On the Trail of the Nez Perce
Caxton Press, 9780870043932, 437pp.
Publication Date: January 1, 1999
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Stevens Pass always has had an aura of mystery about it. Even while Seattle boomed during the great gold rush of the 1800s, there was no way to cross the formidable North Cascade Mountains. Inspired by potential Orient trade, railroaders spent years looking for a suitable route over the mountains until surveyor John F. Stevens discovered a pass in 1890.The history of the opening of Stevens Pass is a saga of nearly superhuman feats by railroad construction crews, ghastly design mistakes, natural catastrophes, and the determination of magnates to connect communities by rail.Another part of the Stevens Pass saga is the story of individuals who traversed the mountains, built crude homes and schooled their children at home or in drafty log school houses. But there also was an element living in the mountains who took advantage of the isolation to work scams, fight, steal and even commit murder.More than a regional history, this story tells of the Wellington disaster, a killer avalanche; the period when ski jumping drew crowds of thousands and the growing efforts of the U.S. Forest Service to serve recreational demands.
About the Author
Martin Stadius is a native of the West with more than twenty years experience in the book business and lives in Portland, Oregon. He began his study of the Nez Perce war in 1992, after reading about the new National Historic Trail, and visiting White Bird, where the first battle of the conflict was fought.
Praise For Dreamers: On the Trail of the Nez Perce…
"A remarkable personal quest. Martin Stadius sets off to truly tell the story of the Nez Perce, the Real People. He follows the trail through the archives and over every mile of their odyssey, a journey both exhilarating and heartbreaking. This is blue-highways, tramp-the-weeds history at its best."—Elliott West, Professor of Native American Studies, Univ. of Arkansas
"Martin Stadius gives the reader a vivid account of the feelings he got while traveling the rugged 1,200 mile retreat route taken by Chief Joseph and his people over terrain which remains little changed today. For anyone interested in the incredible saga of the flight toward freedom by the courageous Nez Perce, this is a "must-read" book."—Bill Gulick, author of Chief Joseph Country
"Stadius'' writing style is arresting, as he splices together historical events with his travels along the Nez Perce National Historic Trail. . . Dreamers is an important book, if only to help us understand another part of the Pacific Northwest''s history. Though studius and research-filled, Dreamers does not read like a dry, dusty textbook. Instead it brings alive an important and tragic chapter of our region''s past."—Tri-City Herald