SP&S Ry Museum

IS CURRENTLY CLOSED do to renovation

Photos & Text by Troyce Brooks

The SP&S Railway Museum was started in March 1972 by Tom Delaney, Horace Baker and Bob Frink, as well as other members of the Burlington Northern Veterans Association, Portland - Western Region, Columbia River Chapter. It was set up in the basement of the Clark County Geneological Museum in downtown Vancouver, WA. The museum was officially named the SP&S Railway Museum and became a State of Washington Non-Profit Corporation in May 1992.

The museum is located at 1511 Main St., Vancouver, WA, and is open 1:00pm - 5:00pm Tuesday thru Saturday. Admission is free, although donations are greatly appreciated. Cameras are also welcome.

The museum has hands-on exhibits which allow visitors to ring the steam engine bell, and tap out a set of train orders on a working telegraph key. Tape recordings of authentic railroad sounds have been incorporated into the museum. A display of SP&S Dining Car Silver, Flatware and China Dishes from the 1930's through the 1950's (including a rare pattern made especially for the SP&S Business car #99). The Telegraph Office exhibit contains display cases full of hand lanterns, lamps, keys, locks, timetables, uniforms, caps and buttons, badges, datenails, and metalware.

There is a model railroad exhibit in the museum with four panels depicting scenes along the Columbia River from Vancouver to Maryhill, Washington. The panels include the Bridge across the Columbia River, Vancouver Depot, Cape Horn Tunnel, Beacon Rock, Maryhill Museum and Stonehenge.

The SP&S Railway Museum accepts donations of books for our library and artifacts significant to the history of railroading and the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway. Persons interested in donating items should first contact R. Kent Dahlgren (Director) at the museum home office (503) 244-8822. Valuation of artifacts for tax purposes should be determined by independent appraisal. The SP&S Railway Museum is a tax-exempt non-profit corporation under Section 501 (c) (3) of the IRS Code. Financial contributions and other gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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