178NCNGRR Grand Opening Postponed
- Sep 12, 2002I see the following on the new website for the Nevada County Narrow Gauge
Railroad & Transportation Museum < http://www.ncngrrmuseum.org/ >
CABOOSE STOVE CHAT
with John Christensen, Museum Chairman
"It was with great reluctance that the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad &
Transportation Museum had to postpone the planned Grand Opening celebration that
was scheduled for this coming September 21st. The new date has been pushed back
to May 17, 2003, which will coincide with the NCNGRR's one hundred and
twenty-seventh anniversary, and the beginning of summer hour's operation.
"The reasons for the cancellation are many but the primary ones are due to lack
of time to make the museum exhibits ready for such an event, the slow
progression of the track work and hookup to the depot/museum building due to the
construction of four switches, and the inability to get Engine No 5 ready for
presentation and into the main building before September 21st.
"At this time it has been decided, ready or not, to open the museum to the
public as advertised on Sunday, September 22nd. This will allow our museum
patrons to be able to come and see the ongoing progress of our endeavors and
stimulate interest in our developing exhibits and restoration efforts of our
large inventory of railroad equipment. As of September 22nd the museum will then
be on winter operating hours of weekends only, except for special occasions and
prearranged tours. The hours of operation will be from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Summer hours operation will begin on May 18th, 2003 and the hours will be later
"Our museum volunteers have been putting out a tremendous effort in preparing
the museum for the opening. I will list and briefly describe what some of these
projects are at this time.
"1. Track work. So far there has been at least 500 feet of track constructed
along the depot/museum and into the shop building's two stalls. This includes
four switches of which each is a time consuming effort due to custom fit of
every part to make them function properly. Once the fourth switch is completed
the track work to connect to the museum's interior display track should progress
quickly. This effort is being headed up by our restoration manager Ken Yeo who
is being assisted by Dick Marundee, Nick Rohrman, Fred Relaford, Mike Flarety,
Bob Austin, Al Dittmann and myself.
"2. Museum Displays/Cabinets. Six display cabinets were purchased from a local
thrift shop that was going out of business for $500.00. The funding for the
cabinets came from the now defunct Nevada County Numismatic Club who will now
live on in name only with a donation plaque on one of the cabinets. This funding
was procured by Beryl Robinson. The cabinets are currently being restored by Bob
Austin, Paul Schreiber and Dick Marundee is constructiing mobile bases for these
"3. A new display wall unit is being constructed by Furniture by Thurston & Ken
Draper Woodworking for a total cost of $3600.00. This wall unit is composed of
five 4 foot wide display cabinets with two glass doors each. The unit will stand
90 inches high and will be 20 inches deep. Lee Thurston is doing the labor of
cutting all the materials in his furniture shop at his cost as well as giving us
a break on the materials. Ken Draper has been commissioned by Lee to put the
cabinets together and Ken is also giving us a reduced charge for his services to
help the museum. Moule Glass Company in Grass Valley who is a business member of
the Historical Society has given us 15% reduction on our cost for the glass
which was nearly a thousand dollars of the cost of construction. Big thanks to
Lee, Ken and Moule Glass for helping us with this main display cabinet.
"4. NCNGRR Picture/History Display. This part of the display is being planned
and implemented by two of our charter members. One is noted railroad
photographer Stan Kistler and the other is our plane & train artist Tim O'Brien
who also is our publicity manager.
"5. Engine No 5 Movie History Display. This is a display depicting Engine No 5's
forty-five year movie career with Universal Studios from 1940 to 1985. The
display will be comprised of twenty movie posters and story boards outlining
No.5''s colorful and exciting career with her many well know co-stars such as
John Wayne, James Stewart and many others. This is my own personal project of
which I anticipate should be ready by our opening date.
"6. Steam Car/Locomobile Display. This 1901 steam operated car was Grass
Valley's first car and has been lovingly restored by Terry Horlick. Last year
Terry took the car for a ride in Grass Valley to celebrate it's one hundred year
anniversary. It now operates on compressed air rather than a fire in a boiler.
Terry will be helping with the story board history for this historical vehicle
"Another item of great importance is the Docent Program. This program is being
set up primarily by Steve O'Brien (no, he is not Tim's father) who has worked
with the California Parks System for many years and has a good working knowledge
in the organization and managing of volunteer docents. He is currently working
on a new standard operating procedure for the docent program and is the point of
contact for any potential new members to our organization and can be reached at
530-273-5366. We need more volunteers to be involved in any aspect of museum
operations. If you know anyone who might be interested please refer them to us.
"The organization of the new gift shop is well underway. Elma Belle Rohrman is
the shop manager and is being assisted by Madelyn Helling and Marilyn Dittmann
at this time. We expect the shop to be fully functional and stocked with many
interesting items prior to our grand opening in May. We are also looking at
putting our sales items on the internet through our new Home Page that is
currently being designed and constructed by our newest member Brian Blair. Brian
has consented to be our new webmaster and promises to have a very interesting
and diverse internet site for us.
"You can reach the new site by going to www.ncngrrmuseum.org or you can go to
www.oro.net/~ncngrr and it should refer you to the new site. My e-mail address
is still at ncngrr@... .