How Concrete Got Its Name
Concrete Main Street Buildings
Completed in 1925 and raised to 293 feet in 1927, it was
Lower Baker Dam
the highest hydroelectric dam in the world at that time.
Superior Portland Cement Site
Now known as Silo Park, this was the site of Concrete's second cement plant, completed in 1908, and later operated by Lone Star Northwest until 1967. All the remains is an office building and the silos in Silo Park (the city park in Concrete).
The scenery along the river is gorgeous - we spent time driving along the river - and then stopped to have our picnic lunch and sit by the river.
This hillside shows many layers of the different rocks in the area -
it was sliding down towards the road.
And here is Concrete's moment of fame - - -
On Octboer 30, 1938, a radio station from Seattle broadcast Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" radio drama.
Then on October 31, the next day - the New York Times reported wide-spread panic over the "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast.
At the point of the drama where the Martian invaders were invading towns and the countryside with flashes of light and poison gases, a power failure suddenly plunged almost the entire town of 1,000 (Concrete) into darkness. Some listeners fainted while others grabbed their families to head up into the mountains. Other more enterprising locals headed for the surrounding hills to guard their moonshine stills. On man was said to have jumped up out of his chair and, in bare feet, run the two miles from his home to the center of town. Some of the men grabbed their guns, and one businessman - a devout Catholic man got his wife into the family car, drove to the nearest service station and demanded gasoline. Without paying the attendant, he rushed off to Bellingham - (about forty-miles away) in order to see his priest for a last-minute absolution of sins. The distraught man reportedly told the gas-station attendant that paying for the gas "[wouldn't] make any difference, everyone is going to die!".
Because the phone lines (as well the electricity) were out, the town's residents were unable to call neighbors, family, or friends to verify that their fears were legitimate. Of course, the real story was not as fantastic as the fictional radio drama - all that had occurred was that the Superior Portland Cement Company's electrical sub-station suffered a short-circuit with a flash of brilliant light, and all the town's lights went dark. The more conservative radio-listeners in Concrete (who had been listening to Charlie McCarthy on another station), attempted to calm neighbors, reporting that they hadn't heard a thing about any "disaster". Reporters heard soon after of the coincidental blackout of Concrete, and sent the story out over the international newswire and soon the town of Concrete was known (if only for a moment) world-wide.
It was much calmer the day we visited - a few visitors stopped by the park for picnics, children rode their bikes in Silo Park and neighbors visited at the local store - and we had a fabulous time by the river.