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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Smoke and Wreckage: 1939

Smoke and Wreckage: 1939

August 1939. "Centralia, Lewis County, Washington state. Railroad yard, looking down from highway bridge. Disaster to the town: The one remaining lumber mill burned down a week before. Note smoke and wreckage." Medium format negative by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

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Street view from Sept 2012. The mill pond seems to be in the right place.

Re: Unattached

Those flatcars belong to the lumber company and are for woods service only. The logs were indeed tied down with chains for the trip to the mill. This was essential, as lumber railroads were built cheap and on the fly, with steep grades and poor roadbeds. The chains came off when the cars reached the mill, which alas is no longer capable of sawing them into lumber. The shunt from yard to the mill pond minus chains would have been acceptable.

Re: Unattached

It is hard to see,but there are curved wedges under the logs to keep them from rolling off the flatcars.


Are those logs not somehow secured to the flatcars other than by gravity? Similarly, the photo also appears to have captured a person who might be unbound by societal norms. I think they were called hobos.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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