NOMINATION FORMS (continued)
National Register of Historic Places Inventory for North Cascades National Park
excerpts from Nomination Forms National Register of Historic Places Inventory for North Cascades National Park
4. OWNER OF PROPERTY
5. LOCATION OF LEGAL DESCRIPTION
6. REPRESENTATION IN EXISTING SURVEYS
DESCRIBE THE PRESENT AND ORIGINAL (if known) PHYSICAL APPEARANCE
Before white man entered the area, the Indians of the west and east slopes of the North Cascade range are believed to have had a trail that followed up the North Fork, Cascade River, over Cascade Pass, down the Stehekin River, branching at the junction of the Stehekin and Bridge Creek, with one trail then going up Bridge Creek and over Twisp Pass, and the other branch continuing down the Stehekin to Lake Chelan.
In 1896, the State of Washington began work to convert this trail, already improved upon in the Stehekin drainage by miners, into a trans-Cascades wagon road. Although it came to be called the Cascade Wagon Road, apparently the end result was an improved horse and hiker trail.
Railroad surveys were also made along the Stehekin River; but no construction followed.
Eventually a truck road led from Stehekin Landing, up the Stehekin, ending at Horseshoe Basin, it bypassing the historic trail from the 10-mile post to the junction of the Stehekin and Bridge Creek. This road served mines in Horseshoe Basin until they closed in the 1950s. Today the road is closed, at least temporarily, beyond the Bridge Creek junction--because of an unsafe bridge. Above that point, the road is swiftly returning to its former status of a trail.
A part of the trail today--along Bridge Creek--is a section of the famed Cascade Crest Trail that runs south from the Canadian border toward California and Mexico.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
The long search for communications across the North Cascades is an important theme in the history of the Pacific Northwest, particularly Washington. This trail, along Bridge Creek, the Stehekin River, and over Cascade Pass witnessed the first white to come this way in search of a route--Alexander Ross, 1814. Since then, miners, road developers, railroad developers, the U. S. Army, and settlers explored this route and developed it in part, finally turning elsewhere. The trail leads through some of the most spectacular landscape in the North Cascades that is relatively easily reached by visitors. Its very ruggedness, however, saved it from excessive development. Today, its beauty is mute testimony both to the history of man's ambitions and to the natural world that it encompasses.
9. MAJOR BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES
E. N. Thompson, "North Cascades National Park, Basic Data Study"
Keith A. Murray, "Building a Wagon Road Through the Northern Cascade Mountains," Pacific Northwest Quarterly, 56 (April 1965), pp. 49-56.
10. GEOGRAPHICAL DATA
11. FORM PREPARED BY
12. STATE LIAISON OFFICER CERTIFICATION/NATIONAL REGISTER VERIFICATION
3. MAP REFERENCE
3. PHOTO REFERENCE
Last Updated: 11-Jun-2008