Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Historical Snippets

Train Schedule 1900
The Good Earth series fictionalizes the railroad war of 1908-1912 through the Central Oregon desert. In the first book, Bethrina Granger is sent from Seattle, Wa to Hillman, Oregon. Along the way she encounters a variety of characters who will help her in her journey to become a confident self-assured woman of God.

One segment of her journey takes place on the Columbia Southern Railway from Biggs to Shaniko. During the first decade of the twentieth century Shaniko was the "wool capital of the world." By 1911, a flood in Hay canyon and the completion of the new line from the Dalles to Bend left the Columbia Southern Railway to the history books.

Bethrina settles in a small town known as Hillman. The town is named for two railroad barons, Hill and Harriman, who dream of connecting Washington and California by rail. The ensuing rail war will challenge Bethrina's faith and determination in ways she never imagined possible.

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