When Miss Livingstone’s cross-country journey by train was first written, I had her coming to arrive in Seattle area about March 1, 1910. When I checked on what train she would’ve ridden, I discovered one of the worst avalanches in history. She may have lost her life if she’d traveled as I had written, but even if she made it through, it couldn’t have happened March 1st since the tracks were blocked for quite some time before and after that date.
The Wellington Avalanche was a horrific tragedy. The adjustments in rail construction after the fact, and even the changing of the town’s name to Tye, attest to the serious terror and trauma it left. Even today experts lean on knowledge of that slide when evaluating potential danger.
You can get a general overview on Wikipedia or a modern article – rather graphically – looking back on Heraldnet or even a tour of the debris at the modern site with a very full explanation of the event from expert, Martin Burwash, on the topic on YouTube and there’s an extensive article with lots of gathered images on a blog HERE There have been several books written on the subject, so if you’re interested in learning more do a simple search and you’ll find tons of leads.
Again I’m amazed how important it is to fact check a fictional story based loosely on history, and how daunting, surprising and fascinating the things you find back in time.
Not sure of the credit for this photo above…I found it on the blog referenced with the link under ‘HERE’ above.