Submitted by scott on

Kalama was entirely a Northern Pacific railroad creation. It was unofficially born in May 1870 when the Northern Pacific railroad turned the first shovel of dirt. Northern Pacific built a dock, a sawmill, a car shop, a roundhouse, a turntable, hotels, a hospital, stores, homes. In just a few months in 1870, the working population exploded to approximately 3500 and the town had added tents, saloons, a brewery, and a gambling hall. Soon the town had a motto: "Rail Meets Sail". Recruiters went to San Francisco and recruited Chinese labor, who moved to their own Chinatown in a part of Kalama now called China Gardens. The population of Kalama peaked at 5,000 people, but in early 1874, the railroad moved its headquarters to Tacoma, and by 1877, only 700 people remained in Kalama.,_Washington

1908 - The Northern Pacific extended its Tacoma-Kalama mainline south to Vancouver in order to make use of the Spokane, Portland & Seattle's Vancouver-Portland line, and discontinues the newly obsolete ferry service between Kalama and Goble. Northern Pacific also changes the operation of its premier passenger train, the North Coast Limited. Rather than continuing to run the train in a single section from the Twin cities to Tacoma and then on to Portland, the consist is now broken into two sections at Pasco, one running over Stampede Pass on the Northern Pacific mainline and terminating in Seattle, the other running along the Columbia River via the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway to terminate in Portland. Similarly, the Portland-bound portion of Great Northern's Oriental Limited is diverted from the Union Pacific-controlled Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company to the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway.