Railroad exhibit shines light on Sandpoint history

By Cameron Rasmusson
Reader Staff

The history of the railroad is a key part of the Sandpoint community. 

Bonner County History Museum Curator Heather Upton stands in front of the museum’s new railroad exhibit, which came together through solid community support. Photo by Cameron Rasmusson

It’s fitting, then, that the community played a key part in capturing its legacy with a new Bonner County History Museum exhibit. According to Heather Upton, museum curator, help from local railroad enthusiasts like Will Valentine and Bill Aitken helped bring the exhibit to life. 

“I’ve really come to understand railroad fans,” she said. “There are a lot of them, and they are passionate about it.”

The exhibit includes a recreation of an early-20th-century ticketing office, showing in detail the tight quarters and equipment used to keep train traffic rolling. It was a tall order to choose which artifacts to include in short space, but Upton is thrilled with how it came together. 

“We had all these fabulous railway lanterns and signals, and we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be marvelous if we brought them back to life?’” Upton said.  

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