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Museum takes crowd back in time... - Bonners Ferry, ID
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 48° 41.854 W 116° 18.717
11U E 550629 N 5394065
Quick Description: The museum is on the east side of Main Street, across from city hall and less than a block south of the Kootenai River.
Location: Idaho, United States
Date Posted: 1/27/2015 7:10:32 PM
Waymark Code: WMN9X4
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 0

Long Description:
The folks at the Bonner County Museum spend a lot of time putting together programs and presentations in an effort to make the museum "come alive" for patrons. Part of the motivation behind this is to create more local interest in the museum and bring people back again and again.

One of these presentations, a virtual ride on the Great Northern Railway from Eastport to Bonners Ferry, was used to kick off the 2014 summer season. Accompanying the ride were presentations on the construction of the Great Northern and the Kootenai Valley Railway. The presentation evoked a May 24, 2014 article on the News Bonners Ferry online newspaper's website, reproduced in part below.

Museum takes crowd back in time, also announces plans for Railroad Courtyard

"All Aboard!" boomed the voice of the conductor. And with that, the crowd at the Boundary County Museum was taken back in time on a historic journey, enjoying railroads and train rides from past days in the county.

Figuratively speaking, that is.

With a multimedia presentation using archive photographs, speakers, readings from the journals of pioneer county residents, and video footage shot in the 1960s by the engineer on a train trip from Eastport to Bonners Ferry, it was almost as if the audience were riding the rails back in time.

"Hear the Whistle Blowin' " was the name of the event that kicked off the summer season for the Boundary County Museum. The presentation covered the building and operation of railroad magnate James J. Hill's transcontinental Great Northern Railway, completed in 1893, which ran through Bonners Ferry, along with the 1905-1906 construction of the Spokane international Railway running from Spokane to Eastport.

And not to be left out, of course, was the sometimes quirky, sometimes kooky, but always beloved Kootenai Valley Railway, running between Bonners Ferry and Porthill. The Kootenai Valley Railway served its customers well along the west side of the county, but was known for not being the best at closely following a schedule, sometimes running just a couple of days a week. Further, it was not unusual for the KV line to pull up for an unscheduled stop en route from Porthill to Bonners Ferry, so the passengers and crew could stop to fish or hunt along the way.

Museum staff shared a journal reading from Mary Desmond, of one of the original pioneer families of the Crossport area of Boundary County. Mary wrote of the day when millionaire Great Northern CEO, James J. Hill himself, known around the United States as the "Empire Builder," rode through Bonners Ferry on his newly completed transcontinental railroad across the country. His train made a stop at Bonners Ferry, and Ms. Desmond made a point of describing in her journal how gracious and friendly Hill was as he met the citizens gathered to see him.

As the train ride back into history concluded, the audience passengers were escorted to the "Dining Car" area of the museum, where refreshments were available...
From News Bonners Ferry


Type of publication: Internet Only

When was the article reported?: 5/24/2014

Publication: News Bonners Ferry

Article Url: [Web Link]

Is Registration Required?: no

How widespread was the article reported?: local

News Category: Arts/Culture

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