Daily Sykes #17 – Dry Falls

An understanding of what created the Dry Falls in the Grand Coulee Canyon was first revealed about 13000 years after the event.   And it was not yet known when tourists first started to visit the site in the early 20th Century.  The 1890 completion of the Northern Pacific branch line between Spokane and Coulee City made visits to both the Dry Falls and Soap Lake possible for persons willing to trek or take a wagon the last few miles to those destinations from the rail head.  The opening of the trans-state highway over Stevens Pass in 1925 substantially increased the volume of puzzled visitors.  Many by them brought cameras and the fenced prospect constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the Great Depression  has been the platform from which most of the snapshots have been made depicting the effects the late ice age’s great floods as ice dams broke releasing walls of water sometimes 1,000 feet high.  Believe it or not.

Now we will nudge Jean to put up at least one more historic shot of the Dry Falls – the one (or perhaps two) we used in our book “Washington Then and Now” – and examples of his own repeats  in 2006.  (Readers may want to visit our website to see more of Jean’s state-wide repeats pulled from the book.)

(click to enlarge photos)

Horace Sykes wide-angle look at Dry Falls ca. 1950.
Horace Sykes wide-angle look at Dry Falls ca. 1950.

Jean writes: the following photos are from two visits to Dry Falls. I’ll begin with the Then & Now photos we featured in our book. A couple from Seattle graciously posed for me to help repeat the original. The boy in the red shirt darted into the photo at the last second, giving it a little impromptu oomph.

THEN at the Dry Falls lookout
THEN at the Dry Falls lookout
NOW
NOW

More shots from different perspectives.

The view from the outlook
The view from the outlook
A view of the outlook
A view of the outlook
View with chains
View with chains
Looking north
Looking north

3 thoughts on “Daily Sykes #17 – Dry Falls”

  1. I made the fix Dan, and so found the mistake. But I cannot reprint the book it came from. Without investors.

  2. The date I got came from a Northern Pacific document filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission, now filed away in Washington DC. The NP saw its Washington Central branch as such:
    “From the Washington Central Railway Company,
    June 29, 1914: 129.76 miles
    Constructed by that company:
    Coulee Jct to Adrian, Wash., 1902-1903 21.10 miles
    Constructed by the Central Washington Railway Company:
    Cheney to Davenport, Wash., 1888-1889 41.40 miles
    Davenport to Almira, Wash., 1889 46.10 miles
    Almira to Coulee City, Wash., 1889-1890 21.16 miles”

    Other documents of the day I have seen have mentioned 1890 as well,such as C.F.B. Haskell, assistant engineer with the Great Northern, locating the GN right-of-way through central Washington, writing home to his wife, that he was staying in Coulee City. His letter of July 3, 1890 states: …”We left Waterville last Saturday morning and that night stayed at Coulee City in Grand Coulee. It is a little miserable town about six weeks old. The N.P. are building through the town and
    the Seattle Lake Shore & Eastern are, or have been doing some grading around there. Grand Coulee is a great hole in the country, by some supposed to be the bed of an ancient lake. On some maps it is called the old channel of the Columbia River.”

    Keep up the good work. Your books and posts here are quite enjoyable.

    Dan

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