Tag Archives: Avalanche

Spirits And Echoes Of The 1910 Wellington Train Tragedy – 09/11/2019

In this episode, Jake, June and Wendy will be talking with Medea Aguiar and Karen Frazier, both of whom are Paranormal Investigators who along with our own June Nixon, have extensively researched and investigated the site – Karen even wrote a book about it – of the deadliest train disaster in History, killing at least 96 and injuring so many more..

Listen Here:


Image result for 1910 Wellington train disaster

Photo courtesy of Museum of History & Industry, #1995.51.9, J.A. Juleen photographer, circa 1910

7:00 pm Pacific, 9:00 pm Central, 10:00 pm Eastern!


A bit about the Wellington Train Disaster:
Read the entire Article from HistoryLink.org here: https://historylink.org/File/5127

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Photo courtesy of Museum of History & Industry, #1995.51.3, J.A. Juleen photographer, circa 1910 https://www.blackdiamondnow.net/black-diamond-now/2014/02/the-wellington-avalanche-railroading-disaster-circa-1910.html

During the early morning hours of March 1, 1910, an avalanche roars down Windy Mountain near Stevens Pass in the Cascade Mountains, taking with it two Great Northern trains and 96 victims. This is one of the worst train disasters in U.S. history and the worst natural disaster (with the greatest number of fatalities) in Washington.

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Photo courtesy of University of Washington Libraries, #CUR718, Asahel Curtis photographer, circa 1910


On February 23, 1910, after a snow delay at the east Cascade Mountains town of Leavenworth, two Great Northern trains, the Spokane Local passenger train No. 25 and Fast Mail train No. 27, proceeded westbound towards Puget Sound. There were five or six steam and electric engines, 15 boxcars, passenger cars, and sleepers.

Wellington disaster: entrance to Cascade Tunnel, 1910
Photo by Asahel Curtis, Courtesy UW Special Collections (17477)

The trains had passed through the Cascade Tunnel from the east to the west side of the mountains, when snow and avalanches forced them to stop near Wellington, in King County. Wellington was a small town populated almost entirely with Great Northern railway employees.

The train stopped under the peak of Windy Mountain, above Tye Creek. Heavy snowfall and avalanches made it impossible for train crews to clear the tracks. For six days, the trains waited in blizzard and avalanche conditions. On February 26, the telegraph lines went down and communication with the outside was lost. On the last day of February, the weather turned to rain with thunder and lightning. Thunder shook the snow-laden Cascade Mountains alive with avalanches. Then it happened.

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Wellington disaster: the remains of the rotary snowplow, 1910
Photo by Asahel Curtis, Courtesy UW Special Collections (17467)

White Death

On March 1, some time after midnight, Charles Andrews, a Great Northern employee, was walking towards the warmth of one of the Wellington’s bunkhouses when he heard a rumble. He turned toward the sound. In 1960, he described what he witnessed:

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Roger’s Pass Avalanche, Wellington, WA Train Tragedy 1910

“White Death moving down the mountainside above the trains. Relentlessly it advanced, exploding, roaring, rumbling, grinding, snapping — a crescendo of sound that might have been the crashing of ten thousand freight trains. It descended to the ledge where the side tracks lay, picked up cars and equipment as though they were so many snow-draped toys, and swallowing them up, disappeared like a white, broad monster into the ravine below” (Roe, 88).
One of the 23 survivors interviewed three days after the Wellington train disaster stated:

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Wellington disaster: Bringing the bodies to Wellington, 1910 Photo by Asahel Curtis, Courtesy UW Special Collections (17465)

“There was an electric storm raging at the time of the avalanche. Lighting flashes were vivid and a tearing wind was howling down the canyon. Suddenly there was a dull roar, and the sleeping men and women felt the passenger coaches lifted and borne along. When the coaches reached the steep declivity they were rolled nearly 1,000 feet and buried under 40 feet of snow” (Roe, 87).
https://historylink.org/File/5127


Karen’s book:
Avalanche of Spirits: The Ghosts of Wellington

Avalanche of Spirits: The Ghosts of Wellington by [Frazier, Karen]


Avalanche of Spirits: The Ghosts of Wellington tells the true story of Karen Frazier’s experiences at the site of the biggest avalanche disaster in the history of the United States. At least 96 people died in that avalanche on March 1, 1910. Nearly 100 years later, friends took Karen to visit the site of the Wellington disaster. What she experienced there changed her life forever. Karen – and many others – have come to believe that spirits still remain in the town of Wellington.

Karen Frazier spent the summer and fall of 2009 visiting Wellington, researching the history of the avalanche and town, and interviewing people who have had unusual experiences there. Avalanche of Spirits: The Ghosts of Wellington is a unique combination of all three. Part historical account, part ghost story and part personal memoir, Karen weaves together the past and the present in a compelling story that will keep you spellbound.
Visit Karen Frazier’s Amazon Author Page for a complete list of her books: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Frazier/e/B006C7MPIK