Camp 6 Logging Museum Closed

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Bob

Forum Host
Staff member
Camp 6 Press Release:

Camp 6 Historic Logging Museum Is Closed

The owners of Camp 6 have been unable to find a buyer or investor to keep the historic logging museum open in Point Defiance Park, Tacoma. Consequently, Camp 6 is now permanently closed. The historic logging museum had operated for 47 years, but now remains closed following its usual winter break.

We are heartbroken about this decision, but there is no way to keep Camp 6 operating at Point Defiance Park,” said Alan Macpherson, spokesperson for the Western Forest Industries Museum, which owns Camp 6. “Camp 6 only operates on admissions fees, donations and grants. We’ve had fewer visitors each year, and no longer have the funds to continue operating.”

In addition, Macpherson said, the trains, logging equipment and buildings at Camp 6 are deteriorating and there are no funds to repair them.

No potential buyer who could operate Camp 6 has come forward. WFIM now is working to find a buyer or buyers for the pieces in the collection, including engines, open cars, bunkhouses, bunk cars and other pieces of equipment.

Our preference is to find a buyer who will keep most of the collection together and display it for the public,” Macpherson said. “That buyer might not exist in Washington State. We’d be willing to sell the collection outside Washington if we could keep most of the collection together and on display.”

Any unsold pieces would likely be added to WFIM’s Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad in Mineral, Washington.

WFIM leases property in Point Defiance Park from Metro Parks for a nominal amount. WFIM established the Camp 6 Logging Museum in 1964 as a living, hands-on demonstration of Washington State’s logging and railroad history from the 1880s through the 1940s. Attendance and the condition of the collection have been in decline recently. Ridership of the historic trains at Camp 6 dropped 40 percent last year, from 5,982 in 2009 to just 3,600 in 2010.
 

speeder3

MRSR Ops. Director
I wonder what will happen to the shay.
I am not the official spokesperson on this matter, so I will not go into any details except to say that there is a party interested in the collection at Camp 6 and that negotiations will begin very soon.

I have already seen posts on Facebook stating that Shay #7 will be going to Mineral. Although I have requested that certain pieces of railroad equipment be added to the MRSR collection, no decisions have been made so the fate of the Shay is purely speculative at this point. I strongly suggest that folks refrain from making any such remarks until an official statement has been released.

When negotiations have concluded, and not before, I will be happy to announce the outcome.

Brian Wise
General Manager
Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad
 

Steve Thompson

New Member
Camp 6 first day was a happy time

Jack Anderson and I were working there on opening day (and before) He's gone and now so is Camp 6. It's sad to see, as Tacoma pretty much owes it's existance to logging and the Railroads.

It's a poor economy and the stuff is going to be expensive to remove from the park. I would hope that not only the Shay, but the camp cars, Lidgerwood, Dolbeer donkey and others can be saved.

100 years ago, it would be no big deal, they'd just put in an incline to the NP, then run it over to the Milwaukee interchange and drag it all up to Mineral! Or, they might fire up the lidgerwood and lower it to the NP, either way, it would have been much easier back then!

Steve
 

weekendrailroader

Guy with the green hat
If I were rich, I'd buy the collection and reopen the museum at the old Weyerhaeuser mill site in Snoqualmie. However, I am not rich, so that will likely not happen. :D

Railroad museums and tourist railroads have something with which to both entertain and educate the public: train rides. This also provides a source of income for the operation. Camp 6 had a train ride (albeit a short one), and that is probably what kept it going for as long as it did.

You can't really ride behind a steam donkey or a Lidgerwood Skidder, but railroads were used extensively in logging operations in the PNW. However, you can ride behind old Caterpillar tractors, another machine that was extensively used in PNW logging.

I don't know who is interested in the collection, but I hope someone can organize something, perhaps in conjunction with a currently-operating railroad museum or tourist railroad, to preserve both Camp 6's equipment and the history behind it.

Perhaps this is a new beginning for the preservation of PNW logging history. :)
 

GHLines

A.K.A Kaivo
You can't really ride behind a steam donkey or a Lidgerwood Skidder, but railroads were used extensively in logging operations in the PNW. However, you can ride behind old Caterpillar tractors, another machine that was extensively used in PNW logging.
I beg to differ...every year at the Matlock Fair in Mason county since
before i was born, there are two steam donkeys set up in a field at the Mary M Knight school. cables are strung between them and a skid (or "pig" as old timers would call it) laid on the ground. Children of all ages enjoy riding on the skid (its usually free, first come first serve). Dont underestimate the lasting impression an "immobile" machine can have.
 

weekendrailroader

Guy with the green hat
I beg to differ...every year at the Matlock Fair in Mason county since
before i was born, there are two steam donkeys set up in a field at the Mary M Knight school. cables are strung between them and a skid (or "pig" as old timers would call it) laid on the ground. Children of all ages enjoy riding on the skid (its usually free, first come first serve). Dont underestimate the lasting impression an "immobile" machine can have.
Now THAT sounds awesome!!!:eek: I've seen photos of the loggers riding in the "pigs" back-in-the-day, but I had no idea you could still do that! I've been meaning to make it down to Matlock to see the steam donkeys (I've loved the machines ever since I came across copies of "This Was Logging" and "The Glory Days of Logging"), but I can never find out what days the show is on.

It does surprise me that you can still drag logs along the ground with people in them (I guess you have to check the cable condition somewhat often), but now I've gotta take a ride! Thanks for the heads-up.:)
 




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