Friday, August 3, 2012


Whitefish, MT   High 87  Low 51

(I started this post four days ago so you can see I’m a little behind. Hope to get caught up shortly.)

Whitefish, MT’s claim to fame is the Whitefish Mountain Resort at Big Mountain. When we lived here it was just called Big Mountain Ski Resort. You can see the ski runs on the mountain.


I should have saved my train picture from Columbia Falls for this post.

There is a small museum in Whitefish that is located in the train depot that I wanted to visit. It was especially neat for me because I grew up with the Great Northern Big Horn logo here in Montana.

The Stumptown Historical Museum is located in the depot which is also used by Amtrack. Stumptown is a nickname that was given to towns when the crews arrived to log the area to build the depot and put in the line.

whitefish train1

This building was built by the Great Northern Railway in 1927 for $65,000.

So many wonderful treasures in this museum. Here are pictures of just a few of them.



Remember these?


These were the good old days when they used beautiful china to serve the meals in the dining car.


Thought about Rick when I saw this camera.


There is also a display which recreates the desk of Lucien Gordon Becquart, a telegrapher who worked for the Great Northern Railroad for 40-years. Jim trying to tape out a message (I’m sure it’s a love letter to me.)


Or how about a furry trout?


You can read all about him at:

whitefish train

This was a fun little museum that is free to visit, however donations are happily accepted.

To continue with the theme of the day we went to lunch at the Great Northern Bar and Grill. (Traffic is terrible on Main Street).


There’s also a train which sits in a park in Somers, MT that has a very “interesting” history.


On October 25, 1908, Engineer A. J. Adams was in poor health, so fireman Otto Fenske went to the round house alone to pick up engin No. 215 to save Adams from the long walk. Fenske ran the engine out onto the mainline and got off to close the switch. The brakes on the old engine were in poor shape, so instead he put the throttle in reverse. But while he was tugging the switch into position, the throttle jumped out of its slot and the train took off backwards towards Somers.

No. 215 was supposed to haul the Sunday morning train to Columbia Falls. Instead it was on a one way trip 11 miles in the wrong direction. The track actually stopped about two car lengths from the edge of the pier on Flathead Lake. Engine No. 215 was not to be stopped. She leaped from the track, ran through a tool house on the dock and flew about 30 feet through the air into Flathead Lake.

A few years later they were able to raise her from the bottom of the lake and she now rests in the park in Somers.


  1. Sounds like a really fun museum. $65,000 sure went a long ways then but couldn't get anything close today for that amount.

  2. Can't imagine how scary a runaway locomotive would be. Cute museum.

  3. What an interesting train story. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. loved the train story, thank you for sharing!

  5. Great story... looks like a fun place to visit.

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  6. I've seen flying fish in the water but never a flying locomotive! :c)

    I guess that left a mark?

  7. What a cool place. AND what a cool story.
    Jim looks like a professional with behind the telegraph machine.

  8. Thanks for another great train story. We have a model railroad friend who retired to Whitefish so we may actually get there some day.

  9. Seems like there's always a train story out West.

  10. Oh Geez... a run-away-train. Must've been quite a show. Great story!


Thanks for visiting today. I look forward to reading your comments. Have a beautiful day.