This chronology includes a few events that are outside the Middle Fork watershed, such as road developments in the South Fork and major events at Snoqualmie Falls. They help to set the context of what was happening in the Middle Fork relative to the immediately surrounding area.
|1855||Indian Wars around North Bend.
Tourists visit Snoqualmie Falls for the first time.
|1867||Wagon road over Snoqualmie Pass completed, passes over Grouse Ridge|
|1868||Fires burn much of the western front of Cascades in the Puget Sound area|
|1869||Jeremiah Borst and Arthur Denny use the Middle Fork to access present day Snoqualmie Pass where they discover iron ore on Denny Peak|
|1896||Andrew “Dutch” Miller discovers copper at La Bohn Gap|
|1897||Mining at the Laura Lindsay Mine|
|1899||Snoqualmie Falls generators begin producing electricity|
|1900||William Goldmyer develops the adit on Burntboot Creek that will later become Goldmyer Hot Springs.|
|1901||Exploratory mining begins at Rainy Mine on Quartz Creek|
|1900-07||Two mine shafts are sunk at the Dutch Miller Mine and 150-200 tons of ore are removed for transport. Horses are used to take some out for tests but then operations are halted.|
|1907||Middle Fork timber surveyed by David Shiach.
The Mountaineers climb Mount Si as their first club outing.
|1909||North Bend incorporates.
Norman Bridge built near site of existing Middle Fork Bridge.
Chicago, Milwaukee & Puget Sound railway line to Snoqualmie Pass completed.
Large flood on the Snoqualmie river in November, but gage to measure flow.
|1910||Fires burn slopes of Mount Si and Mailbox, and threaten small towns from North Bend to Montoc|
|1915||Sunset Highway through Snoqualmie Pass is dedicated|
|1918||Boxley Burst destroys the logging community of Edgewick|
|1923||The North Bend Timber Company starts logging up the Middle Fork (around Camp 15).|
|1928-29||Railroad extended to 1 mile past Taylor River and Camp Brown is built.
The first official Mount Si trail is built, known as the “Taylor Memorial Trail”.
|1930||Nordrum Lookout constructed on the East flank of Quartz Mountain just above the confluence of the Taylor and Middle Fork|
|1931||The first official Mount Si trail dedicated on May 10, 1931|
|1932||Large flood on the Snoqualmie river in February but no gage to measure flow.|
|1933||Code of Self Government (The Lumber Code) commits industry to sustained yield.|
|1934||NBTC secures loan which includes provisions to log the Pratt Valley.|
|1935||Rail Line and Camp Brown rebuilt from damage during logging slowdown of the Great Depression.|
|1936||Railroad bridge over the Middle Fork to the Pratt Valley is completed, to be used through 1941.
Caterpillar logging begins on south side of the Pratt River.
Construction of CCC road begins.
|1937||Pratt rail line reaches “The Switchback”.
Pratt Maintenance camp built (sand houses for sand used as traction aid on steep tracks).
NBTC abandons Camp Brown
|1938||Fires burn much of Mount Si|
|1939||Construction of CCC road ends, joining the NBTC rail grade 9 miles up the valley|
|1939||United Cascade Mining Company submits proposal for a Mines to Markets road to the Dutch Miller mine. Various geological surveys around the mine and road surveys are performed over the next fifteen years in support of this.|
|1940||The Great Fire in the Pratt Valley starts on a bridge trestle on August 24, 1940.|
|1941||Pratt logged to Thompson Lake.
William H. Taylor dies.
|1941-42||Railway pulled out of Pratt Valley.
Rail easements converted to road way.
|1943||Rail line no longer active along the Middle Fork.|
|1942-48||Truck logging focused on the West Side of the Middle Fork, Granite Creek and up the Taylor|
|1945||Earthquake hits Puget Sound, causes landslides on Mount Si|
|1950||Wood truss Howe bridge built near site of existing Middle Fork Bridge.|
|1951-57||Active copper mining at Rainy Mine on Quartz Creek|
|1955||“New” Mount Si bridge installed, moved from it’s previous spot on the White River in Buckley|
|1956||Valley Camp established|
|1959||Huge flood on November 23 prior to the installation of the Tanner gage. This was the largest flood event in modern times — USGS estimates a peak Middle Fork discharge of 49,000 cfs from floodmarks. 1400 feet of U.S. Highway 10 were washed out near North Bend where a logjam caused the South Fork to cut a new channel.|
|1960||The first mailbox is placed on what would later be called Mailbox Peak on the 4th of July weekend in 1960 by Carl Heine|
|1961||Tanner river gage installed in February.|
|1963||Alpine Lakes Wilderness area proposed|
|1964||Mount Si bridge built.|
|1966||Flood levies created in North Bend along Middle and South Fork rivers|
|1965||Flood control dam is proposed on the Middle Fork river, and another on the North Fork.|
|1968||Forest Service OKs 7 mile extension of the Middle Fork road to extract copper from the Dutch Miller mine. Protests from conservation groups block it in court by 1972.|
|1970s||Taylor River logging is the last large‐scale logging of National Forest uplands.
Goldmyer hot springs closed to the public in July, 1970 because vandalism gets out of control.
|1971||DNR and Mountaineers work together to create a new Mount Si trailhead to avoid private land.
Buffalo Party holds ‘rock concert’ at Taylor River campground
|1972||Ore-Timber Industrial Slide Company submits proposal to use snow vehicles to haul ore from the Dutch Miller Mine|
|1973||Black River Quarry Co. begins blasting rock from the face of Mount Si, starting a long process leading to creation of the Mount Si NRCA.
After years of studies and controversy, Governor Evans finally decides against dams on the Snoqualmie Rivers.
Current alignment of Mount Si trail cut by The Mountaineers.
|1974||Snoqualmie National Forest administratively combined with Mount Baker National Forest to make Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest|
|1975||Taylor River bridge completely washed out with only temporary replacements until 1979|
|1976||Alpine Lakes Wilderness area created.
Northwest Wilderness Programs begins managing Goldmyer Hot Springs.
|1977||Mount Si Conservation Area created (no such thing as an NRCA yet)
3rd highest recorded discharge at Tanner gage, 30,200 cfs
|1978||Pacific Crest trail rerouted out of the Middle Fork|
|1980s||Closure of last lumber mill in North Bend.|
|1983||Goldmyer cabin built and caretakers begin living on the property year-round.|
|1987||Mount Si NRCA created|
|1989||Two new steel and concrete bridges are completed, spanning the Taylor River at the road 6240 junction and at the Dorothy Lake trailhead.
A new footbridge over the Middle Fork river just below the Dingford Creek confluence is dedicated on October 22.
|1990||Mount Si trail renovated.
November flood severity rivals or exceeds the great 1959 flood.
|1991||A May mudslide closes the Middle Fork road at MP 15 leaving an 80 foot long chasm. Repairs are not made until fall of 1993.|
|1993||MidFORC (Middle Fork Outdoor Recreation Coalition) formed in June.|
|1994||Gateway bridge installed.
Mine Creek campground closed.
|1996||Wade Holden and Friends of the Trail begin 2 1/2 year clean up of the Middle Fork valley.|
|1997||Carl Dreisbach publishes the “Middle Fork Guide”|
|2002||midforc.org website launches|
|2003||First Middle Fork ATM Plan released, then withdrawn because of unresolved issues with road maintenance beyond the Dingford gate.
Cadman begins gravel mining on Grouse Ridge after years of controversy, hearings, and negotiations
|2004||Garfield Infinite Bliss sport route construction completed and published in Rock & Ice magazine|
|2005||Middle Fork Snoqualmie ATM plan adopted, including an updated road agreement acceptable to inholders.|
|2006||Mount Si trail gets major rehabilitation.
Taylor River campground opened on Memorial Day, May 29.
Highest recorded discharge at Tanner gage, 31,700 cfs on November 6. Flood takes the “Island” out of “Island Drop.”
Unofficial creek-side Kamikaze Falls trail closed.
|2007||Goldmyer bridge installed in June.
Middle Fork road permanently gated at Dingford Creek in June.
|2008||Mount Si bridge replaced.
midforc.org website goes offline
|2009||2nd highest recorded discharge at Tanner gage, 31,200 cfs on January 7. Flood results in 22 washouts, including the Taylor River bridge.
North Bend annexes Tanner.
Temporary shooting ban implemented.
|2010||Rerouted, renamed Teneriffe Falls trail completed.
middleforkgiants.com website launches.
Permanent shooting ban implemented in September.
|2011||Middle Fork road fully reopens in February nearly 2 years after damage from the 2009 flood.
Middle Fork Snoqualmie NRCA created
|2012||January ice storm downs hundreds of trees, takes out North Bend power.
New Mailbox Peak trail construction begins, complete with parking lot and toilet.
Granite Lakes road-to-trail conversion begins.
Pratt connector trail completed.
DNR Snoqualmie Corridor public planning meetings occur.
middleforkgiants.com website goes offline.
|2013||Granite Lakes road-to-trail conversion completed.
midforkrocks.com website launches
|2014||Middle Fork road paving project construction begins in May. By October, the last 2 miles to the Taylor Campground were paved.
New Mailbox trail opened on September 27, 2014.
Alpine Lakes Wilderness expands to include the Pratt Valley.
Middle Fork and Pratt declared Wild and Scenic Rivers.
Teneriffe road-to-trail conversion started.
DNR unveils it’s Snoqualmie Corridor plan
Indiegogo campaign crowd sources almost $5,000 to help fund recreational improvements.
|2015||January 5 storm causes washouts and slumps, closing the Middle Fork road.
Middle Fork road paving project construction May to October. Two more miles were paved in July, 2015 between the Big Blowout Creek and MP 10.6 bridges.
REI raises $68,790 for Middle Fork trail maintenance.
DNR begins work on Champion Beach and Mine Creek river access, and an official Granite Creek shortcut trail.
A series of major fall storms blow hundreds of trees down on the road and trails, but cause no major road washouts.
|2016||Middle Fork road paving project construction April 18 through September 30. The remaining miles of road were paved except for a short section at Champion Beach.
Work continues on the uppermost section of the new Mailbox Peak trail
|2017||Forterra purchases Blethan Lake parcel for inclusion in the Mount Si NRCA.
Rare ice circle forms just downstream of the Big River Bridge.
New Mount Teneriffe trailhead constructed.
Granite Creek parking lot and the Oxbow Trail parking pullout constructed.
Middle Fork paving project grand opening held on National Public Lands day.
|2018||New Garfield Ledges trailhead work completed in June and work begins on the trail.
An April landslide 1 mile up the Middle Fork trail closes the trail from the Gateway Bridge to Dingford Creek for the foreseeable future.
Construction of the Oxbow Loop trail begins.
|2019||Early February snow storm closes the Middle Fork road and North Bend declares a state of emergency.
The Garfield Ledges and Oxbow trails open on National Public Lands day in September.
Two heavy rain storms in October and December cause a slump and landslide on the Middle Fork road near the CCC trail junction, closing the road for the rest of the rainy season and through May 11, 2020.
Congress designates the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area in November.
|2020||Heavy rain in early February triggers a large mud flow on Bessemer Peak taking out five road crossings.
DNR closes all access to public lands from March 25 until May 5 because of COVID19.
In August, search and rescue organizations install a repeater on Bessemer summit to extend emergency communications capacity.
Camp Brown day use area opens in October.
USFS issues proposed Wild and Scenic Rivers management plan for the Middle Fork and Pratt in October.
|2021||In February the DNR constructed a walkway separated from the traffic lane at the Mailbox trailhead.
Starting in August, the Forest Service and contractor Oregon Woods, along with other agencies, worked to reroute the Middle Fork trail above the 2018 landslide, reopening the trail on National Public Lands day.
In October, the Snoqualmie Lake trailhead was expanded and reconstructed to include a bathroom and significantly more parking.
Names of the Middle Fork drainage
- Bandera Mountain: Named after the Bandera railroad station in the South Fork Snoqualmie valley per a suggestion by The Mountaineers in 1918. An alternate suggestion of Bandanna Mountain which appears on early maps was rejected, but may be the root of this ridge north of I-90 being known as Banana Ridge. The reason the station was named Bandera remains unknown.
- Blethen Lake: Named for Col. Alden J. Blethen, owner of the Seattle Times Newspaper. The land around the lakes was more recently owned by the Cugini family until being sold to the DNR in January, 2017.
- Bryant: Bryant Peak was named for Sydney V. Bryant of The Mountaineers. Bryant was the first chairman of the Snoqualmie Lodge Committee. The lodge is one of the most popular of the club’s resources for members. The name was proposed by the Mountaineers in October, 1924.
- Burnt Boot Creek: Named by a prospector (Revington?) in 1888 or 1889 after he fell asleep by his fire and, well do I need to say it?.
- Camp Brown: Named after Robert Brown, civil engineer for laying track on the Middle Fork railroad who was run over and killed by a backing locomotive in 1928.
- Chair: Chair Peak was named by prospector Harry Whitworth in 1887 for “its striking likeness to an old armchair” as viewed from Kaleetan Peak.
- Chikamin: Chinook jargon word for both “metal” and “money” is the name for this peak.
- Dutch Miller Gap: Named after Andrew Jackson “Dutch” Miller who prospected La Bohn Gap deposits in 1896.
- Gem Lake: Named by The Mountaineers in 1919 presumably because of it’s scenic location. The 1916 annual describes it as “a sparkling gem of water that empties into Snow Lake through a small cascading stream.”
- Goldmyer: William Goldmyer (1843-1924) was the first settler of what is now the Sand Point neighborhood of Seattle in 1868, but also a logger, farmer, Fall City resident, and miner. What is known as Goldmyer Hot Springs today was first developed by William as Crystal Hot Springs Resort in the early 1900’s.
- Hinman: The mountain whose western glaciers are headwaters of the Middle Fork was named in 1934 for Everett dentist-Mountaineer Dr. Harry B. Hinman who led the Mountaineer’s first outing up Mt. Stuart in 1914.
- Kaleetan: This peak was originally named “The Matterhorn” but was later renamed, by The Mountaineers, for the Chinook Jargon word for “arrow head”.
- Lake Kulla Kulla: Chinook jargon for “bird”, or alternatively Hitchman says it means “enclosed” which is an apt description.
- Lemah: This five-fingered peak is named for a native word for “fingers”.
- Little Big Chief Mountain: Named for Lorenz A. “Little Big Chief” Nelson, member of the 1925 Mountaineers Summer outing in the area.
- Low Mountain: Named by The Mountaineers, not for its lack of height, but for John and Alonzo Low, original Seattle settlers who prospected the area with the Dennys. Official naming paperwork was done on March 15, 1918.
- Lundin: Lundin Peak is named for J. W. Lundin, pioneer forest ranger..
- Mailbox Peak: Named after the mailbox that has been on the summit since the 1960s. Unofficial name first used in print in a trip report by Sally Pfeiffer in the May 1991 issue of Pack & Paddle magazine. The actual mailbox has experienced many incarnations, with the 15th version appearing in the spring of 2017.
- Marten Lake: Once there were many native Pine Martens in this area, but due to heavy trapping, few remain.
- Mason Lake: While not in the Middle Fork drainage, this lake sits between Middle Fork peaks Mt Defiance and Bandera. It is named after Marshall C. “Cruse” Mason (1882–1953) who operated Camp Mason on the Sunset Highway that ran through the South Fork.
- Melakwa Lake/Pass: Appropriately named by The Mountaineers using the Indian term for mosquito.
- Middle Chief Mountain: First climbed during a 1945 Mountaineers special climber’s outing and named for it’s position between Summit Chief and Little Big Chief.
- Morpheus: Mount Morpheus was unofficially named by John Roper in 1995 for the greek god of dreams after nearby Dream Lake.
- Mowitch Lake: Chinook Jargon for “deer”.
- Nordrum: Nordrum Lake and Nordrum Lookout are both named for Martin Nordrum, a pioneer who built a cabin on his homestead near the confluence of Quartz Creek and the Taylor River in 1902. From 1910 to 1929 he was a maintenance man and fire patrolman for the U.S. Forest Service. Read a profile in the 2011 Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum magazine.
- North Bend: Named after the location where the Snoqualmie River bends to the North. Originally named Snoqualmie but name was changed by the railroad due to confusion with Snoqualmie Falls (current day Snoqualmie).
- Overcoat: Overcoat Peak was named by Albert Sylvester (who made the first ascent) for the overcoat he left on top.
- Paperboy: Jeff Howbert’s playful unofficial name of the 5013′ high point near Blethen Lake (see above).
- Pedro Camp: Pedro was the blacksmith for a prospecting crew that patented the Hardscrabble claims.
- Pratt Lake: Named by The Mountaineers to honor John W. Pratt in 1919. It was formerly known as Ollie Lake. The nearby lake just to the south is still named Olallie Lake.
- Pratt River: Prospector George A. Pratt staked claims for iron ore on Chair Peak in 1887. He built a primitive trail up the Pratt River valley to avoid tolls along the more established South Fork wagon road.
- Russian Butte: David Rushing had a cabin in the early 1900s at the base of the NW cliffs. From that direction the peak does looks like a “Butte”. Perhaps “Russian Butte” derived from “Rushing’s Butte”. The name doesn’t appear on maps until 1960.
- Si: Josiah Merritt staked a claim at the base of Mt. Si, being one of the first settlers when he arrived in 1862 after little luck in California searching for gold. He was a character and curmudgeon known affectionately as Uncle Si. The mountain in his backyard was named in his honor. He passed away in 1882 and is buried in the Fall City Cemetary.
- Snoqualmie: From the native word “Sdob-dwahib-bluh” for moon. The Snoqualmie Valley is “The Valley of the Moon”.
- Talapus Lake: Chinook jargon for “coyote”.
- Taylor: William Taylor, an early pioneer, came to the greater Snoqualmie Valley in 1872. He is the founder who first platted North Bend. Mr. Taylor was a farmer, county commissioner from 1888-1891, and operated the general store from 1895 to 1907. In 1929 he helped lay out the route of the Mt. Si trail (the ‘Old Trail’, now accessible from the Little Si trailhead) which was dedicated as the “Taylor Memorial Trail”. He passed away in 1941 at the age of 88 and is buried in the North Bend cemetery.
- Thompson: Thompson Peak and, presumably, Lake are named for R. H. Thomson (landmark spelling is incorrect), a Seattle city engineer.
- Treen Peak: Named for Lewis A. Treen, supervisor of the Snoqualmie National Forest 1918-1931.
- Mount Wright: George E. Wright was a charter member of the Mountaineers. He contributed generously with plans and physical labor for trails and other improvements around the Snoqualmie Lodge. The name was proposed in October, 1924.
Much of the content on this page was contributed by Brad Allen from the former middleforkgiants.com