Although the Milwaukee Road mainline was shut down across Washington State in March 1980, many of the historic station names are coming back in Eastern Washington.
A large portion of the route is now Washington State Parks’ Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail. The trail has been seeing improvements over the last few years, and some exciting projects are moving forward. One project is the Station Sign Project, spearheaded by Cascade Rail Foundation volunteers who are fabricating and installing three-quarter size replica Milwaukee Road style station signs at their historic locations. The locations receiving the signs extend from Lind east to the Idaho state line, a distance of roughly 100 miles.
In October, the prototype signs were installed at the former depot sites of Lind, Ralston, and Revere. Signs are on hand for Malden, Rosalia and Tekoa, awaiting installation in Spring/Summer 2021. An additional 12 more signs will be fabricated this winter for installation in 2021. Some of the places are familiar, others are remote and relatively unknown. All of them are authentic Milwaukee Road.
The purpose of the station sign project is to honor historical railroad locations as well as serve as trail waypoints. Once again, names like Vassar, Pizarro, Marengo, Carlmar, Paxton, Kenova, Pine City, Squaw Canyon, Seabury, Pandora, Lone Pine, and Williams can again be brought back to life. This is a way share Milwaukee Road history with a new generation, recreational trail users and heritage travelers on the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail.
You can help!
Donations in any amount are welcome to help us pay for materials.
A specific sign and location can be sponsored for $400, which is tax-deductible. A customized certificate of sponsorship will be provided, which includes, if possible, a photograph of the location from Milwaukee Road days, as well as a photograph of the installed sign and brief description of location. This is a positive way to remember and preserve the history of the Milwaukee Road, recognizing the communities and locations on the former mainline.
You can use the donation page on the website here. Be sure to check the box for the Station Sign project at the bottom of the form.
Or contributions can be mailed to Cascade Rail Foundation at:
PO Box 462
South Cle Elum, WA 98943
For comments, questions, and information, including specific location sponsorship, please contact us here.