|Tie Hack graves and memorial|
Mountain View Cemetery
A majority of the young tie hacks were Scandinavian - from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, and the ties they formed with the broadax were stockpiled near where the trees were felled until spring thaw and then floated down the Wind River to the tie yard in Riverton, Wyoming. The Wyoming Tie and Timber Company produced over ten million ties for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroads from the early 1900s into the mid-1940s. The company was sold in 1947, and the reign of the Knights of the Broadax ended.
The only way to transport the ties was by water, and in 1928 elaborate flumes were built in the mountains to move the ties more efficiently from the high country to the streams and river below. Some sections of the flumes were suspended by steel cables because the canyon walls were so steep: the Canyon Creek flume, at one point, plunged down at a 45 percent grade. Only 2,200 feet long, it dropped 1,800 feet.
|tie hacks freeing ties along the bank|
of the Wind River
|small portion of the annual tie drive|
on the Wind River
One evening in 1987, I took the following photo - it was the first time I had seen the mysterious section of the cemetery. Except for the large wooden tie in the middle, the area looked vacant. The grave stones were not visible, and the wooden tie had nothing that identified it. I assumed it was a tie hack plot, but nothing confirmed my thoughts.
|Tie Hack section in Mountain View Cemetery|
I kept an eye on the area for several years and was pleased to see that an aspiring Eagle Scout, Nick Tolman took the area on as a project. Now, at the base of the hand-hewn tie is a plaque. (the first photo of this post shows what the area looks like today - quite an improvement)
|The Wyoming Tie and Timber Boys|
Knights of the Broadaxe
Their final resting place restored as an Eagle Scout Project of Nick Tolman
in cooperation with the Citizen of Riverton and as a Memorial to
Arnold O. Warpness, one of the Tie Hacks
|several Knights of the Broadax are buried in the Mountain View Cemetery|