Arthur Churchill Warner, known for hauling the first camera to the top of Mount Rainier in 1888, posed his family on this precarious perch above Snoqualmie Falls sometime after 1898, when a power generator was built into the falls. The ledge on which his family once stood has since collapsed into the basin 276 feet below.
The Snoqualmie Falls facility was the state’s first large hydroelectric plant. Though constructed in less than a year, it was built to last. The original generators have added electricity to the Seattle power grid for more than 100 years. The photo at right is from the great freeze of 1949, when the falls, along with much of the Northwest, turned quite spectacularly to solid ice. The photo at left may be the oldest known photo of the falls. It must have been taken before the arrival of the Seattle Lake Shore & Eastern rail line in 1889 since there is no evidence of a rail cut in the far bank above the falls. Snoqualmie Falls endures as a popular tourist attraction, and the adjoining lodge is especially famous for its ample breakfasts. —JS