River Travel

The earliest pioneers to arrive at the site of Tolt came in Indian canoes, then river scows and barges, and finally on steamboats. The steamboats often got stuck. When that happened, they ran a line to a tree on shore and used a winch to haul themselves through the river channel.

On April 7, 1882, the first small light draft boat began navigation on the Snoqualmie River, the Alki.

The steamers hauled passengers and freight, which included produce and livestock. Steamers also served as towboats and could be seen towing a log boom to another port downstream.

Water travel was used for commercial and passenger transportation until the railroad arrived in 1910.

There were no bridges, so canoes had to be used for river crossings. Log jams were also used for river crossings. Every time there was a flood the log jam could be in a different location and folks would have to change the trail to accommodate the log jam.

John Ames, in the early 1900s established a cable ferry across the Snoqualmie River, the current site of MacDonald Park and West 40th Street.

Next Story >> Logging