Monday, September 15, 2014

Concrete: The Gateway to the North Cascades

Did your ancestors ever live in the proud little town of Concrete, Washington? With a population of 900, Concrete is located on Highway 20, some 23 miles east of Sedro-Woolley. This little town has been incorporated since 1909. 

The town of Concrete has undergone several incarnations, the earliest being a settlement at the northwestern junction of the Baker and Skagit Rivers, known as "Minnehaha". Amasa "Peg-Leg" Everett was one of the earliest settlers and in 1890, the townsite was platted by another settler, Magnus Miller. Shortly thereafter, a post office was established and the town name changed to "Baker". In 1905, a settlement across the Baker River came into being due to the building of the Washington Portland Cement Company and was named "Cement City". After the Superior Portland Cement Company plant was built in Baker in 1908, it was decided to merge the two towns. Inhabitants of the new community settled on the name "Concrete" and the town was so christened and officially incorporated on May 8, 1909.

The Washington Portland Cement Company and the Superior Portland Cement Company supplied the materials to build the Gorge, Ross and Diablo Lake Dams, and were opened in 1905 and 1908 respectively. The town is also home to a number of historic buildings and the Henry Thomas Bridge.

This bridge was completed in 1918 and was then the longest single span cement bridge in the world and is listed on the Washington State and National Historic Registers. 

If you've driven over the North Cascades Highway, then you might have blinked and not noticed the little town of Concrete, but it is proudly there!

1 comment:

  1. Went through Concrete on way to WSGS conference in Arlington this year.