Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Happy retirement, James!

Last call for cunningly clever quotes and punny pontifications: James Sackey has announced his retirement as Depot Book Store Clerk!

James joined the Northwest Railway Museum staff in February 1997, shortly after retiring from the United States Navy. He has been the watchful warden of the Snoqualmie Depot and the careful clerk of the Depot Bookstore for more than 20 years, and he reports that it has been his longest gig, at least so far!

Mr. Sackey has been a valued supporter of the Museum, but for many he has been its face. Over the years, his good humor,  puns, literary prose, and general railroad banter have been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors. He will be missed by many, but especially by Snoqualmie Depot regulars, Museum Volunteers, and Staff. And one staff member in particular - Phoebe Snow to be precise - offers a literary tribute:


FASTER than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle,
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.

Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
And there is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart run away in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill and there is a river:
Each a glimpse and gone for ever!

                        --ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.


PUNNIER than joke books, one-liners and games,
Close to our hearts, “Almost everything James”;
And charging along with his trademark mustache,
James took MasterCard, Visa, and sometimes took cash.
With James, jokes and puns—witty, inane—
Fly as thick as driving rain;
Yet never again, in the wink of an eye,
Will this bookstore clerk whistle by.

Here is a man who clambers and scrambles
All by himself to save bookstores from brambles;
Here is a tourist who stands and gazes
While James with his knowledge, and singing, amazes!
Good-humored banter, groans, and camaraderie
Are exiting sometimes sunny Snoqualmie;
Wishing you well, James; please know that you’ll never
From thought, from our hearts, be gone for ever!


Happy trails James Sackey! 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Chapel Car Prayer

Chapel car 5 Messenger of Peace has been an exhibit in the Train Shed for several years now. However only with this year's opening of the Railway Education Center has it been possible to have expanded programming.  One such recent opportunity was recognition of the First Baptist Church of Everett's Anniversary.

Formed in 1893 as a direct result of the good work done by Chapel Car 1 Evangel, the First Baptist Church of Everett just celebrated their 125th Anniversary! Lead Pastor Brian Harpell accompanied his Senior Ministry to the Northwest Railway Museum.  They rode the train, got a tour of the Train Shed, learned about the history of the chapel car, and then gathered for the first organized prayer in the car since 1946.  The melodic sounds of a Baptist hymn filled the car and spilled into the gallery, and while the venue has not been consecrated, it was a remarkable experience seeing the car used as it was originally intended.

Congratulations to the First Baptist Church of Everett on 125 years of service to our region, and thank you for making Messenger of Peace a part of your celebration!

Monday, May 29, 2017

50 Years of Excursions

The Museum's new identity appeared
on loco 4024 on Sunday, May 28,
May 28th, 2017. It was a Red Letter Day - or at least a warm and sunny day - in the Snoqualmie Valley, and marked 50 years of excursions trains at the Northwest Railway Museum.  Dignitaries, supporters and visitors gathered in front of the Snoqualmie Depot to mark this milestone achievement.

An excursion train departs Kimball
Creek Station circa 1969.
Just 50 years prior, on Sunday, May 28th, 1967, an excursion train consisting of Canadian Collieries locomotive 17, flatcar 62, Northern Pacific coach X46 (889), and Northern Pacific caboose 1203 departed the Kimball Creek station bound for Niblock Yard. William (Bill) Petitjean was fireman that day, and continues to reside in the community.  He was one of the invited guests and cut a ribbon symbolizing the beginning of the next 50 years of excursions!

Bill Petitjean
Mr. Petitjean has continued his involvement with steam trains ever since his first experiences at the Northwest Railway Museum in the mid and late 1960s. Today he is the owner and founder of Engine Lubricants, makers of Green Velvet-brand lubricants used across North America on many of the steam locomotives and steam traction engines in service today.  Of late, Mr. Petitjean has also taken an interest in Northern Pacific 924 and has got involved in that rehabilitation project taking place here at the Northwest Railway Museum.  His engineering skill has certainly found a welcome home!
Steve Ater

Dignitaries on hand to mark the occasion represented the local and regional committee.  The new President of the Board Steve Ater hosted and introduced the dignitaries.  Museum staff including Ms. Barchi, Ms. Cunningham, and Ms. Lake organized the morning, and important volunteer support - including sound reinforcement by Mr. Beveridge - made for a successful event.  

Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson has been a long term supporter of the Museum.  He was instrumental in the land exchange that created today's museum campus.  Declaring Sunday, May 28th, 2017, "Northwest Railway Museum Day," the Mayor went on to praise the work of the volunteers, trustees, and staff in developing the museum.

King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert and City of North Bend Mayor Ken Hearing talked about the great progress made in developing the museum, and the great role it plays in community development.  They both congratulated the Museum on making a plan and following through, especially giving the two decades it has taken to fulfill, thereby allowing 50 years of excursion service.

Speaking on behalf of United States Senator Patty Murray, Ms. Nataly Morales mentioned the recent awards from the Association of King County Historical Organizations.  Ms. Morales went on present a letter from Senator Murray commending the Museum for 50 years of public programs, and, "the role of staff, community and funding organizations" in making the dream a reality.

REC classroom.
Following the presentations, visitors and guests boarded the first regular excursion train of the next 50 years bound for North Bend, the Railway History Center, and Snoqualmie Falls.  At the history center, visitors were invited into the new classroom in the Railway Education Center where the 50th Birthday cake was serviced to everyone who rode the train on Sunday. For the young - and the young at heart - it was a dream come true: they got to have some cake and eat it too.

Here's to the next 50 years!

The stunning view from bridge 31.3 at Snoqualmie Falls.  Clear skies and
86 degrees added to the beauty of this very special day.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Most Endangered Places 2017

Northern Pacific Railway Parlor Car 1799 listed for 2017.

The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation is, "dedicated to saving the places that matter in Washington State and promoting sustainable and economically viable communities through historic preservation."  In each of the last 25 years, the Washington Trust has listed the Most Endangered Places, which are historic resources including buildings, vessels, and viewscapes threatened by redevelopment, environmental deterioration, or other influences.  The list is intended to raise awareness about these threatened or endangered resources, and is created through a public nomination process.

The 2017 list was announced on Saturday, May 20th at the Vintage Washington reception held in the St. Edward State Park Seminary Building in Kenmore, a facility itself included in the 2012 Most Endangered list. Included in this year's list is former Northern Pacific Railway parlor car 1799, now a beach-front cottage on Whidbey Island.

Parlor car 1799 is owned by the Shaw Family, who adore the car. However they hope to construct a more family-friendly cottage on the spot currently occupied by the car. Plans are to later in 2017 move the car to the Northwest Railway Museum where it can be exhibited inside the Train Shed, a preservation action befitting of a wooden Pullman car built more than 116 years ago.  

Two weeks ago the annual Seattle Foundation Give Big charitable giving event raised more than $13,000 in support of the Parlor Car move.  Additional support is welcome and encouraged. Contributions may be made to the NP Parlor car on the Northwest Railway Museum's donation page.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Thanks for supporting the Parlor Car!

Thanks to Give BIG more than $13,000 has been raised in support of moving the Parlor Car off the beach on Whidbey Island!  The former Northern Pacific Railway passenger car was built by Pullman in 1901 and was retired in 1941.  Adaptively reused as a cottage for more than 75 years, this incredibly complete early 20th Century wood passenger car will be moved to the Northwest Railway Museum, hopefully later this season.

Again, thank you to everyone who supported Give BIG 2017!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Saving a Pullman parlor car

Help the Northwest Railway Museum save a Pullman parlor car. GiveBIG today!

In the Golden Age of Rail Travel the parlor car was emblematic of luxury travel. Designed for day travel, this extra-fare car provided more room, individual seats, and often even a car attendant available at the push of a button.  

Parlor cars began to appear on American railroads in the 19th Century as an alternative to the classless coach seating of the era, which featured simpler and less comfortable seating.  And parlor cars tended to attract better-dressed and more refined individuals, and were the de facto first class seating equivalency to European railroads.  

Most Golden Age parlor cars were constructed of wood.  Many were retired and scrapped prior to World War II, and still fewer survived into the 1950s.  Yet one example was retired in 1941, purchased by a retired railroad man, and re-purposed as a seaside cottage on Whidbey Island in Washington State's Puget Sound. 

Northern Pacific Railway parlor car 1799 has been protected by a shelter and is largely intact.  Now owned by the Shaw Family, the car has been donated to the Northwest Railway Museum provided it can be removed from the island as soon as possible.

Join us in supporting acquisition of this Pullman-built parlor car with GiveBIG on May 10, 2017!  Contributions made through the Museum’s Seattle Foundation gateway between midnight and and 11:59 PM on Wednesday, May 10 will support transportation of parlor car 1799 to Snoqualmie.  As in prior years, this is an online initiative so donations are accepted only through the Museum’s Seattle Foundation gateway.   And you can schedule your donation anytime between now and May 10th!

Give Big proceeds will be used exclusively for transportation costs, which may approach $67,000 for this car that weighs more than 80,000 pounds. Once received by the Museum, the process of listing, funding, and restoring the car will begin and when completed it will be able to operate with the Museum’s former Northern Pacific Railway steam locomotive 924.  Please Give Big today!

Monday, May 1, 2017

New paint for antique locomotives

The Northwest Railway Museum interprets the role railroads played in the development and settlement of the Pacific Northwest, but it also provides the public with an opportunity to experience the excitement of a working railroad.  

Sister Air Force locomotive 4010,
Circa 1955.
The mainstays of the operating railroad are two 1953-built Baldwin locomotives that were formerly owned by the US Army. Their black paint scheme was oh so appropriate for their roles in the aftermath of the Six Day War, training soldiers in Virginia, provisioning bases in West Germany, or warehousing weapons at the chemical munitions depot in Oregon.  However, black is a difficult color to use in marketing the Museum.  Dark colors such as maroon are only a slight improvement.

A few years ago, the Museum initiated a branding effort and engaged Eye of Eye in Everett, WA to develop a new image. Later, a Board of Trustees-led effort developed a locomotive painting scheme in support of that image.  Earlier this year, the first locomotive entered the Conservation and Restoration Center for a general clean up, then preparation and priming to receive the new paint.  Former US Army 4024 was the first to receive the new livery; 4012 will follow later this year. 

Special thanks go out to Ronald Macdonald at Wesco for his help in matching paint samples, and to the great team at Fast Signs for their efforts in developing the paint masks for lettering the locomotive.

Cleaning and sanding.  A vacuum sanding system did wonders
for keeping dust under control.

Imron 2.8 polyester primer was used to seal the surface and
help make the locomotive's sheeting more rust resistant.

Imron 3.5 HG was used for the color coats.  Orange is a
particularly difficult color to apply so multiple coats were
required.  Numbering and chevron striping will be added later.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Happy 20th, Meadowbrook Farm!

The Northwest Railway Museum shares borders with many fabulous individuals and organizations. One of the largest neighbors is the Meadowbrook Farm, a public open space that preserves a prairie dating back prior to European/American settlement, to Native American settlements of the Snoqualmie Tribe.  By 1890, this prairie had become the world's largest hop ranch.

Meadowbrook Farm is central to the Snoqualmie Valley and incorporates land in both the Cities of Snoqualmie and North Bend.  A variety of public and private funders and organizations contributed to the assembly of more than 400 acres of public open space, which today is best known as the signature open space between Snoqualmie and North Bend.  It is also the open space that borders the Northwest Railway Museum, and helps preserve the context of this representative Washington State branch line.  Consequently, more than two miles of right of way will continue to border open space rather than housing developments.

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the public open space purchase that created today's Meadowbrook Farm. The Northwest Railway Museum congratulates Local, Regional and State officials who cooperated to create this jewel of the Snoqualmie Valley, and the many local volunteers who contributed their time an talent to make this dream a reality!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Lighting up an anniversary

The Snoqualmie Depot is the Northwest Railway Museum's most recognizable landmark, and its signature exhibit.  Built in 1890, the Depot is a City of Snoqualmie, Washington Landmark, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It is the centrepiece of historic downtown Snoqualmie and receives more than 80,000 visitors per year.

2017 is a Landmark year for the Northwest Railway Museum. It marks the 60th anniversary of the Museum, and the 50th anniversary of the Museum's excursion trains at the Museum in Snoqualmie. The Museum's Board of Trustees is marking the occasion with a notable improvement to the Depot: installation of a replica lamp to the gentlemen's waiting room. The lamp was produced by W.T. Kirkman of Ramona, CA and arrived in April 2017.

The Snoqualmie Depot opened during the late Victorian period when it was not uncommon for public facilities to provide separate accommodation for unescorted ladies. So the Depot was constructed with a separate ladies' and gentlemen's waiting room.  The largest and most distinctive room in the Depot is the gentlemen's waiting room. It features a semicircular wall, beautiful colored glass windows, and tongue and groove wall paneling. The clear vertical grain Douglas fir floor is another notable feature. And now, so is a replica of a 19th Century kerosene chandelier!

Special thanks to the 2016 Northwest Railway Museum Board of Trustee members whose contributions made this project possible. Now, we can light up an anniversary to remember!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Diamond Jubilee

Happy Anniversary! The Northwest Railway Museum was incorporated on March 14, 1957, 60 years ago today.  This Washington State nonprofit organization has come along way from its humble beginnings, and it continues to grow each year.  Check out a few photo highlights from the last 60 years, and enjoy the music courtesy of Tinkham Road.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Apples along the tracks

A visit to the Northwest Railway Museum provides you with an opportunity to connect with other local history.  As you ride the train, look closely and you can see history of the Snoqualmie Valley all around you: The rock cut at Snoqualmie Falls.  Landmark buildings along the main streets of downtown North Bend and Snoqualmie. Farmers, native meadows, and bogs. The original road between North Bend and Snoqualmie that parallels the track. In short, the valley's own railroad is intimately tied to the history that surrounds it. Recently the story behind another one of those sights was rediscovered, the story of an historic apple orchard that predates the track.  But first, some history.

European settlers come to the valley

The Snoqualmie Valley has been home of the Snoqualmie People since time immemorial. However, in 1855 there were two major events that would forever change the landscape. In January, the Treaty of Point Elliott was signed by tribal representatives granting their land to the United States, which allowed American settlers to move into the Snoqualmie Valley. In August, Frederick W. Lander's Pacific Railroad Survey party successfully surveyed Snoqualmie Pass. These two events laid foundation for the railway's arrival in the Valley. 

When the Treaty of Point Elliott was signed, tribal members were required to relocate from their home villages to several small reservations around the Territory. Within weeks of the signing, word spread among the Native Americans that their leaders had signed their land away.  There was unrest and rumors of potential war.  Snoqualmie Chief Patkanim decided to ally the Snoqualmie People with the Washington Territorial forces because he believed that joining with the stronger force might better ensure the survival of their people. He worked with his council and convinced Chief Saniwa to support the American side if there was to be a war.

In 1856, just a year after the treaty was signed, settlers in Seattle feared that the Yakama were going to come over Snoqualmie Pass and attack Seattle.  Twenty-five Washington Territory Militia men and seventy-five Snoqualmie Soldiers were selected to guard the pass from potential attack.  They built five small forts in the Valley next to several of the Snoqualmie villages.  Two minor skirmishes occurred, but the rumored invasion never happened. The forts were abandoned in the fall, but the next spring several of the militia men returned and set up farms, likely on pre-existing Snoqualmie fields.

Two years later, in 1858, Jeremiah Borst settled at present-day Meadowbrook (in Snoqualmie).  Borst had earlier passed through the valley while en-route to visit his sister Diana Collins on the Duwamish River (present-day Seattle) and it made an impression on him. Collins and her family had arrived in Seattle in 1851 as the first American party to settle in what is now King County, followed shortly thereafter by the now famous Denny party. Within a decade, Jeremiah Borst’s niece Lucinda Collins Fares and her husband Joseph also moved to the Valley, along with her brother Stephen Collins.

Lander’s 1854 survey of the Snoqualmie Pass (a component of the Pacific Railroad Survey) laid the ground work for the Snoqualmie Valley’s connection to the outside world.  Prior to the 1860s, travelling to the Snoqualmie Valley was no easy task.  There were two common modes of travel to Seattle: 1) a two week canoe journey down the Snoqualmie River to the Snohomish River to Everett followed by a sea-going journey from Everett to Seattle on the Puget Sound waterways, and 2) a multi-day overland hike on paths barely passable to horses over the hills and mountains between Fall City and Issaquah, and then a series of canoe journeys and hikes from Lake Sammamish, the Black River and Lake Washington.  

Stories tell of Borst hiking from Duwamish to the Valley with loads of apple saplings on his back to plant his first orchard on Meadowbrook Farm.  (The remains of the original Borst orchard on Meadowbrook were destroyed in the early 2000s when Mount Si High School redeveloped the sports fields.) He used the apples he harvested to feed hogs and then shipped salted hams by canoe to Everett and then on to Seattle. With Lander’s and other subsequent surveys, transportation was simplified in 1865 with the construction of the Snoqualmie Pass Wagon Road. This road construction was led by Borst and Arthur Denny, and allowed rough wagon travel between the Valley and Seattle in just two days.

During this era Jeremiah Borst became one of the largest land holders in the area. He loaned money to settlers to help them homestead, but then took over their properties as repayment if they could not make it. In 1867, Joseph and Lucinda Fares homestead land, later known as Tollgate, was improved by constructing a house and converted the remains of one of the 1856 forts into their barn.

In 1883 the road over the pass was improved and converted into a toll road.  The Fares farm became the western toll station thereby earning the name Tollgate Farm.  That same year, Jeremiah Borst purchased the property to help Lucinda Fare - who was in a deteriorating marriage - stay on at the farm. At that time, Borst constructed at least two additional houses on the Tollgate property, including one in what is today the triangular property between North Bend Way, the railroad tracks and the NW 8th railroad crossing.  During the period of the Fares-Borst family occupation of Tollgate Farm, the family operated a dairy, and also had an orchard. Lucinda was infamous for selling her sometimes rancid butter to the miners in Newcastle. Borst’s assistance was short lived, in 1886 Lucinda passed away shortly after her brother.  In 1890, Borst also passed and the farm underwent a series of owners prior to the Winlock Miller family taking it over. Many of the references to the orchard were from the Miller ownership period, so the date of orchard planting remains unknown.

Snoqualmie gets a railroad

In 1884 news that the Northern Pacific Railroad would terminate at Tacoma instead of Seattle led to incorporation of the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway.  Seattle's railroad was formed to build track between Seattle and Walla Walla via Snoqualmie Pass.  This planned railroad would help ensure Seattle remained the economic center of the Northwest, but would also put the Snoqualmie Valley on the map by creating improved access. 

Borst was excited about the new railroad and in anticipation platted the town of Fall City on some of his property holdings in the lower Snoqualmie Valley. In 1889 William Taylor - friend and former employee of Borst - platted North Bend.  Meanwhile stakeholders in the railway formed the Snoqualmie Land Improvement Company and platted Snoqualmie as a tourist destination. The railroad was surveyed to pass over the former Stephen Collins property (just Railroad East of the Stone Quarry between the current Railway History Center Campus and North Bend Way) and through the south part of Tollgate Farm including right through the middle of their orchard. 

The orchard rediscovery

For many years the exact location of the orchard had been lost, though there were scraps of evidence including seedling trees along North Bend Way, and orchard references in historical documents.  Yet the original trees were assumed to be long gone. 

Recently, local historians were exploring the Tollgate Farm to validate research conducted for the Tollgate Farm Park development plan.  In a "eureka" moment, they realized that the apple trees along the railroad tracks were not seedlings but part of the original apple orchard. Some of the evidence: the trees are all heritage varieties, of a substantial size, were obviously planted in surveyed rows, and are bisected by the tracks. At the time of rediscovery, all the trees were substantially overgrown with invasive Himalayan blackberry, which put them at risk. Because the tracks bisect the orchard, it suggests that the orchard was planted prior to 1889, during the Fares-Borst family occupation. It also makes it one of perhaps only a handful of pioneer orchards left in the area.

This winter the young men's faith-based character development group Trail Life offered to conduct a community service project for the Museum.  They agreed to help preserve the orchard by removing invasive blackberry bushes around several of the trees. This mitigation will help the ancient trees survive, and make it easier for visitors to see them. So on Saturday, February 25, members of Trail Life spent 29 hours clearing bushes from four of the trees along the railway. Thank you to Trail Life for helping begin the process of preserving this historic resource, and for helping preserve the railway's context.

This guest article was researched and written by Cristy Lake, Registrar and Volunteer Coordinator for the Northwest Railway Museum.  Ms. Lake is also the Assistant Director of the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum in North Bend.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Training teachers

Teachers need training too, and what better place to get trained than at a railway museum?  On Saturday February 4th, 2017, the Northwest Railway Museum hosted the Washington State Council for the Social Studies K-8 conference. The train transported more than 70 attendees from the Snoqualmie Depot to the Railway History Center on a very rare winter excursion. There, teachers split into four break-out sessions located in the classroom and reading room of the Railway Education Center, and the foyer and between tracks 3 and 4 in the Train Shed Exhibit Building.

After two hours of break-out sessions, participants grabbed lunch and re-boarded the train for a trip to Snoqualmie Falls and back. Then, the teachers were treated to docent tours of the Train Shed before returning to the Depot. Many teachers commented how they didn’t even know the Museum was there and pledged to return again – we’re hoping they come back with their students!

The Museum is honored to have had the opportunity to host a group of history educators, and is delighted to have put the new Railway Education Center to use for a program that so clearly aligns with the Museum's Mission. A huge thank you to the volunteers (train crew and docents) that came out to support the program. The Museum looks forward to many similar future programs.

This guest blog was written by deputy director Jessie Cunningham.  Ms. Cunningham manages interpretation and educational programming at the Northwest Railway Museum.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Better lighting

Brent does the honors using
Star Rental's 45-foot lift.
The Northwest Railway Museum collections care work space now has brighter lighting that saves money by using less power. Thanks to an energy conservation grant from Puget Sound Energy, the high intensity discharge metal halide ("HID MH") lighting installed in the Conservation and Restoration Center ("CRC") during its construction in 2016 has been retrofitted with new light emitting diode ("LED") bulbs. Now, lighting is brighter than ever before!

Bob and Kyle "Re-manufacturing"
light fixtures.
An industrious crew of participants removed the light fixtures from the ceiling, removed the HID MH electrical ballast and rewired the fixture, screwed in new bulbs, and rehung the fixture from the ceiling. Bob, Kyle, Gary, and Arnie worked under the direction of Brent, a retired industrial electrician.  Just two days were required to remove, modify and reinstall 24 light fixtures.

A re-manufactured light fixture flickers
to life 30 feet above the floor.
The old lighting served the Museum well, but was always a little dull due to the high ceilings.  And LED lighting is up to six times more efficient than traditional lighting, and even compared to HID MH lighting there is a significant reduction in energy consumption.  For the CRC, a 400 watt HID MH bulb was replaced with a 110 watt LED, which still resulted in a net increase of light intensity.  And this "bright" idea will improve the quality of all the work performed in the CRC because to see what you are doing is, well, pretty important.

"Vanna" Arnie models a
new LED module, which
is roughly 17 times brighter
than an old fashion 60 watt
The new bulbs look like over-sized cobs of corn.  They are covered with dozens and dozens of miniature LED bulbs. The bulbs screw into the same sockets as the original bulbs, and can operate over a wide voltage range, from 110 volts to 277 volts. Each bulb emits more than 14,000 lumens, and has a life expectancy of more than 50,000 hours.

This lighting retrofit was a relatively small but impactful project.  It is reducing operating costs while improving the overall lighting conditions in the CRC, and is a further example of the Museum's commitment to the King County EnviroStars program.  Many thanks to Arnie, Bob, Brent, Gary, and Kyle for their efforts installing the new lighting, to Puget Sound Energy for a grant in support of the project, Ryan at Platt Electric in Preston for their excellent service, and to Star Rentals for a great price on a 45-foot lift.  

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

First books in the vault

January 2017 has been an eventful month at the Northwest Railway Museum. Not only has staff moved into the new Railway Education Center, but the first books were cataloged and placed in the new archival vault.

Meet Tom and Teena Kracht, long-time members and volunteers at the Northwest Railway Museum.  This month, just shy of the Museum's 60th anniversary, Tom and Teena symbolically placed three volumes of Kirkman's Science of Railways on the new library shelving. 

Readers of this Blog will probably be surprised to learn that it was Teena Kracht who first shaped the image of the new library and archives.  "A few short years ago" as a library science student at a local community college, Teena brought fellow students to the Museum to help catalog books.  As the needs of the collection were discussed, the idea of a vault took shape.  Later, a formal needs assessment funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and written by Randy Silverman articulated the details of exactly what would be required to "do it right."  And then Tom and Teena were the first donors to support the new vault.  Thank you Teena, and thank you to Tom, too, for the many publications you have helped catalog, and for your support in creating today's archival vault!