Railroads impact on Washington The railroad had a positive impact on the geography, economy, and psychological thought of Washington. The railroad was built by separate companies that built in their area using a checkerboard pattern of land grants from the government. It was built to connect the east and west and have a quicker way of transportation across the nation. It was built in the later 1800’s and took several years to complete. Washington businesses grew, improving the economy.
More people started farms and this changed the geography of Washington. The geography of Washington is shown with the creation of the railroad. People who came to Washington saw the great wheat belt or all the other signs of great agriculture so they would start their own farm and harvest wheat or fruit or any other food (Artifact C). Logging was also common and this brought deforestation of forests. There was many logging companies that all cut down trees so the outcome of all these logging companies was a huge loss of trees in Washington.
A Scandinavian article says that Washington has ore fertile land, better forests, rich mines, and great fruit harvesting and orchard growing (Artifact G). Railroads line the state of Washington, cutting through the mountains and forest and going through towns which helps with transportation and changes the geography (Artifact W). When the terminus of the railroad was decided to be put in Tacoma settlers boosted the town but with the gold rush people started moving to Seattle and Seattle was able to grow faster and be the bigger city (Artifact Y).
The growing of farms and lumber companies changed the geography of Washington. When lots of people moved to Washington by the transcontinental railroad, lots of businesses started as well. With the invention of the refrigerated car, cold beer began to flow west on the train (Artifact P). A popular beer in the northwest was Budweiser and was sold along with others at saloons. James J. Hill controlled the place where the train stopped or where the stations are (Artifact T). The people who settled around where the tracks were laid cultivated and used the train to ship their products.
Without James J. Hill the economy of Washington wouldn’t have been the same. A town of Cheney was evaluated by Ernest Ingersoll as boom town that started out slow but is now amidst remodeling with the additions of a hotel, church, stores and a large academy (Artifact B). A railroad promoter, George Atkinson, shows how with a railroad on it, a piece of land can be sold for more than a piece of land without a railroad. This is because a train is faster than a wagon and increases transportation and also decreases the cost to send a bushel of wheat to its destination (Artifact F).
The psychological thought of Washington changed with the railroad. People saw the signs that showed various opportunities that could be found in Washington or the northwest area (Artifact O). Other signs showed what was found in different parts of Washington like farming and irrigation in central Washington, logging and fishing in western Washington, and farming and ranching in eastern Washington (Artifact M). People started seeing the Indians in Washington as more civilized and less of a potential threat when the General Allotment Act of 1887 was released and others as ell (Artifact L).
The Northern Pacific Railroad company sent out brochures to try and get people from north and west Europe to settle in Washington preferably the Garden of Eden (Artifact K). The Garden of Eden was a place where people could grow rich and prosperous due to the good soil and weather conditions. Washington got lots of settlement from people who were inclined to live their from the advertising of the rich soil and prosperous living environment. The land itself was great and their was plenty of Jobs and businesses.
Nowadays the railroad is still used for transportation and may have influenced the building of other railroads like Amtrak or the Seattle Sound line. The railroads started out the big cities that are now very large and filled with people and big companies like Boeing in Everett and Weyerhauser a timber industry that was started during the building of the railroad. With the building of the transcontinental railroad, Washington grew and was changed in a way that helped the economy, perception of the state and the geography.