Traces of a Toll Line

By Bart Magoffin; posted August 5, 2007

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Along Oregon Highway 197, which crosses the steep hills and wide-open spaces just south of The Dalles, I spotted several traces of a once-major open wire toll line. No part of this line followed a highway, and few traces remain. I would see a few poles standing on a way-distant hillside, but no roads anywhere close. I had no time for a hike, but did find these two lonesome poles several miles down the only dirt road that came close. Looks like an AT&T "J" Carrier line from the 30's and 40's. Ever since my interest peaked in documenting any open wire long-distance lines we may come across in our travels, I'm amazed in how little remains. It's always worth stopping for a picture, although sometimes the family needs a little convincing.