Op-Ed

Railway heritage celebrated

Volunteers Randy German and Michael Lower demonstrate their expertise in train maintenance and their sense of humor at the Bellingham Railway Museum.
Volunteers Randy German and Michael Lower demonstrate their expertise in train maintenance and their sense of humor at the Bellingham Railway Museum. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

The Bellingham Railway Museum was established in 2003 and had about 35 volunteers in 2015.

Purpose: The mission of the Bellingham Railway Museum is to provide the community with an enjoyable and accessible link to railroad heritage, history and operations. We strive to preserve and protect our local railroading history through many means including historical preservation of railroad artifacts. We also seek to promote and support the hobby of model railroading as we realize the important lessons the hobby can teach about our railroading past.

Volunteer highlights: Outstanding volunteer Dale Jones has volunteered his time since the beginning of the museum as our historian. Dale also takes time to act as docent to our guests and help with exhibit maintenance and development. He is dedicated to local history and guests to the museum enjoy listening to him share it with them in his own unique style. Dale is able to relate to members of the community that visit the museum and is often able to make a connection where others cannot. Dale helps to bring the history alive for our visitors.

Signature fundraiser: The Lynden Model Railroad Show is held the first weekend of October each year at the Northwest Washington Fair Grounds in Lynden. We will be selling items related to model railroading.

Wish list: We would like to have a means of saving the steam engine at Bloedel Donovan Park. It’s currently in a “sad state.” Engine No. 7 served the cement plant for years before it was retired. It should be saved because of its historical nature.

Current volunteer needs: We could use 10 dedicated and reliable individuals to help with model train maintenance, front desk/ticket counter, birthday party help, history/docent work, and development of special educational programs at the museum and would prefer individuals who are available long term.

For more information, go online to bellinghamrailwaymuseum.org.

VOLUNTEER MONTH

April was National Volunteer Month and The Bellingham Herald has partnered with the Volunteer Center of Whatcom County to highlight local non-profit agencies that offer opportunities to become involved in our community. For more information online about the Volunteer Center of Whatcom County, go to whatcomvolunteer.org.

  Comments