Announcing the Dunsmuir Depot Mural, #1727 Locomotive

What does the ultimate community volunteer look like?

Well, this is a story of the Dunsmuir Railroad Depot Historical Society’s mural and five volunteers who brought the dream of a railroad mural to life.

Depot Society member and Dunsmuir resident Joseph Vella wanted to paint a railroad themed mural next to the Dunsmuir Museum entrance.  This started with the idea of a painting put directly on the Amtrak Depot wall.  After some thought, Depot President Anthony [Tony] Skalko entered the picture with the idea of actually constructing two engine shed doors along with the painting on separate panels, one door open, one door closed,  showing only half of the Mogul #1727 (the engine which now resides at the Dunsmuir Park).  Tony took the plans before the Dunsmuir Planning Commission and the City Council and received their approval for the project.

Artist's sketch.  Credit: Joseph Vella

Artist’s sketch.
Credit: Joseph Vella

Joe began painting the large locomotive on three separate panels while Tony and Bob Billings gathered materials and designed the actual doors.  As all this began to materialize, fate intervened in the blink of an eye.  Tony suddenly passed away while on his way down to Redding.  He had the entire construction of the panels and doors planned, and Tony had planned to build them.

This is when two more community volunteers, Mario Rubino and Steve Rice, along with Joe, stepped forward and said, “We will finish the construction and hang the mural and doors on the building.”

Joseph Vella painting the mural doors.

Joseph Vella painting the mural doors.

Joe continued painting his three locomotive panels.  Meanwhile, Mario and Steve picked up where Tony left off and devised a plan to assemble the doors and mount the whole assembly on the wall of the Amtrak Depot building.

All is complete and is now mounted in front of the Museum.

Plan a visit to see this masterful addition to the Dunsmuir Depot.

Plan a visit to see this masterful addition to the Dunsmuir Depot.

Dedication is planned for October; we all will enjoy the fruits of these five dedicated Dunsmuir volunteers.


The Dunsmuir Depot Railroad Historical Society received prior approval from the City of Dunsmuir Planning Review and from Union Pacific Railroad to paint a railroad theme mural on the Dunsmuir Museum/Amtrak Depot building.  The mural is now adjacent to the Dunsmuir Museum door.

The train theme mural depicts the old Malley Shed, revealing the Dunsmuir No. 1727 steam engine in partial frontal view in the open bay door.  The bay doors are a mock-up of the original shed doors.

Local Dunsmuir Artist/resident Joseph Vella was commissioned for the mural.  His “Hello or Goodbye” painting, above the Depot outdoor bench, was painted three years ago.  Vella has also added art work on the former store building on Bridge Street – be sure to see the horses he so masterfully created! His work is also featured at the SAM, and he has completed many commissioned works.

Pie Social 2014 a Success!

In Appreciation


A beautiful day for pie lovers!

A beautiful day for pie lovers!

The Dunsmuir Railroad Depot Society reports on our 6th Annual Pie Social success.  This success is due to the wonderful generosity of our repeat Pie Makers and the many “New” bakers that donated this year. We need to thank our “Sweet as Pie” Bakery Helpers who make this event possible.  Of course, we cannot forget the Pie Lovers who once again lined up at 9:30 am to wait for the 10AM opening of our fully stocked “Bakery”.  They arrived early to be sure they had the pick of all the Pies before they sold out, which was a good thing as the bulk of the Pies were sold before 1 PM.

Lining up at 9:30!

Lining up at 9:30!

This year we had 71 bakers donate 190 pies that were of 43 different varieties: from an All American Apple pie to old fashioned Sweet Potato pie to sugar-free Lemon, Root Beer Float pies and even Onion Pies. The Pie Bakers came from 15 different cities; Dunsmuir, Mt Shasta, Weed, Mc Cloud, Millville, Chico, Shasta Lake, Redding, Sacramento, Novato, San Rafael, Alamo, San Carlos,  Ashland, OR and Klamath Falls, OR.


Our pantry, holding just a small fraction of our selection!

The Pie Bakers donated from 1 to 27 pies each.  The 27 pies come from the dynamic duo of Kathy and Kim.  How they do it amazes us.

The total funds raised on Saturday May 24th during Dogwood Daze were the highest since our first Pie Social in 2009!  These funds will be used to continue the maintenance of the only AMTRAK stop in Siskiyou County and to further the work in progress on the Dunsmuir Museum.

A sincere Thank You from the Dunsmuir Railroad Depot Historical Society to all the Pie Bakers and “Pie Bakery” helpers and to the crew who set up the “Bakery” and the Café where Pie Lovers could sit and enjoy their Pie, along with FREE coffee and water.


Some of our lovely “Sweet as Pie” helpers


IMG_1754More 2014 Pie Social photos in the Gallery


IMG_0067It is with great sadness that the Dunsmuir Railroad Depot Historical Society announces the passing of its President, Anthony [Tony] Skalko. Tony was a long time member of the Depot Society and was instrumental in expanding the Museum and its operations, and he was also responsible for the Depot Society’s web presence. He will be remembered as a man who loved his family, friends, the railroad, his town of Dunsmuir, and the Dunsmuir Museum & Depot. A Celebration of his life was held at the Dunsmuir Depot on July 19, 2014, followed by a tour of the Museum he was so very passionate about. Family and friends spoke of his integrity, generosity and enthusiasm for Dunsmuir and its future.

As one person stated “He was the one you could call at 3AM to ask for help and he would be there.”

Tony will be greatly missed by all. In lieu of flowers, the Skalko family suggests memorial donations be sent to: Dunsmuir RR Depot Historical Society, PO Box 324, Dunsmuir, CA 96025


The Dunsmuir Railroad Depot Historical Society


IMG_0068Pictured from left to right: June (Skalko) Chichizola, Hank Billings, Neil Chichizola, Tony Skalko, Carol Skalko, Hazel Billings, Bob Billings, Phyllis Skalko


IMG_0802From left to right: Barbara Cerutti, Carol Skalko, Stacy (Skalko) Michaelsen

The Pie Social is this weekend!


The 6th Annual Pie Social is Saturday, May 24th, starting at 10:00 AM at the Dunsmuir Depot… Are you ready for pie?!

Last year we had 73 bakers donate 172 pies that were of 49 different varieties. Get there early for the largest selection –  our pies always sell out!

It’s National Train Day! May 10, 2014

Come on out to the Dunsmuir Depot 10 am -4 pm today to celebrate!

For the kids, we have conductor hats, Chuggington coloring books and junior conductor books to give away – all FREE! We’ll also be playing a Chuggington video in our Display Room! And for the adults, we’ll be giving away Amtrak coupons and 2014 commemorative pins.

Here’s a look at last year’s pin… What will it look like this year? Come find out and get your free stuff!



To stay current and learn what’s going on at the depot: check out our our Facebook page!