And you think the deer raiding your flower gardens are bad. Imagine your surprise in October of 1909…
We will be open July 23-27! The Museum will NOT be closed for the engine sandblasting. We’ve hit a little scheduling snafu, so stay tuned for information about the new closure dates, sometime in August. And sorry for any inconvenience this might have caused.
But if you’d still like to donate to the cause, head over to our donation page and click the “Donate” button. We’re only about $800 short of our goal of $5000 to repaint the engine!
In 1953, the Koppers Company of Pittsburgh donated a Porter Engine to the Salida Museum following the closure of its railroad tie-treating, creosote plant in Smeltertown near Salida. Built in 1926, the engine moved trams loaded with railroad ties to and from the treating shed. It is a two-foot gauge engine, with saddle tank and 0-4-0 wheel arrangement. This “dinky” was also known as the “Yard Goat” by local workers.
According to records, only 130 of the 24-inch gauge tank engines were made by Porter, compared to a larger number of 36-inch models, a fact, which if true, makes the Salida Museum’s engine quite rare. (From The Porter Locomotive, in Steam Locomotive—April, 1960—Starrucca Valley Publications William S. Young, Editor & Publisher.)
This summer we will be doing preservation work on the engine (primarily painting and replacing some missing parts) to preserve it on static display for future generations because of its historical significance to the area. If you’d like to help out, please visit our donation page.
Our annual Open House will be Saturday, May 12 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
At 1:00, Melanie Roth, president of Historic St. Elmo & Chalk Creek Canyon, will be our featured speaker, talking about the St. Elmo mining district and some of the preservation work they have been doing. St. Elmo and the mines were such an important component in Chaffee County and Salida’s economy. Along with the talk, you’ll have a chance to look through our new explorer, mining and railroad exhibits, and other updates throughout the museum.
From noon to 3:00, Wallace Ewing and James Barnett will be signing their new book, Focus on Salida. This pocket-sized guide combines photography and narrative to help you find more information about the fascinating architecture and history around Salida.
As usual, the Open House is free! And we’ll have cookies for the kids (and adults, too).
The Salida Museum is the Moonlight Monday non-profit on May 7, so we will benefit from their generous donation of 10% of sales.
Get a pizza, get a calzone, enjoy a brew, buy extras to freeze, but make sure you get to Moonlight Pizza to help our cause.
This year’s project is painting the Porter Engine, so help us get ‘er done!
We are sad to report that the Museum has lost another long-time volunteer. Judy Micklich passed away on March 16. Judy started volunteering at the Museum in the late 1960s, working for our founder, Harriet Alexander and served as president from 1975 – 2014. Through Judy’s tireless dedication to the Museum and preservation of area history, Salidans and history buffs from all over can still explore the museum and learn about the area’s long and colorful history. As Earle Kittleman, our Board Secretary wrote, “She personified the importance of hometown preservation.”
This photo shows Judy at the Smokestack in 2004 with the 2nd grade class for their local history module. Judy and her historical knowledge of Salida will be greatly missed.
Happy New Year!
And that means some new exhibits are being developed at the Museum. So, just a heads up that we will be closed for the next few weeks in order to do some major exhibit moves, painting and patching. We will announce our reopening once all the work is done and we’ve had a chance to tidy up the place.