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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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No End in Sight: 1939

No End in Sight: 1939

October 1939. Western Pacific tracks through the unclaimed desert of northern Oregon, 10 miles from the railroad station at Irrigon. View full size. 4x5 nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration.

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Not that far from where I live, and it doesn't look that much different today.

[I drove across Oregon to Idaho in 2000. The high-desert part was gorgeous. - Dave]

Railroad at Irrigon

Irrigon is near Hinkle, almost on the banks of the Columbia River. Western Pacific never got to Oregon except by trackage rights on the Great Northern "Northern California Extension" from Klamath Falls, finished just in time (1931) for the depths of the Depression, but now possibly with its heaviest use ever. The track shown is now and has been for at least a century Union Pacific. Oops, wait a second -- depending on the actual location, that particular piece may have been lifted on account of river work, as Terraserver indicates a dead end at Irrigon. Perhaps it was originally Oregon Railway and Navigation, but the dog ate my homework.

From a bridge?

The pic was taken from some height over the tracks. I wonder if it was taken from a bridge.

Irrigon, Oregon

Can't be certain of the status of the rail line. It would be a Union Pacific line now and from Google Earth I do know that there is a rail line running east to west through the town of Irrigon, Oregon (what a great name), but I can't verify that this is it. In looking at the Google Earth images of this place I noticed these circular areas of presumably irrigated land along the rail line (Irrigon, Oregon, irrigation!) so it would seem that this area is being "reclaimed." I do know as someone who grew up and still lives in Saskatchewan the concept looks entirely foreign. Talk about crop circles!

No End

The picture is a beauty. I can't stop staring at it. It makes a great case for the Flat Earthers. Anyone know if the land's been reclaimed or if those tracks are still being being used?

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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