Through the Fertile Northwest

When I first saw the title of this 1915 booklet in the Spokane Public Library, I assumed it was one of those advertisements for settlers to buy farmland along the Northern Pacific. But, as the subtitle–“Over the Scenic Highway”–suggests, this is a travel booklet comparable to one of Great Northern’s Scenic Northwest booklets.

Click image to download a 17.8-MB PDF of this 24-page booklet.

Starting at the Twin Cities, the text describes sights and sites along the way to the Puget Sound, with side trips to Duluth and over the North Bank Road to Portland. The text is accompanied by three dozen somewhat muddy black-and-white photos that often don’t appear on the same pages as the text describing the subject of the photos.

Page 22 lists more than 30 other publications available from Northern Pacific at the time, several of which can be downloaded today from (though perhaps in different editions than were available in 1915). These include the Yellowstone National Park Folder (by which they mean brochure), The Land of Geysers (which cost two cents in 1915), and Along the Scenic Highway (four cents), a panoramic picture of Yellowstone (ten cents), and Eastward Through the Storied Northwest (two cents). Except for these, all publications were free (or unpriced), including an early version of The Story of the Monad, a 40-page Yellowstone National Park Album, and numerous booklets for farmers and potential farms looking to relocate to regions such as the Gallatin Valley, Yakima Valley, and Yellowstone Valley.

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