Newspaper Archive of
Mercer Island Reporter
Mercer Island, Washington
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April 22, 1998     Mercer Island Reporter
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April 22, 1998
 

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c: aim “Sukkot-limit- houseboat-D flvtufiwwuogatwn 3 Down» wa- or: aunt-nu“ not .5 at»? £5.44“; i i l i! it a? t i i . Wednesday. April 22. 1998 Mercer island Reporter D1 History preserved by the depths Coal train found in Lk. Washington to be raised j By Herbert Atienza Special to the Reporter Newcastle coal train pre— served intact under the chilly depths of Lake Washington for almost l25 years will be brought to the surface again. The lit-car. narrow-gauge train was discovered in the middle of the lake five years ago, still loaded with coal. south of the l—SZO bridge. west of Medina. Sank in 1875 it sank on a barge during a Jan. l2. 1875. Windstorm. it tests 200 feet down. Newcastle preservationists plan to put it on public display after find ing a way to pay for bringing it to the surface. , The price tag: $25;ii(l() per car. Such a historical find. however. is priceless. “This belongs in a museum.” said Charles Payton. a county historian. “This find is truly one of a kind.” said Patti Lee, co—president of the Newcastle Historic Society. “There are few artifacts left of that era. mostly pictures.” said Lee. who also is a councilwoman. "This creates some very exciting possi— bilities for us." Found in 1993 Marine salvagers with state-of~ the—art sonar first made out the shape of the wreck in late 1993. "it's pretty common to see sunken ships and garbage at the bottom of the lake. but a train under 200 feet of water is a pretty astonishing sight." said Robert Mester. who discovered the train. Video from a robotic submersible belonging to Mester‘s Puyallup fimt. Underwater AtmOspheric Systems. shows a clear picture of the train's l3- foot-iong cars. “It‘s truly remarkable because it‘s preserved in very good condition... some of the cars are upright with coal still in them.“ Mester said. The locomotive hasn't been found. but Mester‘s co’nvinced it‘s down there. too. Last week. he met with the Newcastle Historic Society to dis— cuss recovering the train to put it on display. Make More Money With Our'indexed Money Market. U.S. Bank’s Indexed Money Market account works indexed to the 13—Week Treasury Bill discount rate, like a savings account, but has a higher interest rate. And our $5,000 minimum a accounts and it’s FDIC insured. The interest rate is on your savings, stop in or call 1-800—771—BANK. ©1998 US. Bank. Member FDIC. The minimum collected balance} to eam the Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is $5,000. 0 corresponding minimum collected balances are: $0 $4,999 1.25%. $5,000 ~ $24,999 4.25%, $25.00q - $99,999 4.35%, $100,000+ 4.45%. Fees may reduce earnings on the account balance requirement is lower than similar 4.25% apy $5000 minimum balance ' EEbank. so your rate stays competitive. And you can access your funds by check, phone and at 3,000 UBank® ATMs. To make more money or rates are even higher for larger balances. As of 3/1/98, US. Bank's indexed Money Market APY's and . The rate may change after the account is‘openad. Renton Historical Society photo Train. lost during transport The train, owned by Seattle Coal and Transportation Co. was being towed aboard a barge by the tug boat Chehalis on its way front the mines in Newcastle to a landing near Montlake, according to a newspaper account in Seattle‘s weekly Intelligencer. When the wind whipped up. the tug's crew cut the sinking barge loose rather than risk being dragged un- der themselves. \ Cold. fresh water. hovering in the low 305. and the depths darkness kept rust and -rot from ravaging the iron and wood: Mester ‘It’s truly remarkable because it’s preserved in Photo courtesy of UAS Above, video footage of the train that lies 200 feet under the surface of Lake Washington shows ‘ > the wheel and axle of an overturned car. At left, coal miners at the Newcastle mine take time out for a photo with a car similar to the ones lost in Lake Washington when the barge they were being transported on sunk dur’ ing a Jan. 12, 1875 wind; storm. Below, Robert Mester, president of Underwater Atmospheric Systems, discovered the train in 1993. Historians raising money Newcastle historians will try to raise private and public support for the recovery. and would seek coun- ty grants. “ Mester has a state license to sal— vage the train, but would hand his claims over to the Newcastle Historic Society if the group reimburses him for his costs. Each car weighs said. very gOOd about a ton. and cranes :It s presewed'rnuch condition". and precision eqmpa better than it would be f h ment would have to be on the surface,” Mester some 0 t 6 used. he said. said. cars are The artifacts would The train’s exact lo- cation is being kept se~ cret to prevent souvenir upright with coal still in then have to be sent to a professional preser~ vationist to prevent hunters from ruining them.’ them from deteriorab the find. . in v. an wag in an area Robert Mester. president EaThc [Are in eff, .( of Underwater ) p u with rolling hills and no rough terrain,“ he Atmospheric Systems condition under water. but they would disin~ said. “It looks pretty dark and spooky. but it actually was the perfect place." Payton, of the county landmarks and heritage program, said the tug’s route was a common way for Newcastle coal to reach the industrial areas in Seattle. Coal trains would be wheeled from the mines through a system of tramways into a waiting barge on the lake. Each car would carry about a ton of coal. Recovering the train is a signifi- cant event- “Nothing else exists from that era. these are relics of a bygone age,” Payton said. “It’s a rare find." Camper MURPHEY Senior Loan Consultant tegrate in a month if ex— posed, unpreserved. to the elements in the surface.“ he said. On ofa kind find 'Mester. in the marine salvaging business for about i3 years. said the coal train was found when his com~ pany conducted a complete scan of Lake Washington between 19% and 1993. p H . The lake is littered with other an tifacts: cremation urns. Corsairs. Seebees and hundreds of boats. “’r But the train is one of a kind. , “These cars have only one home. in a museum,“ he said. “or in the city of Newcastle." ' tax was Ave NE #2 to Bellevue. WA (not: (425) 590-4415 1 1 Reduced- Clo rig Cost Options Flex worms wuhicrl in than“. 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