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Wellington, Washington Train Disaster: Topics in Chronicling America

A storm trapped passengers on a train in Wellington and on March 1, 1910, an avalanche hit. This guide provides access to materials related to the "Wellington, Washington Train Disaster" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers


"Here is death hill, which sent tons of snow down heads of helpless passengers." March 2, 1910. The Seattle Star (Seattle, WA), Image 1. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

They waited there in Wellington for a week, the women crying and the men solemn. Avalanches came one after another, missing them but boxing them in and increasing their terror. Finally, early in the morning on March 1st, the feared avalanche hurtled down and poured the two trains and half the town down the precipice. The survivors were few already, and with rescue still far away, they were still not safe. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


February 23 - March 1, 1910Two trains, one carrying passengers and one carrying mail are halted in Wellington, Washington in the Cascades by avalanches.
February 28, 1910A few passengers, afraid to stay where they were, decide to leave and walk to Scenic.
March 1, 1910An avalanche hits the two trains and Wellington.
March 2, 1910Rescue groups arrive to help; they spend weeks rescuing survivors, finding bodies and clearing the railroad.