Submitted by scott on

A small huddle of frame dwellings once sat at the east portal of the Cascade Tunnel, adjacent to the railroad station. The tunnel, approximately eight miles long and one of the largest projects of its kind in the country, was completed in 1929. Only four or five Alpine railway tunnels are longer than the new Cascade. Although the tunnel is still in use, Berne is no longer a residential community but a maintenance facility center for the railroad. The road to the center and eastern tunnel is private.

During construction in 1897 of the original Cascade bore, a camp town grew up in the vicinity of Berne and was called Tunnel City, or simply Tunnel. Its existence was one prolonged spree, according to tales of the times; the dance halls and kindred institutions had no doors—and needed none, since they never closed. Early in 1900 a correspondent of the New York World described Tunnel City as “the wickedest place in the world.” A fire swept Tunnel City out of existence in June 1900, and forest growth obliterated every remaining trace.

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