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THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE COPPER RIVER RAILROAD DEMANDED A GREAT DEAL OF
BLASTING AWAY OF ROCK, The photo herewith shown is one of the finest ever taken at the moment of such an explosion. The scattering pieces
of stone can be noted in detail.
except for preparations for beginning the continued about the daily average for the big bridge, but early the following spring entire run. In that time the big rotary there began the drive up the canyons. It was off the track not less than 1,500 was heavy work and fast but the easiest times, or thirty times to the mile. of all. The hundred and second mile was Still another hard fight took place bereached before track laying stopped. yond the end of the track. Here there Then began the winter in which the big was a thirty to eighty-mile haul by sled bridge was completed.
on the river ice to the scattered camps. But there were more fights than this But the river froze and thawed and overthat winter. Above the 102nd mile were flowed with appalling regularity; the ice long stretches of heavy rockwork to be piled itself into almost mountainous bardone and large crews were there to do it. riers, then sank away to pot-holes filled Supplies must be kept on the move. with many feet of slush and water. Hunwas planned to lay temporary tracks dreds of tons of brush and the work of . across the river on the ice, but the chang- hundreds of men failed to keep a passable ing weather kept such a depth of water
sled road open. and slush on its rough surface that even Nevertheless, somehow supplies were the tough Alaskan horses could not cross. got through and when the ice went out At last a running cable was rigged and a 3,000 men were at work. To keep them flat-bottomed sledge invented to bobble in food and material three river boats, its way through or over the icy morass. put together above the roaring cataract
By this time the fifty miles of upper of Abercrombie Canyon and powerfully track was deep in snow and this, with engined, went into early commission and the trains had frozen to solid ice a foot or through high water and low they strugtwo thick. At this snow and ice the great gled up and down over the shifting bars rotary with a train of coal cars and two of Wood Canyon. engines was thrown. It made a mile and So the work went on, still at racing a half the first day, then disappeared, to pace, with Hawkins, as ever on the job. arrive at Tickel, fifty miles inland, thirty- Heney, the contractor, himself a remarkone days later. Its first day's run had able man, worked with him side by side
“IT HAD TO BE DONE”
till the strain and exposure broke his years ago and has for many years been health and he went outside to die. identified with engineering projects in
The winter of 1910-11 saw the Copper the West. That is about all one can learn again crossed, this time at the 135th mile of him. From him one can get anything and the line far up into the Chitina basin. but facts about himself. Mr. Hawkins is Here another winter bridge fight took a most amazing combination of courage place. The deep, narrow Kuskalana and diffidence, of professional daring and Canyon must be crossed from rim to rim. personal modesty. After a visit to the Here a hundred feet or more in the air construction camps I went to him for the steelmen had to work in temperature additional data. From the engineer, then far below zero and under conditions in the midst of a heavy pressure of work, otherwise most trying. There were delays I received every possible assistance but here and as no materials could be got with the repeated admonition that he across the canyon till the
himself should be kept bridge was finished, the
in the background. Two delay meant several
days later came also a months of lost time
letter from Mr. Hawbeyond.
kins, four typewritten There was an
pages of which other thrilling race
were devoted to through trying
individual menconditions from
tion of his and the Kuskalana
Contractor to the Bonanza
Heney's staff, mine at Ken
each of nicott, the
whom, it present ter
seemed, deminus of the
served credit road. It was
for especialiy ended some
good work. months ago
The letter and now there
concluded: are daily trains
"Any reference the year round
to myself should and the high
be brought to a grade copper ore
minimum. My deposits of the
greatest concern is
THE GREAT MILES GLACIER BRIDGE, 1.100 FEET OF
STEEL WORKERS IN LESS THAN Six WEEKS.
which this terrific
And to Hawkins belongs the lion's share of the great credit that is due. This fight more than most engineering battles of today was a matter of men and he proved a man among men. He staked every shred of professional reputation on as risky an undertaking as falls to the lot of the engineer and his winning placed him among the world's great builders.
Erastus Corning Hawkins was born near New York City about forty-eight
the faithful and
capable men who accomplished this work."
This is a fine example of the kind of expression the men who really do things give to their deeds.
He meant it absolutely but his wish has not been strictly obeyed, as the reader will have observed. Strict justice to that man would not warrant such a silence.
Reflecting his habit of thought, Mr. Hawkins writes with a fine simplicity and lucidity of expression. His instinctive reserve and professional training make him understate anything in which there is a dramatic possibility and the result is, therefore, sometimes the acme of forceful writing.
Witness that "it had to be put back.”
RAW a line north and south Great commercial cities of the East, thșough New York City and South and West, doing their best to get practically every foot of the ready for the epoch-making opening of continent of South America the big ditch, have made these and other
will be found to lie to the equally surprising discoveries in geogeast of the line.
raphy. They have been drawing trade A line dropped directly south from the lines, with the canal as the center, to tip of Florida will land out in the Pacific show how close each of them is to the Ocean, far to the west of the westernmost vast, undeveloped markets of the Far coast of South America.
East and the western coast of South Including Alaska and the Alaskan America. islands in the territory of the United New Orleans, for instance, has figured States on the North American continent, out that the canal will put her six hunthe east and west center of the country dred miles nearer Asia than is New York. is located some scores of miles out in the With that as a starting point, the CresPacific Ocean, to the westward of San cent City has gone on to make elaborate Francisco.
preparations for the handling of the Those are perfectly apparent, but gen enormous trade to which she feels she is erally unrecognized, facts to which the entitled by reason of her strategic posiimminent opening of the Panama Canal tion. has called attention.
And, strangely enough, it has remained
BELT RAILROAD TRACKS ON
traffic may not be LEFT PARALLELING THE ILLINOIS CENTRAL,
forced to pay a trib
ute to a private for the old French
purse, more than city—the sleepy,
seven miles of the exotic, picturesque,
river frontage are old town of mag
publicly owned and nolias, Creole beau
managed. ties and Mardi Gras
Nearly thirty great carnivals—to set its
wharves have been more noisy rivals an
built at public exexample of munic
pense, fitted with ipal enterprise and
huge steel warefar-sighted planning.
houses for the storWhat is already
age of goods and done is declared by
with modern maCommissioner of Corporations Herbert chinery for the quick handling of grain, Knox Smith, to be “the best example in fruit, coal and other products. the country of a practical coördination of But the people of New Orleans have rail, industrial and water business, for not been content with securing permanent the benefit of the entire community.” public control of their water front.
New Orleans lies in a loop of the Equally important with water transportaFather of Waters, backing up on Lake tion—more important to local industries Pontchartrain. The great river furnishes —is transportation by rail. And just as a highway from the North for all the railways by favoring one city or one products of the Mississippi valley. Along- section of a state, as opposed to others, side the river also run great railroads, have shown their power to divert and leading down from Chicago and the concentrate business prosperity, so have North.
they the power to foster the growth of Though located a hundred miles from one section of a city—of one group of the Gulf of Mexico, tlie giant jetties built industries—at the expense of others. If years ago by Captain Eads so confine the a big plant has a switching track of its river that its resistless waters keep con- own running through its property, cases stantly scoured clean a deep channel, have been known where a rebate has been giving easy access for ocean going ves- collected by charging the railroads to sels. At the docks in New Orleans which freight is delivered a considerable steamers from St. Paul, two thousand sum for each car handled over the private miles inland, and rusty cargo boats from tracks. And where loaded cars must be Liverpool and Italy may rub noses switched from the tracks of one road to together.
another before getting started toward That these docks may be kept free of their destination there are always likely burdensome charges, that the gateway to to be delays and other annoyances.
Prompt deliveries of freight—no matter manufacturing plants of the city, as well where it originates—to the desired rail as all the railroads, on an equal footing, road or the plant of the consignee are the City of New Orleans has built and essential to healthy business development. is now operating at public expense and
To meet these conditions, to put all the under public management a belt line