Newhalem’s role in generating power was reflected in the local park. It had a center section that had been designed to emphasize the position that electricity has in the town with the pillars supporting the roof frame and the frame itself having an electrical theme. The big insulators were most obvious but it wasn’t hard to spot other elements too. A rather individual bit of styling and one that appealed to me.
Preserved locomotives seem to appear in a lot of towns in Washington and Newhalem was no exception. This old steam locomotive seemed to be particularly well preserved given the rugged location it lives in for a good chunk of the year. I assume Seattle City Light has enough cash to keep it looking good for the many visitors to the town. Indeed, getting a shot of it without someone climbing all over it took a bit of patience!
Newhalem is a company town. It seems to exist purely for Seattle City Light – I assume they are the operators of the three dams on the river with the associated power generation capacity. The town doesn’t seem terribly large and the housing looked like it was for the power workers. Even so, the small downtown area was worthy of a walk around.
Aside from the local shops and parks, more of which will appear later on the blog, there was a suspension bridge across the river. It led to a trail through the woods which, had we had more time, we would definitely have explored. Instead we appreciated the views of the river, the bridge itself and some of the local buildings including one which was once a hotel but is now a museum – sadly closed on the day we visited.