This Day in History

46 years ago today, Apollo 11 touched down on the moon and Neil Armstrong took “one giant leap for mankind.” The following day, the story held the best piece of newspaper real estate nationwide, including on this July 21, 1969 issue of The Wenatchee World.

The front page of The Wenatchee World, July 21, 1969-- "Man on the Moon"
The front page of The Wenatchee World, July 21, 1969– “Man on the Moon!”

National news stories in the issue include the charging of Ted Kennedy for the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, the death of Reverend A.D. King, and a day of little activity in Vietnam. Local news stories include the dedication of Lake Pateros, pictures of local brides, and 3 recent drownings.

Two of the weddings that were announced in the paper.
Two of the weddings that were announced in the paper.

Included at the bottom of page one was a box detailing what life was like nationwide and locally at the time of the moon landing. The attempt to cover many aspects of life in Wenatchee and the United States in general sounds almost like something out of a watered-down history textbook. The population of Wenatchee was a mere 19,000, and a quart of milk cost 30 cents.

This is the way it was on EARTH-- But was it?
This is the way it was on EARTH– But was it?

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Airplane Curve Snowshed, 1950s

This 1950s-era postcard shows a Tri-5 Chevrolet traveling eastward on Highway 10, presently I-90.
This 1950s-era postcard shows a Tri-5 Chevrolet traveling eastward on Highway 10, presently I-90.

To improve safety on what was then Highway 10, the State Department of Highways planned for two snowsheds to be built over sections of the westbound lanes, totaling 1,800 feet. Bids for construction were called in February of 1950, and were awarded to C.V. Wilder Co. and Gaasland Co. Inc., both of Bellingham, WA. Construction began in the fall and progressed quickly due to the use of precast construction. The project was scheduled to be finished by November 1, 1950 at a total cost of $1,120,000.

The snowshed pictured on the postcard above was the larger of the two. Located at Airplane Curve, about a mile west of the Summit, it spanned 1,300 feet, was 15 feet high, and had a pavement width of 24 feet. It was demolished sometime in the early 1980s, but the concrete retaining wall remains.

A modern-day view of the Airplane Curve showshed from Google Maps.
A modern-day view of the Airplane Curve showshed from Google Maps.

The smaller snowshed at Lake Keechelus, only 500 feet long, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. After 64 years of service, it was dismantled and recycled as part of the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project. A time-lapse of the removal can be seen here.

U.S. HIGHWAY 10 just west of the summit of Snoqualmie Pass. Snowsheds protect the highway in this critical slide area insuring year round uninterrupted use. The long range program of four-laning this popular cross state highway is fast nearing completion.
U.S. HIGHWAY 10 just west of the summit of Snoqualmie Pass. Snowsheds protect the highway in this critical slide area insuring year round uninterrupted use. The long range program of four-laning this popular cross state highway is fast nearing comple

Welcome to The Northwest Past!

Hi, welcome to The Northwest Past, a blog dedicated to history of the Pacific Northwest, Washington State in particular. I’ll be posting historic photographs, information, and relics in hopes of sharing my interest in local history and by bringing the past “to life” in a way that is more interesting than a textbook. I hope that this blog will be a place that will interest, inform, and maybe even bring back memories.

Thanks for stopping by! : )