Pie Crust Classes are Back for the Fall!


Did you miss our Spring Pie Classes? Or are you one of the repeat attendees because you loved the class?

Either way, you are invited to join our Pie Lady, Phyllis Skalko, for the Autumn pie crust classes she is offering.


A new location and seasoned pros make this an exciting time to join in the fun! You’ll be ready to bake for the holidays!

More details are on our Pie Making Classes Fall 2017 page.

IMG_7496Mmmm, see you there!


DUNSMUIR MUSEUM – A Pot Belly Stove and PIE Classes

The Dunsmuir Museum has received, on loan, a Southern Pacific caboose pot belly stove from Mr. Steve Guido. His father, George Frank Guido, worked for SP for over thirty years. At one time Frank was the roundhouse foreman in West Oakland.

The pot belly stoves were coal fired stoves. (There was even a coal pile in Dunsmuir’s upper yard until the early 1980’s.) Some of the caboose stoves also burned “Presto Logs,” a wood product. In later years, the square stoves were called “Vapor Cabins” and were oil fired. These were on modernized cars or ones of later designs.
One story says that a good rear brakeman (in the caboose) always had three skills: one, being able to keep a good even fire going in the pot belly stove; two, keeping a good pot of coffee going; and three, being able to turn out a good pan of cornbread on the top of the stove. Didn’t matter much about his train handling skills as long as he could do those three things. Another story goes that if the headend crew had a rough start or stop, the caboose crew (conductor and brakeman) would be upset because it often caused the stove to tip over, possibly causing a fire, the coffee to spill, etc.

Pie Class!

The start to apple pie!

Phyllis Skalko, our PIE Lady, held two PIE Classes last year to take the mystery out of pie making. They were so successful that folks have asked to be put on the waiting list for this year’s PIE Classes. Please call Phyllis at (530) 235-0839 to put your name on the reservation list for the classes. Make a pie and have fun!


Southern Pacific’s Shasta Division Archives were saved and protected by Dunsmuir residents John Signor, Jerry Harmon and Bruce Petty.  These archives have become a part of the Dunsmuir Museum and are accessible to the public by appointment.

The Shasta Division files dealt with the historic development of the Shasta Division and its Dunsmuir headquarters, the communities and lands along the tracks of the Shasta Division.  Many of these files give valuable insight of the “what, why and how” of Dunsmuir’s being what it was.

This past year the Shasta Division Archives volunteers have scanned, filed and indexed 2183 images, including B&W negatives, 35 mm slides and 2.5×2.5 slides; scanned 59 maps or drawings; sorted by station name/type, filed and indexed 1002 drawings/maps; have chronologically sorted and filed 18.3 linear feet of Station files (currently sorter is at Murphy Station and just about half way through the Station files); and sorted by name/mile post/chronologically and filed 4.5 linear feet of Bridge/Crossing files.

Also, six in person inquires were handled, one dealing with ancestors, and the rest railroad locations/details and three e-mail/phone inquires dealing with railroad locations/details.

These archives will continue to be a valuable asset to those who do railroad history, those who model railroads, and those interested in Dunsmuir and Siskiyou County history.  For additional information, contact shastadivision@snowcrest.net

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!