2016 Winter Newsletter

The Dunsmuir Railroad Depot Historical Society’s Dunsmuir Museum has closed for the winter months. The Museum will reopen April 1st, 2017. Visit us at www.dunsmuirdepot.com for the latest information.


We were pleased to open the Museum the 1st and 3rd Saturdays and for town events this past year thanks to the following Depot members: Hank Billings, Hazel Billings, June & Neil Chichizola, Jan Connelly, Jerry Harmon, Gene Lachawicz, Billie Mathes, Stacy & Blake Michaelsen, Marie Nagle, John Signor, Carol Skalko, Phyllis Skalko, and Rick Somers. We are asking additional members to please sign up for next year.
Email us any dates you can staff so that our museum can open. Folks enjoy revisiting Dunsmuir’s past and telling us their Dunsmuir history.


Dues are due for 2017. The Dunsmuir Museum and Depot dues have been combined at $20. Your membership check may be sent to the Depot Society, P O Box 324, Dunsmuir, CA 96025. Soon you will be able to renew your membership, and make donations, through PayPal on our website. Stay tuned to our Website: www.dunsmuirdepot.com

Looking back on the 2016 Depot Society Events:

April 2nd – Museum opened
May 28th – Our 8th Annual Pie Social during Dogwood Daze was another success thanks to 76 bakers who baked 55 kinds of pies for a total of 184 donated pies! Most pies were sold out by 1:30pm. And thanks to the Pie Social crew; you were awesome.
June 10, 11 & 12 – RAILROAD DAYS – The Museum was open Friday afternoon, Saturdayand Sunday afternoon for the town event. The Museum displayed RAILROAD DAYS tee shirts from years past and RAILROAD DAYS buttons.
June & July – Thanks to Pat O’Connor and her daughter, we had three Road Scholar groups visit the Museum (grandchildren and their grandparents from around the country). Of course pictures were taken during the Dunsmuir crew change!
October 8 – Museum was open for the town’s Art Walk.
October 15 & 22 – Our Pie Lady, Phyllis Skalko, held two successful Pie Camps/Classes at S.A.M. She and her helpers showed that making pie was…well, easy as pie! If there is enough interest, there could be a couple of Pie Camps scheduled before the Pie Social in 2017. Call Phyllis 530-235-0839 to let her know if you are interested in taking a Pie Making Class.
October 15 – Lois Dewey drew the winning tickets for the Depot Society’s Ticket Drawing: Rhian Morris of Dunsmuir won the“CHERRIES” quilt and M. Van Cleve of New Mexico won the “TRAINS IN THE CANYON” quilt. Thanks to all who participated in the drawing!
October 15th – Museum closed for the winter months….


Our Dunsmuir Museum brochure has been up-dated to include our 1st and 3rd open Saturdays; brochures have been placed around town. We are working on a 2017 display which will showcase Dunsmuir 1886-1986 pharmacies. The volunteers of the Shasta Division Archives have scanned, filed and indexed 2183 images, scanned 59 maps, and sorted by station name/type, filed and indexed 1002 drawings plus additional sorting and filing. They assisted in six in person inquires as well as email/phone inquiries. They can be reached at shastadivision@snowcrest.net. Regarding the Depot, as of early October the City of Dunsmuir took over the cleaning and maintenance of the Depot waiting room and restroom.

2017 Events – Mark your Calendar

April 1st – Museum reopens
May 27th – 9th Annual Pie Social during Dogwood Daze
October 21 – Depot Ticket Drawing and Museum closes
To volunteer at the Dunsmuir Museum on a Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in 2017, please contact us with the date(s) you can staff the museum (see dates below).

2017 Museum Staffing Sign-Up

We need minimum of 2 people each day to open the Museum.
April 1 ________________ April 15 _________________
May 6 _________________ May 20 __________________
June 3 _________________ June 17 __________________
Fri 1-4 ___________________
Sat 10-1_______________ Sat 1 -4___________________
Sun 1-4 _______________
July 1 _________________ July 15___________________
Aug 5 _________________ Aug 19 __________________
Sep 2 __________________ Sep 16 __________________
Oct 7 __________________ Oct 21 __________________
Name of Volunteer _________________________________
E Mail ________________________ Phone_____________
Once again, we appreciate your continued support!
The Dunsmuir RR Depot Historical Society & Dunsmuir Museum

Making the Dunsmuir Family Connection


The Dunsmuir Railroad Depot Historical Society was contacted in March by Denny Kato of Florida wanting to research his mother, who grew up in Dunsmuir, and her family.

Denny’s Grandfather, Kaichi Maekawa, worked for the railroad in Dunsmuir, and Denny believed that his grandfather may have been the chef for the depot manager. The family lived in company housing provided by the railroad from C1920 to 1942. The family was sent to a relocation camp in 1942 (Granada/Amache).


Kaichi Maekawa on Train – year unknown

The Kato family visited Dunsmuir last July and wanted to begin their Dunsmuir family research. Depot staffers Jerry Harmon and John Signor, of the Shasta Division Archives at the Dunsmuir Museum, assisted the Katos in their research.

Following their visit, Denny wrote:

“I can’t tell you how much Jan and I enjoyed the visit to the Museum and Jerry and John were fantastic. I have been trying to contact John about his book online, and lo and behold, we meet him in person. We walked up to Dunsmuir Hardware, talked to, and bought John’s book which he promptly signed. We then went to the high school, got some photos from several yearbooks and copies of my mother’s and sibling’s transcripts. We also visited Black Butte station in search of the Shasta business car SP105 but only the SP109 was there. We have gotten so much insight as to life in Dunsmuir. What a great town you have. Thanks again for all of your help.”

Denny and Janet

Denny has since sent numerous family photos (some are below) including the Maekawa house and the 1940 flood. There is mention of the Maekawa Family in Reva Patrick Coon’s book “Ties & Tales.”


George and Mitzi Maekawa in Dunsmuir Circa 1930


Maekawa House in Dunsmuir


Mitzi by the river in Dunsmuir


George & Banchan Maekawa


Mitzi in Dunsmuir Jan 1933


Dunsmuir Flood Feb 1940

Mitzi in Dunsmuir

Mitzi in Dunsmuir

The Depot Society was pleased to make the Dunsmuir family connection with the Kato Family and look forward to their next visit!

October at the Dunsmuir Museum


The Dunsmuir Railroad Depot Historical Society opened the Dunsmuir Museum, adjacent to the Amtrak Depot, October 1st and October 15th.  The Museum was also open October 8th for the town’s ArtWalk event. 

During the October 15th opening, Lois Dewey drew the winning tickets for the Depot Society’s Annual Ticket Drawing: Rhian Morris of Dunsmuir won the “CHERRIES” quilt and M. Van Cleve of New Mexico won the “TRAINS IN THE CANYON” quilt. Thanks to all who participated in the drawing! The funds will help with the maintenance of the Amtrak Depot (the only Siskiyou County stop) and the Dunsmuir Museum. 

The Dunsmuir Museum is closed for the winter months.  Many thanks to our Depot Society members who have given of their time to open the Museum the 1st and 3rd Saturdays and town events this year: Hank Billings, Hazel Billings, June & Neil Chichizola, Jan Connelly, Jerry Harmon, Gene Lachawicz, Billie Mathes, Stacy & Blake Michaelsen, Marie Nagle, John Signor, Carol Skalko, Phyllis Skalko, and Rick Somers.  Please email the Depot Society should you wish to volunteer at the Museum next year.

 Have a great winter, and see you at the Dunsmuir Museum April 2017!



OCTOBER 15*, 2016 

1:00 PM TO 4:00 PM

Siskiyou Arts Museum
Lower Level
5824 Dunsmuir Ave, Dunsmuir CA 96025

Making Pie is as…Well, Easy as Pie!


*The “Pie Lady” will also open a class on October 22nd if enough people are interested. Contact Phyllis Skalko at (530) 235-0839.


Nothing better than homemade crust!

Pie making is a skill every cook should master, especially with the holidays coming up. A perfect pie is something that just about every baker wants to be able to put together. Pie is a great dish with an unbeatable combination of flaky dough and rich filling – whether you’re making luscious fruit pies or hearty savory pies.

Sign up for Pie Camp and leave with the know-how to make pies for your family and friends all season long.

Three hour session includes hands-on instruction from the “Pie Lady,” Phyllis Skalko, a recipe with tips, pre-measured ingredients with all the tools you will need and a vintage glass pie pan. There is time for personal discussion, and at the end of class we will enjoy a slice of apple pie made by two of our finest Dunsmuir pie makers: Vonnie Carr and Irene Wilson.

We will demystify the art of making dough, help you become a whiz at rolling out the crusts, and you will leave with your confidence so buoyed you will never, ever buy that pre-made stuff from the store again!   Remember, pie is not about perfection! Pie should look homemade. So let’s just go for it and have fun.

The class is limited to 10 students so that you will get lots of personal instruction from our Pie Camp Team.

Class fee is $40 and includes all pie making materials, including a vintage glass pie plate for you to keep and you will go home with your very own APPLE PIE ready to bake.

Call the “Pie Lady”, Phyllis Skalko at (530) 235-0839 to register.

With only 10 spots, the class will fill quickly!

Or you can mail your registration fee of $40 to:
Dunsmuir Railroad Depot Historical Society c/o Phyllis Skalko,
406 S 2nd Street
Dunsmuir, CA 96025. 
Please include your Name, address and phone number.
Registration confirmation card will be mailed to you by return mail.

P.S.   White tee shirts with Pie Camp Logo and handmade coordinating aprons by Mimi’s Cottage and will be available for purchase at $15 each.

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Artwork designed by

Dizzy Debbie

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Apron by Mimi’s Cottage


Thanks to our volunteers for a great RR Days!



Our Saturday Volunteers

We are happy to report that the Dunsmuir Depot was busy during RR Days! Many thanks to our volunteers for making it possible for our Museum and Display Room to be open for visitors during our town’s heritage weekend celebration.

Over 250 people visited, the furthest being from Florida and Mexico City. Some visitors were long-time Dunsmuir residents returning to their hometown to share their history with us.

See the gallery below for more pictures from the event. Thanks to Rick Somers for his photography!

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