Bill Petitjean, who served as a fire man on the very first passenger train trip the museum provided 50 years ago, recalled the day at a celebration of the anniversary Sunday at the historic Snoqualmie Depot. Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo

Northwest Railway Museum celebrates 60-, 50- and 10-year anniversaries Sunday

“To another 50 years,” Bill Petitjean announced as he cut the ribbon Sunday at the Northwest Railway Museum.

His role in the event, celebrating 60 years of the Northwest Railway Museum, the 50th anniversary of the start of passenger train rides at the museum, and the 10th anniversary of the museum’s growing history campus, was especially historic since Petitjean had served as a fireman on the very first passenger train the museum operated, 50 years ago exactly, on Sunday, May 28, 1967.

The longtime museum volunteer recalled that first train, running on what was then the Puget Sound and Snoqualmie Valley Railway.

“We had a little three-car train, with Engine No. 70, the old Coach X46 which was the wooden Northern Pacific coach built in 1881, and a flatcar with benches on it… and the Northern Pacific caboose,” he said. “And the passenger car and the caboose are in the Train Shed at the museum today.”

Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson, North Bend Mayor Ken Hearing, King County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, Nataly Morales representing Senator Patty Murray’s office, and museum executive director Richard Anderson all spoke at the event about the collaborative efforts that went into the creation of today’s Northwest Railway Museum. The museum’s history campus required a partnership among the cities of North Bend and Snoqualmie, King county, state officials and the Meadowbrook Farm Association.

“I have been very privileged to be a mayor in a city going through its most transformational phase of any time in its 100-year history,” said Mayor Larson, “but I’ve got to tell you, of all the times we partnered with folks, this is probably in the top two of those projects most dear to my heart and one that … I am now and always will be most proud of.”

Larson proclaimed the day Northwest Railway Museum Day in honor of the anniversary.

Before cutting the ribbon, Petitjean declared the day, like the one 50 years ago, “a red-letter day. A lot of water has passed over Snoqualmie Falls since that day, and the railroad museum has come a very long way. I think the community should be very proud of what has been accomplished in terms of preserving that history.”

Landen Hearing, 14, plays with his brother, Graysen, 4, while accompanying their grandfather, North Bend Mayor Ken Hearing, to the celebration of three anniversaries for the Northwest Railway Museum. Also pictured is Snoqualmie City Councilman Bob Jeans, far right. Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo

North Bend Mayor Ken Hearing, right, and King County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert spoke Sunday at the Northwest Railway Museum’s anniversary celebration at the Snoqualmie Depot. Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo

Volunteers Dennis Snook, and Sally and Hugh Hansen decorate the Railway Education Center in preparation for the day’s first trainload of visitors to celebrate the museum’s 60th anniversary, 50th year of train rides, and 10th anniversary of the creation of the museum’s history campus. Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo

King County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert congratulated Northwest Railway Museum staff and supporters on the three milestones celebrated Sunday. Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo

Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson discussed the accomplishments of the Northwest Railway Museum in creating its 10-year-old history campus, Sunday, saying that his involvement with that effort, along with the partnerships that were formed, is something he would always be proud of. Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo

Nataly Morales read a letter of congratulations from Senator Patty Murray at Sunday’s celebration. Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo

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