It was as if I had stepped back into time and was reliving 1909 all over again. The day was hot. Really hot. Dust blew on the wind across my shoes and into my face as I and others walked across the hard ground before stepping onto the platform.
Other passengers yet, were already waiting there in heat of this June day.
We were headed for the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition (AYPE) going on in Seattle. The group had assembled from all over the world, literally. There was a doctor from London (Essex) England, a woman coming from Alabama named Suzanna, and there was me, Elfriede Schratzenstaller of Bavaria Germany.
I was heading to Seattle thru the United States in order to meet up with my distant relatives who had safely made the journey before me and had started a beer brewing business just outside of Seattle. There were many fields of hops growing in the Kent and Puyallup Valleys.
My little dog’s name is “Willy”, short for Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany. I am a very long way from home and Willy’s company has been reassuring for me.
Neither Willy or I speak much English, but know enough hand motions to have made it this far. We are now about a half-day’s journey outside of Seattle and the end of a long ride is close to an end.
Now flash forward. Here we are all gathered at the South CleElum Station. The lot of us are recreating the experience as the travelers would have had 100 years ago on their way thru this historic station which welcomed visitors to Washington State from all over the country and beyond!
As part of our day, we interacted with talented Telegraphers who actually used equipment to send historic telegrams this day.
There was a young “runner” who acted as delivery boy at the station, also in full costume and historical attitude.
“Mr. Mark” was not only the MC at this point, but he was dressed as one of the conductors for the old railroad while others yet, dressed as the engineers.
After a delightful lunch served up in the now air-conditioned station, we wandered back outside for a second look. Gone were the famous rails that brought the crowds to and from Seattle. In their place was now an interpretive walk.
Over yonder, a lone car stood next to one of the historical buildings, seeming to call for the other cars, locamotive and caboose which were missing. If you listened carefully, you could hear the tweet of the steam engine’s whistle and just swear the train was coming around the bend headed once again for the station!
What happened to the train? As is the case of many of these powerhouses, they were sent to the wayside. It is now finally, the next generation is looking back and yearning for a slower, quieter time of history when there were genteel men and women traveling along side perhaps some of the more unsavory members of the community, but all dressed in such incredible attire.
Want to see more pictures and learn details of the day? Please go out to visit Somewhere in Time, Unlimited (SITU – home page). We are a historical costuming social group that holds 4 parties (Events) per year and participates in numerous community organized events (Dress-up Opportunities) during the year. We’d love to have you come along sometime to enjoy the fun.
In the meantime, don’t be surprised if you hear the wail of that lonesome whistle near Cle Elum, Washington. It’ll just be thunderous ghost steel headed for a beautifully restored Victorian South Cle Elum Station!