20 April 2010

The Fun Never Ends

Jim West sent along some photos of last weekend's work "party" at the depot, showing the dedication of the HPG volunteers. Julie Kerr, pictured on the left in both waiting room photos, did seem to look like an alien as Karen Rohn decked her out for masking and painting duties. And yes, it does appear that HPG President Jack Coyner is loafing while chatting with Becca West in the hallway. Don't let the photo fool you, however. Everybody is working hard in the later stages of interior restoration and the building is almost ready to occupy. Once Julie and Karen move their shop in, the rest of us can focus on what to do with the freight room as we contemplate development of a museum. By the way, thanks to partnering organization Potlatch Historical Society for kicking in another $1000 to keep restoration work moving ahead.

19 April 2010

Heading Toward the Finished Look

The transformation is exciting! The waiting room has fresh paint and looks great, thanks to the diligent work crew that put in another long weekend. The goal was to get as much painting done as possible before Jesse Glassman (pictured above with his sander) of Country Hardwoods came in to sand and finish the floors. Talk about transformation. The sanding is turning up the actual color of the wood under those 100-plus years of grime and foot traffic. Jesse will be working his magic all week as the floors get the redo.

On a separate note, Barb got back from Boise yesterday after delivering a PowerPoint presentation on the depot restoration to the Idaho Association of Museums annual conference, held at Nampa this year. With about 40 museums represented from around the state, it was clear that preserving depots is a hit with the museum crowd. The focal point for the walking tour was the beautifully restored Nampa depot (red brick depot above). As if that wasn't enough depot immersion, Boise staged its second annual Depot Day, featuring the capital city's attractive depot (white mission style depot above). One of the displays outside the depot was an ATV with rail wheels on it, making the ATV into a high-railer (I can imagine Jim West's mind is moving on this novel idea). The wheel package, called the Bandit, is the brainstorm of Jeff Shiverick (pictured with the ATV) and Steve Davisson of Boise. Jeff promises to get us more info as the product is patented. He says he and Steve came up with the idea when neither of them had the cash to buy a speeder.

Speaking of speeders, the Idaho Association of Museums loves our speeder event and people at the conference enthusiastically cleaned out every handout I brought! Museum director Ginny Woodward of the Boundary County Museum in Bonners Ferry stopped by on her way back from the museum conference to tour the depot with Jack. With that kind of interest, we hope to see Ginny back for a speeder ride July 10 (Ginny, if you're reading the blog, I'll buy your ticket!).

06 April 2010

Modern Amenities!

We have a new flush toilet in the depot (that means the guys won't have to sneak out between all those railcars in the future!). And two spiffy new heaters that really warm up the room on these chilly days. Thank you Webb French (plumbing) and Shane Bartlett (electrician). In the volunteer efforts, Don Somers forges ahead with patching walls and other necessary cosmetic work. Jack Coyner, meanwhile, keeps on keeping on with the grubby insulation work. He has now come about half way and it seems that the waiting room is toastier. Let's hope so. By the way, the photo above is a page out of the past. Notice where that Potlatch sign is located. One day perhaps we shall have the depot sign moved from the little depot in the park to where it really belongs! Who wants to talk to the mayor?

04 April 2010

A Day of Rest

There is no end to the list of to-dos at the depot as the interiors take shape. Don Somers, top photo, has done an amazing job of patching holes in the walls, climbing on and off ladders to nail and fill. Much of the time, there has been no heat in the building and temperatures outside have been chilly, so this is not easy work for the faithful volunteers. Barb and Mike West (that's Barb working and Mike supervising!) donated a whole day on Saturday to sweeping up, nailing in support for insulation and doing various other necessary jobs. And Jim West and Jack Coyner worked steadily on pulling up the hallway floor upstairs in preparation for insulation. Jack is pictured taking a break from wearing a mask and stuffing insulation between floor joists (bottom photo). There is likely a good pair of eyeglasses somewhere in that insulation after Jack's glasses inadvertantly slipped from his pocket and weren't discovered missing until later. If they are ever uncovered, will they be deemed an artifact?
Sunday -- Easter -- will be a welcome day of rest! If you add up the volunteer hours from the HPG, it is stunning. And Monday many will hit the ground running again!

01 April 2010

Bus On Time--and that's no April Fools!

The big blue Trailways bus rolled into Potlatch right on time, kicking off the new bus service that can take area residents north to Spokane and Coeur d'Alene or south to Lewiston and Boise--and ultimately points beyond. For now the bus will load on Pine Street across from the bank, but in a matter of weeks, it will be serving the Potlatch Depot! Imagine leaving your car behind when it's time to catch a flight at Spokane (one way $19). Or leave the driving to Trailways when it's time to go to Boise (under $100 roundtrip!).

Agency Supervisor Charlie Neill was on hand to monitor progress on the maiden voyage this morning, and driver Barry Coe (pictured above) took time to pose for a photo, although he was watching his clock so he wouldn't be off schedule. These guys are sharp--and fun. The bus rides should be great.

Check with US Bank for times and prices. The bus schedule and fares will also be posted at the depot soon. Check the company websites at www.northwesterntrailways.com or www.appleline.us for further info.

Take a Virtual Tour of the WI&M

Okay, all aboard WIM fans, this is your chance to take a virtual tour of the historic WI&M line, thanks to our esteemed historian Tom Burg (pictured on right above, next to speeder, with Roger Farrell on the left)! Just hit on the www.wimryhpg.com link on this blogsite, then when the HPG website comes up, choose the "virtual tour" option on the right hand side. This is fun so be sure to try it out. And thanks Tom Burg and Tom Hillebrant (our webmaster) for making it happen.
Meanwhile, down at the depot, the pounding and drilling continue, thanks to our diehard band of volunteers Brian Magelky, Don Somers and Jack Coyner, with Jim West coming from Coeur d'Alene today. Shane Bartlett, local electrician, has us wired now, with insulation coming soon. Brian tiled the bathroom floor (looks great Brian) and is now working on insulation and ducts, Don is patching the multitude of holes, and Jack is removing lathe and plaster upstairs. Yesterday Department of Commerce rep Hank Ebert toured the depot with Aimee Shipman, the new county grant writer. The excitement and progress continue!