Loren Delaney presents “14 Miles on the SP&S Railroad” at History Forum Feb 10

The sternwheeler Norma transports rail cars and materials from a dock east of Wishram to the mouth of the Deschutes during the construction of the Oregon Trunk Railroad and prior to the Wishram to Celilo bridge. Loren Delaney will share stories of the Norma and the north shore railroad. The program takes place at the Original Courthouse Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Contributed photo.

Local historian Loren Delaney will offer stories and photos at the Feb. 10 Regional History Forum program at the Original Wasco County Courthouse.  He will present “Fourteen Miles on the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railroad” at the 1859 venue, 410 W. Second Place, The Dalles.  The program begins at 1:30 p.m.

Delaney was born in The Dalles and raised in Wishram, WA before moving back to The Dalles.  He worked for the city and taught math at Columbia Gorge Community College.  He has collected stories of north shore railroad history covering mile posts 94 to 108, “Grand Dalles” (now Dallesport) to just east of Wishram where the sternwheeler Norma plied the Columbia.

The Norma was the link between the SP&S and the south bank prior to the construction of the railroad bridge that connects Wishram and Celilo.  The steamboat played a key role in James Hill’s victory in the race to build a railroad up the Deschutes River canyon.

This is second program in the 2018 Regional History Forum series.  There is a TV monitor on the ground floor of the 1859 courthouse to serve those unable to climb the stairs.  Coffee and cookies will be served after the program.  ###