Page:History of Willamette Railroad.djvu/18

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Leslie M. Scott

and Willamette Valley Railway, included a free right of way through state lands. The railroad entered into possession of the levee December 1, 1887, after tests in the state and federal courts. The company built warehouses and a depot on the river bank, and its successors occupied the property some twenty-five years.

The latter history of the narrow gauge is soon told. The lines of the Oregonian Railway Company were foreclosed by a group of Southern Pacific interests in 1890, chief of whom were C. P. Huntington and Thomas H. Hubbard. The line of the Portland and Willamette Valley Railway was foreclosed in 1892 by the same interests. A new company was formed in 1890 to take over the property, the Oregonian Railroad Company, T. E. Stillman, president; Richard Koehler, vice president; W. W. Bretherton, secretary; Charles N. Scott, superintendent; C. B. Williams, auditor; A. L. Warner, acting auditor; George H. Andrews, treasurer. Receiver Scott turned over the railroad to this company in May, 1890. Soon afterwards the work began of broadening the east side road to standard gauge. At this time Huntington was considering large projects in Western Oregon, among them the Astoria railroad and the Pengra route across Cascade Mountains,[1] together with an extension of the narrow gauge from Silverton to Portland.[2] Surveys for the latter ran by way of Lents and Molalla,[3] but the surveyors were called in late in 1890[4] and the project was abandoned. Huntington extended the railroad from Coburg to Springfield and Natron. Further extension to Wendling was made in 1900. The west side branch was made standard gauge in 1893. Crocker and Stanford interests for a time opposed Huntington's schemes as to the narrow gauge acquisition, and were brought into line, according to current gossip, by Huntington's threats of connecting the narrow gauge system with the Central Pacific.[5]

  1. For Huntington's plans, see Quarterly, vol. xv, pp. 231–32.
  2. See The Oregonian, April 7, 1890.
  3. See The Oregonian, August 5, 1890.
  4. See The Oregonian, December 2, 1890.
  5. See The Oregonian, November 24, 1890; December 24, 1890.