17 July 2010

Depot Attracts State Recognition

The Idaho State Historical Society Board of Trustees and ISHS Executive Director Jan Gallimore paid a visit to the Potlatch Depot, escorted by State Historian Keith Petersen and wife Mary Reed. The group, representing the entire state, toured Latah County sites on Friday, making stops in outlying communities such as Troy, Genesee, Deary and Potlatch. Clearly they enjoyed the Depot and Blackbird Station, and several made purchases from our new tenants. Pictured in the photos are top, left to right: Judy Meyer (Coeur d'Alene), Jan Gallimore, Keith Petersen, Tom Blanchard (Southern Idaho) in front of the cabinets bought with ISHS grant funds. Bottom photo shows HPG President Jack Coyner talking to the group about depot restoration funding. All in all it was a wonderful time with a very enthusiastic group!

11 July 2010

Speeder Day Best Ever!

Forgive us if we overdo the superlatives, but the 7th Annual WIM HPG History Days speeder and music event ranks as our best ever. Lucky Number 7? No, credit divine intervention for the weather, dedicated volunteers for the muscle to make it happen, the generous speeders for their unwavering support. And credit the people, some who travel from as far away as California and Tennessee, for supporting this one-of-a-kind event. The speeders supplied the sold-out supply of rides, Jim West brought in the great sounds of the Hog Heaven Big Band, the Junior Jammers, Noi and Friends and his great assortment of musicians, and Mo Bandy and Ion Cafe dished out the great food. Thanks to Potlatch City Clerk Debbie Perry, the caboose tours were enjoyed by many, and the HPG store keeper Brian Magelky kept sales humming at the Company Store. And of course the great group from the Potlatch Historical Society decked out the freight room, giving a preview of things to come with the planned museum. Special thanks to Don States for coming all the way from Montana to direct the loading activities on the platform, and to Bill Taylor for organizing the speeder group. Event chairman Don Somers as always had something new, this time trips to Palouse, to give the event a freshness. Not to be forgotten, the great team for US Bank supplied ticket sales and the Palouse lunch as their team donation. And Blackbird Station, the new business at the Depot, showed off just how great the Historic WIM Depot can look.
The pictures above show just a hint of the wonderful day, and reading top to bottom, here's a rundown of what's pictured: top 2 photos show speeders in action; loading platform expert Roger Farrell all decked out in his conductor attire, taking a break with cousin Josie from Seattle; Dave Nice, veteran crossing guard, stands ready to protect the main depot crossing (never easy, given that our event happens on the same day the dump site is open!); Scenic Six Park crossing guards David Johnson and Bill Herrmann, chat with membership chairman Ken Vogel who comes all the way from Winlock WA to help; Jon Wheaton finally gets his speeder ride after missing last year's event (Jon bid a generous amount at the Latah County Historical Society's silent auction, then returned to bid at the HPG silent auction for a ride to Moscow on Sunday); honeymooners Nick and Jenna Garrett of North Carolina enjoy a speeder ride two weeks after their wedding and beautiful reception on Moscow Mountain; Mabel Vogt and her wonderful Junior Jammers entertain the audience at the Bennett Boxcar Stage; Michael Riley is all smiles after his ride to Palouse and back (Michael, wife Diane and sons Steffan and Will did the long ride to Palouse, got lunch, took in the art walk and some shopping before the return ride); Earl Bennett, District 1 Representative for the Idaho State Historical Society, takes the longer ride to Palouse with wife Carol (Earl and the ISHS board will be back next Friday to visit the Depot as part of the North Idaho tour).
All in all, a perfect day and HPG members thank everyone who helped make the event great! If you aren't an HPG member, think about joining. This is clearly an organization that makes things happen!

09 July 2010

They're Here!!!!!

The speeders rolled into Potlatch yesterday afternoon, and just as Bill Taylor promised, there are 17 lined up on the tracks, with an 18th speeder arriving after registration closed down for the day. The Potlatch to Palouse rides are the hot ticket and with this latest head count, there might be room for even more rides. Historic restoration guru Doug Wasankari and wife Melanie showed up scouting for tickets, and Idaho State Historical Society board member Earl Bennett got in right under the wire. The girls at US Bank said there was a flurry of ticket sales, so we hope that means lots of happy riders for Saturday. Meanwhile at the freight room, Potlatch Historical Society set up its sales and exhibit areas, and Company Store manager Brian Magelky had the HPG all lined out for its sales. Karen Rohn and Julie Kerr have railroad themed art at Blackbird Station, as well. And pictured above is Jim West tidying up the caboose for tours on Saturday. With the HPG board meeting at 1 pm today, it is a full line-up of activities for the board members in town.

07 July 2010

More Milestones

Our new tenant Blackbird Station did their soft opening last week (that's Julie Kerr, left, and Karen Rohn out in front of the "open" sign, and Karen seated at her easel) and said their first couple of days were very good. Note that Kenny Cada (left in bottom photo) and Michelle French from US Bank came to shop on the first day. What a dream sheet to have the north end of the downstairs actually civilized and available for tenants! Some 15 years have passed since we first began this idea of rehabbing the depot. Jim West estimates that our latest efforts amounted to 8,000-plus hours of volunteer time.
As we approach the weekend, don't forget the big day is Saturday. Plan to come out and listen to the Hog Heaven Big Band, ride the speeders, shop at Blackbird Station, tour the "Black Widow" locomotive and WIM caboose, and dine. We will have music going all day on the Bennett Boxcar Stage, and displays in the freight room. Call US Bank (208-875-1351) if you are interested in pre-sale tickets for speeder rides. DON'T MISS JULY 10 AT THE POTLATCH DEPOT!!!!