The Goldendale Sentinel, Goldendale, WA., July 10, 1969, page 5
Includes a photograph titled:
THE KLICKITAT SHAY, No. 7 of the Klickitat Log & Lumber Co., before abandonment of the logging road in 1964, shown here in its new home, the Camp & Logging Museum, Tacoma.
KLICKITAT MAN OPERATES 'OLD FRIEND' AT TACOMA MUSEUM
When 30,000 people stand in lines and pay a fare to ride
on a train these days, that's news!
Actually, not all 30,000 were in line at once, nor on any one day; but that's how many are estimated to have "gone for a ride" behind the authentic steam-sounding Klickitat Shay locomotive during the recent Tacoma Centennial Celebration.
Norman Elsner, Klickitat resident who was an engineer on the "7-spot" (or worked on her) for some 30 years, was the engineer for a 9-day stint -- June 28 through July 6. He was assisted by a steam locomotive buff and machinist from Olympia. Both of them donated their time. Elsner received expense money -- not very great since he lived in one of the old-time bunk cars which are a part of the furnishings of the old logging-camp museum at Point Defiance Park.
"There wasn't any publicity, except one newspaper article," Elsner said, "unless you count the No. 7's steam whistle. It was blowing most of the time. When we blew that whistle, it could be heard over most of the city, and people came in droves. On both Sundays people stood in line and at the end of each trip there would be another carload waiting."
Elsner said the Shay is set up on a circular track a little over a quarter of a mile in length. Eventually it is planned to build enough trackage to encircled the Point Defiance Park -- about five miles. At present, the Shay's operators make about three circuits of the small track in order to provide a decent ride. Only one flatcar with a bench enclosed by a railing has been used to date.
Present plans are to operate the Shay on Sundays only for the next month but if the attraction grows, rides will be offered both Saturdays and Sundays for the remainder of the summer. Elsner will be the operator.
Camp Six is a museum of logging machinery and equipment. Its site, cleared from virgin stand and second-growth fir-hemlock-cedar forest with dense coastal undergrowth, is typical of the west-side logging conditions. The machinery collected and assembled represents the pride of the woods in the approximately heyday of the Shey -- 1920-30.
A number of donkey engines are present, in a variety of uses from the huge Lidgerwood yarder to the small skidders; a 110-foot high-lead setup has been rigged. Other examples of power in the woods are planned.
Mrs. Kallsen, a member of the 17-man board, says the operation was incorporated in 1964 as the Western Washington Forest Industries Museum, a nonprofit, educational body. It was the development of a Citizens' Committee appointed by the Tacoma Park District, which gave it a 20-acre undeveloped tract from Point Defiance Park for its use. The corporation has no funding and is entirely voluntary as to service of its members and the work they have performed. Many private firms have made contributions, such as use of the mobile cranes used to set up the bunk cars from Rayonier's Camp 14 on the day they were remounted on railway wheels. Tractors used in clearing and road building, dump the trucks, even paving equipment, have been donated. The equipment on display has either been donated or loaned. The Shay is an example -- loaned by St. Regis for as long as it is used and kept in good condition. Many gifts have been made by prominent lumbermen.
Tacoma, capital of the lumber world, is an appropriate site for the museum. The Shay, kept in the best of working condition until its retirement at Klickitat in 1964, is a very appropriate machine to provide the animation necessary to bring the park to life. Its sights, smells and sounds are tremendously attractive to nostalgic Americans, in surroundings typical of those in which it was created to perform.
© Jeffrey L. Elmer