Celebrating RR Days: Special Exhibit

RR Days T-Shirts Display at Dunsmuir Museum

The Dunsmuir Railroad Depot Historical Society will open the Dunsmuir Museum and its Railroad Display Room during Dunsmuir’s RAILROAD DAYS: June 10th 1-4 pmJune 11th 10 am -4 pm and June 12th 1-4 pm.  The Museum and Display Room are located adjacent to the Dunsmuir Amtrak Depot (the only Siskiyou County stop) on Sacramento Avenue.

A special exhibit of over 30 Railroad Days T- Shirts, 1978 through 2016, and 53 Railroad Days buttons, from 1942 – 2015, are currently displayed in the museum. A couple of folks donated three T-shirts! The Dunsmuir Museum needs 1975-1977, 1985, 1987, 2004 and 2008-2011 shirts to complete the display and archives. If you have one of these shirts, please consider donating it to preserve Dunsmuir’s RR Day history.

Also be sure to see the Elinore Van Fossen Harrison Native American Basket Collection during your visit. These 35 baskets are unique to many local Native Americans.

All aboard for 2016’s Railroad Days! See you at the station!


Pie Social at the Dunsmuir Depot May 28th



The Dunsmuir Railroad Depot Historical Society will hold its 8th Annual Pie Social at the Amtrak Depot on Sacramento Avenue during Dogwood Daze on May 28th! Pies, pies and more pies will be sold beginning at 10 AM and continue until the pies are sold out.

Last year, 85 wonderful pie bakers baked and donated more than 170 pies! They received a Pie Makers Ribbon in appreciation for their pies, along with the Depot Society’s many thanks.

Pies will be $3 a slice or $20 for a whole pie. Folks can “build a pie” by selecting 6 different kinds of pie slices to make up a whole pie for $25.

Folks with pets are asked not to bring their pets into the pie area.

If you would like to donate your favorite pie(s) this year, please call Phyllis Skalko, the Pie Lady, at (530) 235-0839.

Proceeds will support the continued maintenance of Dunsmuir’s Amtrak Depot, Siskiyou County’s only Amtrak stop, and the Dunsmuir Museum. Come celebrate our historic town with some pie at our biggest fundraiser of the year!

Dunsmuir Museum Opens April 2nd!

The Dunsmuir Railroad Depot Historical Society will open the Dunsmuir Museum on Saturday, April 2nd, from 10 am to 2 pm.  The Museum & RR Display Room, are located on Sacramento Avenue, adjacent to the Amtrak Depot.
Thanks to volunteers from the Depot Society, we are excited to have the Museum open the 1st and 3rd Saturdays monthly, as well as during town events.
Do come to celebrate Dunsmuir’s rich history with the Indian era, the renaming of Pusher, the coming of the railroad and its railroad facilities.  The Elinore Van Fossen Harrison Native American Basket collection is of special interest.
And pie makers and pie lovers note that the 8th ANNUAL PIE SOCIAL is scheduled for May 28th this year.  Mark your calendars!
See you at the Dunsmuir Museum!

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 dunsmuirdepot@gmail.com, (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