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Railroad Days

Dick Jamsgard talks to Alon Ish-Shalom about a piece of equipment Saturday at the Oregon Coast Historical Railway Museum during the annual Coos County Train Day in downtown Coos Bay.

COOS BAY — Families climbed in and out of vintage trains at the Oregon Coast Historical Railway museum Saturday as they celebrated the annual Coos County Train Day in downtown Coos Bay.

This year, the museum not only showcased its collection of local railroad equipment, trains and cabooses, but it also honored the 150th anniversary of the driving of the “Golden Spike,” which marked completion of the first transcontinental railroad.

People explore the Oregon Coast Historical Railway Museum during the annual Coos County Train Day in downtown Coos Bay on Saturday.

The event, which featured free food and refreshments, also included live historical re-enactments from members of the Dolphin Playhouse.

“This is our first time doing this event and it’s been a lot of fun,” said Dolphin Playhouse board member Brad Keith. “This place is a hidden gem and we’re excited we got to be here and help the community learn more about its history.”

Keith, who dressed up as Leland Stanford, provided guests with information on the development of the railroad and Stanford’s role as one of its early investors.

For first timers to the museum, OCHR volunteer director Dick Jamsgard said he looks forward to showing folks who visit from across the state the important role trains played in the county’s deep rooted logging industry.

“It’s our history, our culture, our heritage,” said Jamsgard. “It’s nice to be able to bring these pieces together and share it with others.”

The 1922 Baldwin Steam Locomotive Number 104 remains the museum’s signature piece, said Jamsgard. Over the years, volunteers have worked on restoring the train to its original condition as well as its other curated pieces.

“Every piece has my fingerprints on it and each one has its own story,” said Jamsgard. “There is a lot of history here.”

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Reporter Amanda Linares can be reached at 541-266-2039 or by email at amanda.linares@theworldlink.com.

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