By Sharon and Steve Lamar
Upper Swan Valley Historical Society 

Northern Pacific Railroad's influence on the Upper Swan Valley

A Place for All - Part I


March 10, 2022

Elsie M. Taylor Collection

Woodward Camp, Thomas Cooney on right, 1907.

Many people are not aware that the Northern Pacific Railway Company (NP) had a significant influence on the settlement, economy and timber industry of the upper Swan Valley.

Looking at a current map of the upper Swan Valley, you might ask, "What influence?" No railways are located in the valley, nor are any Northern Pacific properties listed on the current maps.

A closer look at the early history of the settlement in the upper Swan Valley reveals something quite different. Maps of the early 1900s show the upper Swan Valley in checkerboard ownership comprised primarily of alternating sectio...

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