Depot Days centennial in South Cle Elum, June 12 and 13

Public Invited to Celebration!

The clock will be turned back to 1909 for a celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Milwaukee Road railroad depot in South Cle Elum. The beautifully restored Milwaukee railroad station and the South Cle Elum Rail Yard Historic District will be the setting for Depot Days.  Events includes historic walking tours, visits with characters right out of 1909, silent movies, a working telegraph to send messages, a special post office for a commemorative postmark, refreshments and more. The festivities will be held Friday, June 12 and Saturday June 13 from 10 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. On Friday evening there will be a special showing of silent movies. A special feature of Saturday’s event will be reenactors from 1909 and live music. Admission to all Depot Days events is free to the public.

The depot will come to life as the click and clack of Morse code resounds from the telegraph office.  The authentic telegraph office will be operating and telegrams may be sent and received. Telegraph and communication equipment has been reconditioned and installed at the depot office just as it was in 1909. Morse Telegraph Club volunteers will demonstrate the telegraph and Morse code.

There will be a 1909-style reenactment in an authentic vintage setting. Costumed presenters will share their experiences of life in small town Cle Elum, on the railroad and as fashionable travelers making the train trip to Seattle to visit the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exhibition. Cascade Rail Foundation volunteers and State Parks rangers will conduct tours inside the depot as well as out in the rail yard on an interpretive trail. Tours will be held regularly throughout both days.

A special  “Movie Night at the Depot” will take place Friday evening. The movie selection will include silent films from the turn of the century. The classic blockbuster hit of 1903, “The Great Train Robbery” will be featured. It is regarded as the first movie “Western”, even though it was filmed in New Jersey.  Other short silent films will round out the program.

On Saturday, music from turn of the century will be performed at the Depot. Enjoy the popular music of the era, including songs we still remember; In the Good Old Summertime, Take Me Out to the Ballgame and Give My Regards to Broadway were favorites of the era. You might even sing along to some old familiar tunes.

The US Postal Service will have a temporary post office, known as “Milwaukee Road Station” at the depot in South Cle Elum on both Friday and Saturday. The postal station will use a special pictorial cancellation of the depot with the words Centennial 1909 – 2009.

The Cascade Rail Foundation is offering a specially designed cachet envelope depicting a map of the Milwaukee Road Pacific Coast Extension from the Midwest to Puget Sound. The two-color envelope also features two logos of the Milwaukee Road, or the Chicago, Milwaukee & Puget Sound as the western extension was initially called. It can be ordered by sending $2.00 for one and $5.00 for three. Send self-stamped addressed  #10 envelope to Cascade Rail Foundation, Dept. RPO, PO Box 462, South Cle Elum, WA 98943. The commemorative postmark will available both days at the depot, a ticket window serving as a retail counter for the Post Office. Cachets are will also be sold at the depot during the event. $2.00 each, 3 for $5.00.

Inside the depot, a small museum will features the history of the Milwaukee Road and South Cle Elum in photos, vintage advertising, artifacts and stories.  Refreshments and light snacks will be available at the depot lunch counter during the event

Mark Borleske
Depot Days Chairman

Download a Free Printable Event Poster to Display

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