The exact date of this image is unknown, but was probably taken around January, 1954.
The writing on the photo reads “Elbe BM – across from Depot – CMP.S.”
To the right is a a clear view of is the Elbe IOOF(Independent Order of Odd Fellows) building, which still stands today.
You can see Lambert’s Quick Lunch in the background. That building, however, is no longer standing. “. . . Lambert’s Lunch and Service Station sold to Stanley Johnson and later became the A&M Cafe burned down.” (History of Southeastern Pierce County.)
If you had been driving up from Eatonville to Eble in 1944, you may have had to stop for this train, at the “relocation” crossing. (The train tracks had to be rerouted to accommodate the new dam going in.)
Today the trains are a tourist event, but back then they were vital part of the community.
“A combination store-hotel was built on the north side of State Highway 5, which passes through the village, and the post office was located there until transferred to Louis Von Salzen’s store on the opposite (southwest) corner of the intersecting street.
The first mail to Ashford’s place came over a trail through the forest by horseback from Meta. After the Elbe post office was opened, June 4, 1892, it was brought from that point either by horseback or stage.
The Tacoma and Eastern Railroad finished its line to Ashford in 1904 and thereafter Ashford’s mail was supplied by trains. Mr. Ashfordwould go to the depot with the pushcart to obtain it.”