Whittier Depot
Photographs courtesy of the Chrissy Holden Collection
 

Thanks to Chrissy Holden we have these excellent photos of the Whittier Depot taken over a number of years.  Chrissy's Mother, Mrs. DeViaene was the Postmistress for Whittier with an office in the Southeast corner of the Depot waiting room.  Her father was the Depot Agent and the family lived in the apartment over the depot. Chrissy visited the 557 Engine House on February 2, 2013 where we had a reunion occasioned by her discovery of the photo of 557 in the family slide album.   She provided two excellent prints for our history.

We shared some childhood recollections of Whittier and all these photos predated our time there,  as I had not arrived and she had not been born yet.  

With some interpretation I offer the following observations on these great photos featuring the Whittier Depot.
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This is the east end of the Whittier Depot prior to 1952 since Whittier Arms Appartments had not been built on the hill behind the depot.   The ARR Dock is still located across the tracks from the Depot.  (The dock burned in 1952)
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This view is from the top of the newly constructed Buckner Building again prior to the fire that destroyed the dock.   Notice the metal clad building in the right corner of the photo  where the future Whittier Arms Appartment building would be.
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The metal building is gone!  Typical demolition routine for Whittier in that day, have a fire training exercise for the department.   In the far background you can see the rail yard with the long engine house,  the Union Oil finger pier and oil tanks and beyond that the Colombia Lumber mill under the tall smoke stack.      All the rolling stock shown are converted WWII troop sleepers.
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A pile driver is working on a temporary pier in front of what will become a new Alaska Railroad Terminal Dock.    Whittier Arms has been built behind the depot and at the far end of the complex can be seen the new fuel oil fired steam power plant that provided power and heat for all the military complex being built in the mid 1950s.  At the far left in the distance can be seen an MSTS ship tied up at the DeLong floating pier which was made a permanent replacement for the original Railroad Dock which burned in 1952.
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Thought you would like to see the sign on it!  "Railway Express Agency." Details of the Whittier Depot with Mrs. DeViaene in the fright house door and her son Wayne with his "Kodak." This is after 1952 as the dock is gone.
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Probably a troop train behind the "streamlined" Alco . The old diesel power plan is featured here in a photo dated after 1952 as you can see some of the rubble left after the fire that destroyed the original ARR dock.