Posted by: wadahp | July 19, 2010

Century-Old Morton Train Depot Celebrates Million Dollar Makeover!

Morton, WA Saturday, July 24th from 10-4PM   

The recently restored historic Morton Train Depot will celebrate its 100 birthday as well as its restoration. Star of the History Channel’s Mega Movers program, which filmed it’s move down the old Tacoma Eastern tracks out of harm’s way the depot, was built in July of 1910. An extremely significant icon of Washington’s railroad heritage the depot is the last remaining structure of the Tacoma Eastern Railroad that provided the original route to Mt. Rainier National Park in 1905 via the “National Park Limited” train.  

The depot operated as part of the Tacoma Eastern then later the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad from 1910-1980. The Cowlitz River Valley Historical Society of east Lewis county recognized the significance of this structure and purchased it from Weyerhaeuser’s Chehalis Western logging railroad in 1984 for the princely sum of $10.00. They immediately stabilized the endangered structure with new timbers in its wood foundation and a new cedar shake roof. It took 21 years to raise the money and mobilize a partnership to fund and move the depot from a sawmill site to its new campus at the end of the railroad line from Tacoma.  

This partnership includes the local historical society, the Washington State Historical Society, Washington State Departments of Transportation, Archaeology and Historic Preservation and Commerce. Additional grant funding was received from the Federal Highways Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, Lewis County, the East Lewis County Public Development Authority, the City of Morton, numerous local private donors and a private foundation on the East Coast. All these organizations funded the million-dollar move and restoration of this one of a kind historical icon. Local contractors completed the majority restoration work. This gave a significant economic boost to this depressed timber dependent community.  

The festivities kick off at 10AM in Morton with music, the dedication, food and depot tours as well as historical exhibits. For more information go to mortondepot.com or call 360-496-0070.

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