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Oral history interview with William Francis Lambert

  • SR 81
  • Collection
  • 1980-07-14

This oral history interview with William Francis Lambert was conducted by Linda S. Dodds on July 14, 1980, at Lambert's home in Portland, Oregon. At the time of the interview, Dodds' name was Linda S. Brody.

In this interview, Lambert discusses his family background and early life in Portland, Oregon. He speaks at length about spending summers at the YMCA Spirit Lake Boys' Camp from 1913 to 1916, describing the camp rules, activities, and buildings. He also talks about some of the camp personnel and his fellow campers. He then discusses his work history, particularly working in the timber industry in Oregon and as a railroad worker in Alaska. He closes the interview by talking about his experiences in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Lambert, William Francis, 1902-1985

The Eruption of Mt. St. Helens, no. 14

Raw news footage of the eruption of Mount St. Helens.

Description provided by broadcaster: “Aerials of Mountain. Eerie steam cloud. Interview with geologist. He tells us about the situation in the volcano and what problems to expect. Tim Storrs and geologist discuss the mountain and how much of it is missing while camera runs on views of Mt. St. Helens.

Toutle River and Camp Baker. Aerials of Camp Baker and Toutle River valley. Long shots of valley and surrounding area. Pictures of hills, etc. Back to Camp Baker. Shots of logs, machinery, and mud. Debris everywhere. Toutle - mud- river. More Camp Baker. Helicopter lands. More mud and landscape surrounding river. Bridge washed out. Wide views, dusty hills.

Clear shot of mountain erupting. Side of mountain. Plume and wide shot. Valleys and ash clouds. Wide to close of mountain and ash.

Many views of mountain erupting.”

KATU (Television station : Portland, Or.)

The Eruption of Mt. St. Helens, no. 16

Description provided by broadcaster: “News program from 5/18 continued.

Harry Truman tribute.

Recap of today’s events. Mountain, Toutle River, trees falling, Yakima ash, burn victims, Merwin Dam.
David Jackson live at Amboy, Washington.

ABC National News, Tom Jarrel. Infra-red satellite pictures, Yakima. Harry Truman. Blown down area.

Lots and lots of surrounding area.

Toutle River. Incredible video of logs and river. Logs and logs from downed trees.”

KATU (Television station : Portland, Or.)

The Eruption of Mt. St. Helens, no. 12

Raw news footage of the eruption of Mount St. Helens.

Description provided by broadcaster: “Long-shot of mountain erupting. Static.

More eruption. Aerials wide to close. Pictures of ash and surrounding area.

Close pictures of eruption.

House floating down Toutle River. Hits bridge, incredible footage.

Mt. St. Helens vs. Trojan nuclear plant. Aerials of Mt. St. Helens. Trojan in background.

Muddied water near Trojan.

River mud and debris. Spectators.

More muddy water. Spectators.

Log flow. Wide shot of mountain. Fred Jenkins gives report on eruption in studio with geologist.

Bridges, N. Toutle flooding. No logs.

Logs flowing with river.

News conference with volcanologist/geologist. Crowd shot...wide.”

KATU (Television station : Portland, Or.)

The Eruption of Mt. St. Helens, no. 13

Raw news footage of the eruption of Mount St. Helens.

Description provided by broadcaster: “Wide shot of mountain erupting. Spectators, close shot of eruption.
David Jackson live remote. Close eruption. Lightning, still of same. More mountain eruption. Another lightning freeze frame. More lightning.

FROM KOMO IN SEATTLE, DAVID CROCKETT FILM. Mountain erupts, pictures of valley, erupting mountain. Mud river. Shaking trees, pictures of his news car. Ash coming in, mud near car. Wind and mountain erupting in background.

Road washed out, hot mud and water.

David Crockett speaks. Aerials of his car. His rescue? River of mud.

Life Flyte Helicopter. Volcano Victims. (Not Crockett). Emmanuel Hospital, burn victims.”

KATU (Television station : Portland, Or.)

The Eruption of Mt. St. Helens, no. 15

Description provided by broadcaster: “Open: Special report. Essex Porter reports. Interview with Bob Christenson, USGS (U.S. Geological Survey). Jim Unterwagner, U.S. Forests Service, talks of blow-down area. Wide shot - aerials of mountain. Toutle River, wall of water, homes destroyed. People on foot. River high. Helicopters, train.

Bill Van Amburg reports on air rescue efforts. People with dog had been on Green River. Third wall of water, moving down trees, scene of home down-river.

Camp Baker. Tim Storrs, first flash flood, wall of logs. Railroad bridge out. Flowing logs.

Yakima - Cascade Middle School as emergency center and Red Cross. Judy Varner - left her husband.

Yakima ash, dark streets, airport. Bud Graves, National Weather Service. Describes weather problems.

More pictures of mountain.

Paul Hanson on flash flood warnings. Pictures of river and spectators. Ed Sonters family, eyewitness David Klein. Muddied area. Interview with man from Cmp Baker. Truck covered with ash.

Men burned, taken to Emmanuel Hospital to burn center.

Weather and Mt. St. Helens. Missing geologists.

Harry Truman, Mt. St. Helens.”

KATU (Television station : Portland, Or.)

The Eruption of Mt. St. Helens, no. 11

Raw news footage of the eruption of Mount St. Helens.

Description provided by broadcaster: “The big eruption - slide sequence campsite - windshield - mountain and fast sequence

Camera - Don Stapleton, logs and river from river bank. Man pulls fish from river.

Toutle River - Long shot of mountain erupting ash. Eerie picture. Toutle River - road block. Logs and bridge.

Toutle flood, mountain and landscape in foreground. News people and other aircraft. Sea of mud. Small building in mud….. flying down river. Logs and debris, wall of gunk, highway, wide shots of mountain. Logs moving.

Long shot-mountain still in picture. One and scarcely see that the ash is moving. Static shot of eruption.”

KATU (Television station : Portland, Or.)

The Eruption of Mt. St. Helens, no. 19

The Eruption of Mt. St. Helens program.

Scene description provided by broadcaster: “Wide of Spirit Lake, summer and winter. Skiers, winter activity on Mt. St. Helens. Wide shot of summit.
Eruption in action. "Mt. St. Helens blew its top." Pictures of denuded surface.
Muddy river, damaged homes near river. Logs in river.
Landscape with perfect snow-covered mountain in background.
Geologist gives history of mountain. “A spasm of destruction." Mt. St. Helens subject of Indian legend. Wide shot of Spirit Lake before eruption.
Harry Truman interviewed by Robin Anderson.
More history: last eruption in 1857.
Earthquakes on mountain for one week in March. Pictures of police warning residents to leave. "Swarms of earth-quakes”, between March 20 and March 27. Explosions follow. Crater enlarged. Second crater appears.
Pictures of cracks in surface. View into crater. Ash and steam billowing.
Eruption. Ash and cloud build-up.
Harmonic tremor, molten rock.
Pictures of spectators, cars on roadside.
Harry Truman's reaction: He's going to stay.
Beautiful shot of mountain in sun. View into crater-good shot. Mountain is peaceful.
Sheriff allows residents to go to their property. Interviews with people preparing to leave area. Pictures of car caravans.
Harry Truman remains at Spirit Lake. Good close-up of Harry, also shots of Spirit Lake with lodge and trees covered with snow. Harry states that he is going along with mountain.
Explosion rips north face of mountain. Mountain top disintegrates...1200 feet blown off top.
Full shot of huge cloud of ash. Volcano at distance, full force, awesome. Ash building into sky. Close-in shot of newly created top, pan of mountain in distance.
Shock wave, hurricane winds. Lightning, gas, ash smothering surroundings -Harry Truman, Spirit Lake, forest.
Ash billowing 9-10 miles into sky.
Clear, blue sky.
Central and eastern Washington in darkness. Ash blanket, like snow. Car in ash. Cars moving with lights on. Eerie scene. Crops covered with ash. Ashfall is crippling.
Voice of Dave Crockett trapped in destruction. Picture of helicopter which rescued him.
Mammoth mud flow, logs in river, destruction along river, trees felled.
River a torrent. Bridge out, boiling, muddy water.
Aerials of Toutle River. Building is carried downriver.
Debris moving rapidly downriver.
Remains of houses imbedded in mud. Silt in Columbia River.
Mt. St. Helens: face ugly and blackened. Aerials of forest destroyed. Logs as far as one can see. New barren landscape. Aerials of infinite destruction. Spirit Lake, mud and logs.
People in a town cleaning up ash with hoses.
President Carter in helicopter surveys destruction. He speaks -like a moonscape, etc.
Mrs. Gerry Whiting, Harry Truman's sister, throws wreath from helicopter on to mountain.
Wide shot of mountain before eruption.
Shot of mountain after eruption on clear, calm day. Animals, seedlings, mountain rebuilding.”

KATU (Television station : Portland, Or.)

KATU news footage

  • KATU
  • Collection
  • 1970-11-12 - 1980-06-20

News footage from the KATU Television station in Portland, Oregon.

KATU (Television station : Portland, Or.)

SP&S Train Passing a Train Yard

Photograph of an SP&S train passing a train yard. The train yard is in the foreground, and there are multiple rows of train wheels on the ground. There is an orchard in the background. Stamp on the back of the print indicates the date March 19, 1957 while a handwritten note on the back indicates the date March 20, 1957. Stamp on the back for Photo-Art Commercial Studios.

Photo-Art Commercial Studios (Portland, Or.)

Children and Adults Pose on SP&S Locomotive

Photograph showing several children and adults posing on the front of an SP&S steam locomotive #700. One adult and child are still climbing the locomotive and have their backs turned to the camera. Handwriting on back of print reads, "Wishram excursion." Stamp on the back of the print reads, "W. LC. May 20 1956."

Welded Rails for Railroad Tunnel Construction, Kentucky

Photograph of 2 men standing on either side of a railroad track. In the middle of the track are several rails to be used for railroad construction. Likely taken near Fort George Wright near Spokane, Washington. Handwritten note on the back of the print reads, "Don Thomas, roadmaster on right. Conductor on Work Extra on left. Welded rails to be layed in tunnel just west of Ft. Wright. Please return to JvW." Stamp on the back reads, "W.J.C. Jul 20, 1953."

Line Change on the SP&S Railway

Photograph showing 2 railroad routes. On the right, a railroad track winds around the side of a mountain. On the left, a railroad bridge crosses a steep area of the same mountain. A few automobiles and a piece of construction equipment sit near the tracks on the lower right. Typed note on the back of the print reads, "Line change - S.P.&S. Ry. Co. Sep. 8, 1951." Stamp on the back reads, "Taken by Wyatt S. Peck for Natt McDougall Company." Second stamp indicates this is a Kodachrome enlargement made by Kodak on November 1, 1951.

Peck, Wyatt S.

Washing an SP&S Locomotive

Photograph of 2 men standing at a water pump station as water shoots out of various pipes onto an SP&S locomotive. One man holds onto a lever that controls the water pressure, while the other man looks on. Water comes out of 5 different pipes at various heights.

The Oregon Pony Locomotive and SP&S Railway Steam Locomotive #910 in Vancouver, Washington

Photograph showing a large SP&S Railway Steam Locomotive #910 on the left, next to the "Oregon Pony" locomotive on the right. The former is much larger than the latter. Two men stand on the front of the locomotives and gesture at each other. Typed note on the back of the print reads:
"The Oregon Pony and SP&S Ry. Steam Locomotive #910 at Vancouver, Wash. shops of the SP&S Ry. - August 1950. The Oregon Pony was built at San Francisco in 1862 - the first locomotive built on the Pacific coast - shipped to the Cascades of the Columbia where operated at the portage 1862-64 - the first locomotive in the Pacific Northwest. Later used by grading contractor, David Hewes, in San Francisco who donated it to the state of Oregon. In 1905 exhibited at the Lewis and Clark Fair in Portland. In 1931 placed on pedestal in front of Union Station. In 1950 participated in Cenaqua Celebration at Vancouver, Wash. after which it was repaired and painted at the SP&S shops at Vancouver and returned to the pedestal in front of the Portland Station. Comparative Data: Oregon Pony: Built - 1862, Vulcan Iron Works, S.F.
Total length over couplers - 14 ft. 3.5 inches
Total weight - 9700 pounds
SP&S #910:
Built - 1944 American Locomotive Works, Schenectady, N.Y.
Total length over couplers - 126 feet, 2.25 inches
Total weight - 1,081,000 pounds"
Stamp on the back for Photo Art Commercial Studios.

Photo-Art Commercial Studios (Portland, Or.)

Visitation of School Teachers to SP&S Railway Company

Photograph of a group of approximately 30 people standing in front of a building. Most of the group are women. Everyone looks at the camera. Typed note on the back of the print reads, "No. 190 - Visitation of Vancouver, Wash. School Teachers to SP&S Ry. Co. Shops, Round house, Storerooms, and new Diesel Shop. Approximately 60 teachers were present. Picture shows one group of 30 teachers. Oct. 19, 1949."

Empire Builder Train on the Columbia River, Washington

Photograph of Great Northern Railway's Empire Builder train traveling on a railroad track next to the Columbia River near Wenatchee, Washington. The train driver can be seen peering through the window. Typed note on the back of the print reads, "Great Northern Railway's new Empire Builder along the Columbia River near Wenatchee, Wash. The 12-car streamliner, drawn by a two-unit diesel locomotive, has a 45-hour schedule for the 2,211-mile run between Chicago and Seattle. Through a connecting train it also provides 45-hour service between Chicago and Portland. From: Public Relations Dept., Great Northern Ry., St. Paul, Minn."

Hedrich-Blessing (Firm)

United Nations Victory Special Train, North Bonneville Station, Washington

Photograph of SP&S United Nations Victory Special Train at North Bonneville Station in the Columbia River Gorge, Washington. On the left, passengers walk down a ramp to the train. On the right, passengers stand outside beside the train. Typed note on the back of the print reads, "File 87-80. United Nations Victory Special Train at North Bonneville Station, SP&S Railway Company, June 29, 1945. Train carried over 200 delegates enroute home from the United Nations Conference held San Francisco April 25 to June 26, 1945."

Ordeman, Les T. (Leslie Thomas), 1906-1991

United Nations Victory Special Train, North Bonneville Station, Washington

Photograph of SP&S United Nations Victory Special Train at North Bonneville Station in the Columbia River Gorge, Washington. A large crowd of passengers exit the train and walk toward a ramp in the distance. The mountains of the Columbia River Gorge are in the background. Typed note on the back of the print reads, "File 87-80. United Nations Victory Special Train at North Bonneville Station, SP&S Railway Company, June 29, 1945. Train carried over 200 delegates enroute home from the United Nations Conference held San Francisco April 25 to June 26, 1945." Stamp on the back for Les T. Ordeman Photography.

Ordeman, Les T. (Leslie Thomas), 1906-1991

United Nations Victory Special Train, North Bonneville Station, Washington

Photograph of SP&S United Nations Victory Special Train at North Bonneville Station in the Columbia River Gorge, Washington. A large crowd of passengers wait outside the train. A government automobile is parked in a dirt lot in the foreground. Typed note on the back of the print reads, "File 87-80. United Nations Victory Special Train at North Bonneville Station, SP&S Railway Company, June 29, 1945. Train carried over 200 delegates enroute home from the United Nations Conference held San Francisco April 25 to June 26, 1945."

Ordeman, Les T. (Leslie Thomas), 1906-1991

United Nations Victory Special Train, North Bonneville Station, Washington

Photograph of SP&S United Nations Victory Special Train at North Bonneville Station in the Columbia River Gorge, Washington. A man stands on the back of an observation car at the end of the train. The mountains of the Columbia River Gorge are in the background. Typed note on the back of the print reads, "File 87-80. United Nations Victory Special Train at North Bonneville Station, SP&S Railway Company, June 29, 1945. Train carried over 200 delegates enroute home from the United Nations Conference held San Francisco April 25 to June 26, 1945."

Ordeman, Les T. (Leslie Thomas), 1906-1991

United Nations Victory Special Train, North Bonneville Station, Washington

Photograph of SP&S United Nations Victory Special Train at North Bonneville Station in the Columbia River Gorge, Washington. Typed note on the back of the print reads, "File 87-80. United Nations Victory Special Train at North Bonneville Station, SP&S Railway Company, June 29, 1945. Train carried over 200 delegates enroute home from the United Nations Conference held San Francisco April 25 to June 26, 1945." Stamp on the back for Les T. Ordeman Photography.

Ordeman, Les T. (Leslie Thomas), 1906-1991

United Nations Victory Special Train at North Bonneville Station, Washington

Photograph of a crowd of people walking up a ramp next to an SP&S train at a train station. The train has at least 2 Pullman cars, visible on the right. Typed writing on the back of the print reads, "File 87-80. United Nations Victory Special Train at North Bonneville Station, SP&S Railway Company, June 29, 1945. Train carried over 200 delegates enroute home from United Nations Conference held San Francisco April 25 to June 26, 1945." Stamp on the back for Les T. Ordeman Photography.

Ordeman, Les T. (Leslie Thomas), 1906-1991

Lumber stacked at the port terminals in Vancouver, Washington

Stacks of lumber stacked in a yard near the port terminals in Vancouver, Washington. The S. P. & S. Railway grain elevators are visible in the distance. The handwritten description from the back of the photograph reads, "Bulk grain elevators capacity - 2,852,000 bushels, owned by SP+S Railway, leased to Archer Daniels Midland Company and Grain Mfg. Company, Vancouver, Wa. "Garrett" - 1944."

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