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Corinne Railroad Village Museum

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This page was last updated on December 7, 2016.

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Overview

The railroad museum at Corinne was run by the National Society of Sons of Utah Pioneers. It opened in May 1959, and remained in operation until the end of the 1979 season. During 1979 and 1980, the collection was moved to Heber, Utah.

Timeline

May 10, 1958
The concept of a railroad museum at Promontory was mentioned by Horace A. Sorensen, past president of Sons of Utah Pioneers, in a speech given at Promontory at the 89th anniversary of the driving of the golden spike. In 1957, the National Park Service had designated seven acres surrounding the site as the "Golden Spike National Historic Site." The speech was mentioned in an editorial encouraging further development of the historic site. (Salt Lake Tribune, May 13, 1958)

June 11, 1958
"The May issue of the SUP News, official publication of the National Society, Sons of Utah Pioneers, carries a sketch of a proposed railroad village at Corinne recommended for consideration by the SUP and the National Golden Spike Society, Inc." "It would include short Union Pacific and Southern Pacific trains under a protective roof facing one another as they did in 1869. I presume an effort would be made to get equipment as nearly similar to that station as possible. There's also to be an old time railroad station and telegraph-ticket office." (Ogden Standard Examiner, June 11, 1958; Ray Wight, Views and News)

September 25, 1958
The following comes from the Salt Lake Tribune, September 26, 1958:

Brigham City -- Railroad history of the United States will be preserved in a Railroad Village Museum at Corinne, it was announced Thursday night (September 25).

The museum will be constructed by the National Society of Sons of Utah Pioneers and the National Golden Spike Assn., according to Horace A. Sorensen, Salt Lake City, who will act as executive director and vice president of the museum.

A 10-year lease has been signed by the two groups with the Union Pacific Railroad for a piece of property 1,000 feet long by 85 feet deep. It will border on the highway running through Corinne, Mr. Sorensen said.

Already donated to the project by the Union Pacific is a steam locomotive, a baggage car and a chair car. Southern Pacific has started its collection by donating a hand car. Mr. Sorensen told members attending a banquet of the association at the Tropicana Restaurant.

Officials of the two railroad companies co-operating in the project were guests of honor at the banquet.

The village will include life-sized cutouts of the two engines and persons participating in the golden spike ceremonies on Promontory Point. This cut-out is presently housed at the Pioneer Museum in Salt Lake City.

Mr. Sorensen said research shows the two engines have been dismantled.

The display will include old railroad stations, blacksmith shops, water towers and other items of railroad lore.

Also prominent will be an orientation building for tourists showing them how to get to Promontory Point over 25 miles of paved road, said Mr. Sorensen.

"This will encourage development of the Golden-Spike site for the centennial which is being planned for 11 years hence -- May 10, 1969," he said.

Participating in the banquet was a bus load of SUP and railroad officials from the Salt Lake City area.

November 7, 1958
Union Pacific began laying track for the "real-life" locomotives and cars to be displayed. UP was donating the tracks and the labor to lay them on the leased site, including a spur from its own tracks to the new museum's tracks. (Ogden Standard Examiner, November 7, 1958)

April 15, 1959
The "trains" were to be moved into the Corinne railroad museum "tomorrow" (April 15). The depot from Honeyville was to be moved to the museum site in the "latter part of this week." On May 9, a plaque was to be dedicated at Promontory designating it as the Golden Spike Historic Site. At 2 p.m. also on May 9, the Corinne Railroad Museum would be dedicated at the museum site in Corinne.

The two locomotives were pulled into place "yesterday" (April 15) while a crowd of 100 onlookers watched. "Today" (April 16) the historic Honeyville depot started its 15-mile journey on trucks, to be placed on a foundation already completed at the Corinne museum site. (Ogden Standard Examiner, April 16, 1959)

May 9, 1959
The "Railroad Village Museum" at Corinne was dedicated at 2 p.m.

May 10, 1968
The Corinne museum was reported as having two locomotives, passenger, mail, diner, and caboose cars, and a variety of railroad tools, books, photographs and paintings. (Salt Lake Tribune, May 10, 1968)

August 7, 1979
Timpanogos Preservation Society received a federal grant in the amount of $805,250 for the construction of a railroad-themed park and museum in Heber City. The Sons of Utah Pioneers had pledged to donate its collection of railroad artifacts and equipment already situated at Corinne in Utah's Box Elder County, and valued at $3 million. (Deseret News, August 7, 1979)

December 1979
By December 1979, about half of the Sons of Utah Pioneers collection had been moved from Corinne to Heber. The two steam locomotives had not yet been moved, pending negotiations with Union Pacific to move them by rail. The collection was donated in April 1979, and was to be completely moved within one year. (Deseret News, December 10, 1979)

Corinne Equipment

UP No. 264

SP No. 1744

UP 414 (Chair; arch-roof heavyweight; 79'-3") -- UP 414 was built in 1922; retired by UP in October 1957; donated to Sons of Utah Pioneers and in place for display at the opening of the Corinne Railroad Village Museum, at Corinne, Utah, on May 9, 1959; moved to Heber, Utah, in 1981 along with the entire SUP collection; sold to Nevada State Railroad Museum in 1992, moved to Boulder City, Nevada in February 1993. (As of December 8, 2016, UP 414 is at Nevada State Railroad Museum in Boulder City, Nevada, being evaluated for rehabilitation and possible operation.)

OSL 2314 (Baggage Postal; arch-roof heavyweight; 72'-5") -- OSL 2314 was built in December 1911 as OSL Baggage Postal 524; renumbered to OSL 2314 in April 1915; retired by UP in October 1957; donated to Sons of Utah Pioneers and in place for display at the opening of the Corinne Railroad Village Museum at Corinne, Utah, on May 9, 1959; moved to Heber, Utah, in 1981 along with the entire SUP collection; sold to Nevada State Railroad Museum in 1992, moved to Boulder City, Nevada in February 1993. (As of December 8, 2016, OSL 2314 is displayed at Nevada State Railroad Museum in Boulder City, Nevada.) (View a photo of OSL 2314 at Boulder City in September 2008)

B&G 100 (Coach-Observation; wood; 51') -- Purchased in April 1911 secondhand by Bingham & Garfield, and numbered as B&G 100. passenger service on B&G ended in 1921, after which the car was used moving company officials to and from Bingham and the magna mills. It was then transferred to the mine railroad and was used to transport shovel and train crews to and from their work sites in the Bingham open pit mine. Kennecott Copper, as the successor to Utah Copper, used the car until it was donated to the Sons of the Utah Pioneers and the car was displayed in Salt Lake City for a short time. In May 1962 the car was moved to the Corinne Railroad Village Museum in time for the museum's seasonal opening on May 9, 1962. In 1981 all of the Corinne museum collection was moved to Heber City, Utah, as a part of the Heber Creeper railroad. The car was displayed in Heber City from 1981 to 1993, when it was sold to a private party in San Diego. The car was later moved to the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum, Campo, California. PSRM offered the car to other museums beginning in July 2004, and in winter 2004 sold the car to Sumpter Valley Railway, Baker, Oregon. It was moved in April 2005 to Baker, Oregon, and is currently in service as SVRY 100 "Leviathan."

(Read more about B&G 100)

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