Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Partners in Preservation funds chapel car

Chapel car 5 Messenger of Peace has been awarded funding by the Partners In Preservation (“PiP”). PiP is an initiative of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the American Express Foundation, and this was the fifth year of the competition. The $50,000 grant has been made to support rehabilitation of car 5’s deteriorated structure, windows, assist in replacement of the special railcar pews, and other interior components.

25 projects competed for funding in a public vote. The top vote getter was awarded full funding and other projects were awarded grants by a committee based in part on the popular vote, but also on the overall impact of the project, viability, and sustainability. The chapel car was one of 11 projects funded by the program. Other notable projects competing for funding included the Kirkland Arts Center, King Street Station, Washington Hall, Point No Point Lighthouse and Ferry House at Ebey’s Landing.

Each historic site was responsible for rallying the public to vote. Techniques such as Facebook, fliers, emails, word of mouth, web site announcements, and open houses raised awareness of the projects. The public was invited to vote for their favorite project once a day for 30 days and the top vote getter was fully funded. In an interesting twist, two projects tied for first place: the Schooner Adventuress and Town Hall Seattle. Nine additional projects – including Messenger of Peace – were also funded. The remaining 14 projects received a $5,000 grant to help their projects proceed.

Chapel car 5 Messenger of Peace was built in 1898 for the American Baptist Publication Society and served until 1948 traveling through more than 11 states including Washington and Oregon. It was introduced as “a tool of modern evangelism” and its work touched the lives of thousands of people. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a City of Snoqualmie Landmark. A major rehabilitation effort is about to begin supported with funding awards from 4Culture, Capital Projects for Washington’s Heritage, Save America’s Treasures, private donations, and now Partners in Preservation.

Following completion of the rehabilitation effort, Messenger of Peace will be placed on exhibit in the new Train Shed exhibit building now under construction in Snoqualmie. It will be used in part to interpret how railroads were used to bring new ideas to communities.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Museum hosts Evening Magazine

The Northwest Railway Museum made a beautiful setting for television's King 5 Evening Magazine. The filming occurred on Monday, June 14 with host Meeghan Black. It featured the Snoqualmie Depot and the Museum's interpretive railway during introductory segments. The program is scheduled to air at 7 PM on Tuesday, June 15, 2010.

Ms. Black has visited the museum prior to today's assignment and took the time to learn about the many improvements made over the last few years. She briefly visited the Conservation and Restoration Center, and had a chance to tour the new Wellington Remembered exhibit. Several clips were filmed from a moving train too.

Special thanks go out to Jason P. and Jon B. for treking up to the Museum to run the train for Meeghan, and to Sue V. and Jessie C. for setting it up! It has become a rare day when the media visits the Museum for coverage not related to a disaster and it was great to be able to accomodate their request.

Evening Magazine in the Seattle market debuted in 1986. It features stories about lifestyle, leisure, current events, and even museums! It remains a popular program after nearly 24 years on the air. Episodes often repeat on Northwest Cable News.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Improving educational interpretation

The Northwest Railway Museum’s mission places a heavy emphasis on the role railroads played in the development and settlement of the Northwest. This story is interesting with a well-written narrative, but it is much more compelling with tangible evidence such as buildings, rolling stock and locomotives. So the large objects in the Museum’s collection are becoming more relevant to many visitors with the addition of high quality interpretive signs that connect the history with the objects. Ten interpretive signs were installed along Snoqualmie’s Centennial Trail in 2008 and have been well-received. Thanks to a grant from 4Culture and their Special Projects program, three more signs were introduced earlier this month with a fourth one made possible by a grant from the National Railway Historical Society.

The White River Lumber Company caboose 001, the Snoqualmie Depot, Northern Pacific steam rotary 10, and Weyerhaeuser Timber locomotive 1 now have outdoor signs to help visitors better understand and appreciate their role in settling and developing the Northwest.

The $10,000 project was managed by the Museum’s Educator Jessie C. with research assistance from Rich W. Photos were copied from the Museum’s collection, but also from the Weyerhaeuser Company archives and Jim Fredrickson’s collection. Design and production was completed by Chinook Signs with manufacture of the digital high pressure laminate by Fossil Graphics.

Thanks to 4Culture and the National Railway Historical Society, interpretation at the Northwest Railway Museum continues to improve!