24 July 2008

More Action at the Depot

The speeder event, which furnished over 250 rides, ushered in a busy season at the depot. We had an encore weekend during Potlatch Days on July 19, with dozens of visitors checking out the displays in the freight room. Pictured above in front of some of the Potlatch Historical Society displays are Sue Benson (left) and Ida Courier, who gave a thumbs-up to the idea of a museum in the freight room. People lingered over pictures of old area schools, local veterans and other assorted memories, and several left with PHS items such as notecards, CD's and books. The book Company Town by Keith Petersen is no longer in print and PHS and HPG are both sold out on the popular book.

Potlatch Days also brought out a number of people after the parade, ready to sign on the dotted line to help with depot interior work. Happily Tom Cummings, a general contractor from Harvard, proved to be just the kind of volunteer we want and need. He's been busy assisting Don and Jack with removing plumbing, wiring and false ceilings. So far Tom has put in two days applying his professional expertise to the depot, and we can't thank him enough! That's Tom pictured working up a sweat upstairs as he bores into some walls to remove pipes. The work is dirty but necessary, and such community participation shows what the citizens can do to refurbish the 1906 depot.

13 July 2008

Speeder Weekend Another Big Success

Thanks to Bill Taylor and the generous speeder group, there were 16 speeders on hand for the annual depot fundraiser, and that meant everyone got a chance to catch a speeder ride to either Kennedy Ford or Princeton. Ticket sales were brisk and a few ball players for the tournament at the adjacent baseball field even took a ride down the tracks. The pre-sale tickets had sold out and hourly excursions went out on time, thanks to the precision team of Don States and Roger Farrell who were back this year to manage the riders. Volunteers did a great job of maintaining safety at the track crossings, selling just the right amount of tickets, and mingling with the crowd. Potlatch Historical Society noted a great response to the displays in the freight room, making Bonnie Rohn more than a little excited about a new museum in the depot. What an amazing year since the depot was first jacked up for its facelift.

Speeders weren't the only game in town, and Jim West and Mabel Vogt kept the boxcar filled with good musicians all afternoon. Visitors like Harvard resident Porgie Knerr stayed most of the day, totally immersed in the music. Nothing like the Jammers and the Two Dollar Bills to keep a crowd happy. And for the hungry, Tyler Renz and the Potlatch Lions served up burgers and pork sandwiches all afternoon. Scout troop 358 did the cold drink detail, making the speeder weekend a truly community-based event!

Pictures from top to bottom: Dallace and Becky Kellom give their opion of the speeder ride.
Jim West and his crew from the Two Dollar Bills kept the audience in good music all afternoon.
Brian Magelky (foreground) and son Aaron kept the crossings safe for speeders.
Damian Kostuik (left) and Hal Van der Vord patrolled the depot crossing which was more congested than usual due to the Saturday morning dumpsite being open.

Model Train Experts Visit Depot

With much of the deep cleaning of the depot out of the way, the WIM HPG members settled into a semi-annual board meeting on Friday. Appropriate to the occasion was the perfect interruption to all that deep discussion. Stan Patterson showed up with QSIindustries representative Kelly Dorf who had come to record sounds of the handsome Southern Pacific f-unit locomotive for future use in model trains. QSI is known for making quality encoding equipment, bringing model railroading into the high-tech era. Kelly was literally into recording all the bells and whistles of the W&I loco. And speaking of the locomotive, it rolled up in front of the depot next and engineer Jeremy Leiterman had Fred Severson, CEO of QSI, in the cab. The board visited with the guests, making the perfect break in the board meeting.

Pictured above in front of the depot are HPG board members Tom Burg, Jack Coyner, Carl Sonner, Lance Gallagher, Ken Vogel and Don Somers.
Fred Severson, CEO of QSI takes a stroll along the depot loading dock after his ride on the W&I line. That's W&I manager Stan Patterson in the background. Thanks Stan for sharing with us!

10 July 2008

Combined Efforts

The Potlatch Historical Society got a sneak preview of what it would be like to have a museum in the depot as members set up displays for both the speeder weekend, and Potlatch Days the following weekend. The freight room makes an excellent place to show off pictures and stories, and PHS members find this a meaningful way to celebrate the group's 10th anniversary.

Thanks to Donovan and Janice Palmer, Bonnie Rohn, Judi Rohn, Connie Manchester and Barb and Jack Coyner for setting up displays for PHS. And thanks to Don Somers for coordinating those efforts.

Sprucing Up for the Speeders

Carol Cooley gave us all a new definition of deep cleaning (that's Carol in the top photo) as she donated some volunteer hours to mucking out the freight room and the rest of the depot. Carol works for US Bank's Potlatch branch and as part of the corporation's community service focus, she shared her time and muscle to get ready for the speeder weekend. Not content to just brush the surface, Carol chased dirt out of the corners, filled up the city shop vac with grime and probably earned a good night's rest. THANK YOU CAROL! And thank you US Bank. We've already appreciated Caryn Brown's contribution of a train-themed quilt which will be raffled off this weekend, and now Carol's efforts. Thank you too Kenny Cada for encouraging community service to the depot project. It means a lot!
It takes a lot to get ready for the yearly speeder visit, and the two old faithfuls, Don Somers and Jack Coyner, were at the depot every day for the past two weeks, weed whacking, cleaning up tracks and emptying the boxcar. Thanks to the city guys Tom Andres and John Beckner, bleachers were put in place. Jack also took a few swipes at the false ceiling and got demolition underway. There were a few "treasures" buried under the false ceiling!