Photo above courtesy of Martin Burwash, from the Eatonville to Rainier website (eatonvilletorainier.com).
Imagine taking this car on this road to see the Nisqually Glacier and Mt. Rainier, back in those days. Look at the bridge they just crossed!
After flowing west to today’s quaint, quirky, and cool Elbe, the river creates Thurston County’s east border with Pierce County. It then travels northwest until it flows into the Puget Sound.
There are now two easy ways to cross the Nisqually. Upriver about twelve miles west of Mt. Rainier Park’s Nisqually Entrance, Highway 7’s Elbe Bridge crosses the river at the boundary of Lewis and Pierce Counties.
Interstate 5 crosses the Nisqually where it joins Puget Sound, at the Nisqually Estuary.
Crossing the Nisqually in the Old Days
Crossing the Nisqually River in the days before Highway 7 and Interstate 5 was quite an adventure!
This 1905 photo shows Sam P’yelo of the Nisqually Tribe canoeing in the Nisqually River.
Early European settlers built the first bridge across the Nisqually at Elbe in 1898.
Here is the same 1898 bridge. This bridge is long gone–they weren’t built to last.
Logging operations began in earnest near Elbe at the beginning of the 20th century, with the building of the first sawmill. Early railroads transported the harvested timber. Continue reading Canoes to Covered Bridges – Crossing the Old Nisqually