Gordon Dodds

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History



Physical Description

1 online resource (171 p.)


Street-railroads -- Washington (State) -- Vancouver




The decade of the 1880s was a time of unprecedented development in the Pacific Northwest. Railroads were being constructed, immigration was high, lumber in demand and statehood for Washington appeared imminent. Vancouver, Washington, benefited from this prosperity. In 1888 a Portland firm built a steam powered railway from East Portland, through its real estate development, Woodlawn, to the Vancouver ferry. The success of this enterprise in aiding the sale of real estate was observed by several Vancouver men who formed the Columbia Land and Improvement Company to promote the sale of their property. The company constructed a horse drawn street railway in 1889 from Vancouver's business district north to its development in Vancouver Heights. The railway had mixed financial success and was sold to a Portland man, George B. Markle, in 1892. He electrified it and operated the line until his financial empire crumbled in the Panic of 1893. After several years of operation in the hands of a receiver, the railway ceased running in 1895, and was dismantled two years later.


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