same reconstructed hall, used many years prior to serve the dam workers daily.
Seattle City Light was led by J.D. Ross from 1911-1939. Ross was the driving force behind the creation of the Skagit Hydroelectric Project. A dam and lake are named in his honor. His desire to show the possibilities of the new technology known as "electricity" was evident when Skagit Tours was created to bring masses of people from the city to the Upper Skagit River area. Ranger Todd told us that you could stay overnight in Newhalem, tour the facility, eat the "Dam Good Chicken Dinner, go for a boat ride tour of the dam project, and even have your car washed for a total of $4. Now that's promotion!
I was going to detail our hikes and pictures of the area dams, but realized that this blog post is getting a bit on the lengthy side. The dams will have to wait for next time.
As always, thanks for stopping by to take a look!