by Mark Borleske

Telephone Shack and Rail Yard Work Party

“Team work resulted in The Telephone Shack being successfully relocated to its new home. Thank you Roger, Mark, Doug, Ruben and his partner John Deere”, that’s how CRF President Bruce Reason summed up the work party of October 6th and October 7th. The purpose of the effort was to relocate a small railroad building, known as the “Easton Telephone Shack” from its location inside the substation ground to its permanent location along the former Milwaukee Road main line on the John Wayne Trail. Other work included planting trees for shade and windbreak near two memorial benches on the Interpretive Trail in the rail yard.

The work got underway when Washington State Parks equipment operator Ruben Beedle arrived with an excavator from Lake Easton State Park. With the assistance of Cascade Rail Foundation volunteers Roger Sackett, Bruce Reason, Doug Pittis and Mark Borleske, the shack was carefully lifted by the excavator and moved down the right of way. The shack was set on its side for damaged floor joists to be replaced by Roger Sackett. While was working on the floor joists, Bruce, Doug and Mark put down railroad cross ties as a foundation for the shack. Then Reuben carefully picked up the shack with the excavator and set it square and level on the new tie foundation.

In the rail yard, Mark and Bruce planted three Rocky Mountain Juniper trees as a wind block and shade for a resting bench at the western end of the rail yard. A serviceberry tree was planted at another bench on the interpretive trail. The work was complete and we are satisfied with the results.

Roger Sackett, the volunteer project manager for the Easton Telephone Shack rehabilitation returned after the work party to continue work on the shack. Missing siding boards were replaced damaged vertical trim boards were replaced, new roofing material was installed and the edge flashing was reapplied. Roger writes; “Most of the exterior has been painted the original color when the window frames were removed. I found a grey paint sample that had leaked past the trim so that it was never exposed to sunlight.  I say most because the one-gallon of paint ran out before I finished the east side of the building.  At least the 5 new boards on that side received one coat of paint.”

Roger removed the window frames for replacement of the glass panes. Other items on Roger’s project agenda include nailing down loose pieces of siding, installing a hinged door, planking the “front porch”, completing the painting of the shack and fabricating station signs saying EASTON that match the Milwaukee Road style. That’s quite a list of tasks to complete the rehabilitation of the shack next spring.

In the meantime, Roger reports; “With the window and door openings secure, a coat of paint and a new roof the Easton Telephone Shack is ready for winter.”

See all the photos and captions at our photo gallery. In this photo, the Shack is being picked up by the excavator from its temporary location on the substation grounds. Bruce Reason, CRF president, keeps an eye on things and guides the excavator.

Work Party Pre-planning: Roger Sackett and Mark Borleske visited the South Cle Elum Rail Yard on Friday, August 22 and examined the condition of the telephone shack and staked out the future site of the shack along the former Milwaukee Road main line. The shack is in fairly good shape; although some floor joists need to be replaced. The next work party for the Telephone Shack is planned to be a two-day process. The first day the shack will be raised or tipped so the floor joists can be repaired in place. The second day will involve the move of the shack to its final location on a railroad crosstie foundation. The move will be done with equipment and assistance of State Parks with volunteer assistance.

Work on site preparation for the Telephone shack and moving it to its permanent location on the main line along the John Wayne Trail is underway. This is the preliminary work for the rehabilitation of this authentic Milwaukee Road building, the last remnant of the railroad from Easton, Washington. The Telephone shack was saved from destruction by Dave Sprau and donated to the Cascade Rail Foundation after being stored in the Selleck area for many years. Roger Sackett is taking the lead on rehabilitating the structure, once it is relocated to a crosstie foundation for its resting place.

For more information: please contact Mark Borleske (206) 938-8339

or email Markseawa@msn.com

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