Legos & Single Malt Scotch & the Ilwaco Railway & Navigation Company

The 125th anniversary of the Ilwaco Railway and Navigation Company.

See the latest exhibit at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco.

What makes it a top pick? You can trick your kids into getting jazzed about history! Bring them for the Legos, stay for the geeky Northwest history! Can’t beat that.

When I first moved to the coast, I was lured in part by the fine single-malt scotch list at the Shelburne Inn. Haven’t been there for a while, but for historical research purposes, this is the weekend. The Shelburne Inn was one of the main stopping points for the railroad. Even today, the Shelburne makes a great refueling stop.

The first run from Ilwaco to Long Beach was July 19, 1888.

Clamshell Railroad mapYou can learn a lot more about this little railroad that, most of the time, could. Read The Railroad That Ran by the Tide: Ilwaco Railroad and Navigation Co. of the State of Washington by Raymond J. Feagans.

The reason we say it’s the railroad that could, most of the time, is that it had the nickname “Irregular, Rambling and Never-Get-There Railroad.”

Another great source for history buffs is also called “The Railroad That Ran By The Tide” by Peter Marsh. Read an excerpt here:

It was in 1930 that the “Clamshell Railroad” went out of business, leaving just a few reminders of the part it played in the history of the lower Columbia. The story of this unique train service began back in 1865, when the propeller steamboat U.S.Grant began regular service to Bakers Bay.

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