Past Winters in the Canyon!

Version 2

Snowy Streets of Dunsmuir

The winter of 1890 saw 16′ of snow at Sisson to the North. The snowfall caused the entire railroad to shutdown for nearly 48 days and a train was nearly buried at Sims.

The winter of December 1936-February 1937 saw record snowfalls, not even heroic efforts could keep rail lines and highways continuously open. Many Dunsmuir stores had snow tunnel entrances. Winter had the town in a paralyzing grip. Snow was even shoveled by hand onto flat rail cars which were hauled below town; the dirty white stuff disposed of in the river. 180 carloads were unloaded in this way. 181″ of snow buried the Shasta Division for hundreds of miles.

The winters of 1949-1950 and 1952 were as severe as the winter of 1937 and were ones that the railroaders remember well. The canyon was hit with storm after storm and before long over 16′ of snow was paralyzing the town and railroad. Everyone in town worked together to keep the rail lines and highway open. Town dump trucks would load flat cars going to Willamette Valley where the snow would melt in the warmer Oregon valley. The men working at Dunsmuir sometimes had severe conditions to stand against but their job was to keep the trains moving and that they did through ingenuity and hard work.

The winter of January 1952 saw much snow and December 1952 had another hugh snow storm hit Dunsmuir. The common cause for the railroad was to keep the line open. Giant steam rotaries chewed away while snow filled the cuts amost as fast as they were cleared.

References:  Dunsmuir Centennial 1886-1986  and Dick Murdock’s Folk History, Dunsmuir by Deborah Harton and Ron McCloud, and Steam Days in Dunsmuir by Robert Church

Winter Newsletter

Time for Renewal! Let’s Open More Dates in 2016!



The Dunsmuir Railroad Depot Historical Society’s Dunsmuir Museum has closed for the winter months and will reopen April 2, 2016.

We need your help to keep the museum open!  We would like to open the Museum twice monthly beginning in 2016 – only 14 open days. Please consider signing up for a Saturday – it’s easy and fun. Contact us at, (530) 235-0839 or via our web contact form. We will have a ‘How to staff the Museum’ meeting in March 2016, date TBA. Don’t worry if you can’t make this meeting; just let us know if you would like to support opening the museum more often and together we’ll make that happen.

Here are the Saturdays we’d like to be open:

April 2, 16

May 7, 21

June 4, 18

July 2,  16

Aug 6,  20

Sep 3,  17

Oct 1, 15

Dues are due for 2016. Your $10 Depot membership and your $10 Museum membership check may be sent to the RR Depot Society at P. O. Box 324, Dunsmuir CA 96025. Should you wish to receive your newsletter via email, include your email address. All donations are welcome.

Looking back on the Depot Society’s 2015 Events

April 18th – Museum reopened!

May 23rd – Our 7th Annual Pie Social during Dogwood Daze had 85 pie makers donating 48 different pies totaling 175 pies; we were sold out by 1:30 pm. Many thanks to the pie makers and the Pie Social crew!

June 12th-14th – RAILROAD DAYS – We sponsored the Amtrak Exhibit Train on Saturday for the national Amtrak Train Day. Their crew reported 1201 people toured the train; over 500 people visited the Museum.

June/July – We had two Road Scholar groups visit the Museum (children and their grandparents from around the country).

July 18th – Depot Society Ticket Drawing had all Dunsmuir winners. Myrna Dupyzk won ‘ENJOY DUNSMUIR,” Dave Fischer won the Norman Rockwell Fishing Quilt, and Sue Alameda won the Gypsy Rose Quilt. Thanks to all who participated in our drawing.

October 10th – Museum open for the town’s Art Walk.

October 18th – Museum closed for the winter months.

Dunsmuir Museum Update

The Depot building roof has been repaired. All the donated Museum items have been cataloged; computer entry is needed. The Amtrak Depot waiting room has been cleaned twice weekly this year. Volunteers of the Shasta Archives have worked their way through 1527 photographic images and scanned in 1136 of them, others are prints of original negatives. They have located where most were taken and have sleeved, numbered, filed and indexed into an excel spread sheet all the scans. Also have done the same with 51 drawings of stations, mostly Dunsmuir Roundhouse. They have begun to final sort and index smaller roll drawings, sorting work orders and correspondence into order, about 3-1/2’ into 50’ of files.

2016 Events – Mark your Calendar

April 2 – Museum reopens

May 28th – 8th Annual Pie Social


July 16th – Depot Ticket Drawing

Your Depot Society memberships continue the maintenance of the Dunsmuir Depot (the only Siskiyou County stop) and the Dunsmuir Museum. Once again, thank you for your continued support.

The Dunsmuir Railroad Depot Historical Society


Museum’s Last day of the Season

Today marks the last official opening of the year for the Dunsmuir Museum and Railroad Display room. Stop by today before 2 pm to see the exhibits before they rest for the winter! The museum is scheduled to re-open April 2016. Even though the museum is closing for winter, the AMTRAK waiting room is open 24/7, all year round.

We’ll post a recap on the Museum’s 2015 season very soon. And stay tuned for new technology we’re developing to support a historical tour of Dunsmuir! 

Depot Society Raffle Winners Announced!

The Dunsmuir Railroad Depot Historical Society held its annual raffle July 18th in the Dunsmuir Museum. Depot Society webmaster Stacy Skalko Michaelsen drew the winning tickets. Myrna Dupzysk of Dunsmuir won the “Enjoy Dunsmuir” part of the raffle. Last year, Myrna purchased a raffle ticket for her granddaughter Jade – she won a quilt. Sue Alameda of Dunsmuir won the Gypsy Rose Quilt and Dave Fischer of Visalia and Dunsmuir won the Norman Rockwell Fishing Quilt. All the winners were surprised at winning.

The Depot Society thanks Railroad Park Resort and their Dinner House & Lounge, Cornerstone Bakery & Café, and Sengthong’s for their donated gift certificates, and thanks to all who participated in the fundraiser. The raffle benefits the continued maintenance of the Dunsmuir Amtrak Depot (the only Siskiyou County stop) and the Dunsmuir Museum. For your information, the Dunsmuir Depot had a ridership of 5,892 in 2014.

If you would like to follow the Depot click the blue “Follow” button on our website (at the bottom) and/or like the Dunsmuir Depot page on Facebook.


Depot Prize Drawing Tomorrow!

The Dunsmuir Railroad Depot Historical Society is having it’s annual raffle drawing at the Dunsmuir Museum tomorrow, July 18th at 1:30 p.m.  Prizes for 2015 include the “Enjoy Dunsmuir” package as well as two beautiful quilts. The Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  It’s not too late! Raffle tickets can be purchased until the drawing time. Winners need not be present to win.

California Theatre, Downtown Dunsmuir

California Theatre, Downtown Dunsmuir

The fundraiser helps with the continued maintenance of the Dunsmuir Amtrak Depot (the only Siskiyou County stop) and the Dunsmuir Museum.