Working at the Archive – September 5

The Thursday work crew had a team of four at the archive this time.  Rick Beaber, Fred High, and Aaron Schwarz joined us and we spent most of the evening repacking unprocessed material from odd size boxes into standard size  storage boxes.  We were doing this so they can go on the shelf and clear some room for incoming material.


Much of the material was from the Ron Jorgensen collection.   Ron is a former Milwaukee Road employee who went on to work for several other railroads after the Milwaukee shut down in Washington.   Of course, we can’t just move things from one box to the other.  Sometimes we need to take a moment to look at them.   A set of Ron’s timebooks from when he worked for the Milwaukee caught our eye and we found something interesting:


(click to enlarge)


If you open it up and look closely, you’ll see that Ron worked on some trains to Hoquiam, WA with the 5057.  This is the first documentation we’ve seen of the 5057 on the Hoquiam branch!  The 5057 certainly traveled widely on the Milwaukee Road in Washington, which is one of the reasons we’re working hard to bring it back to display at South Cle Elum.


We also repacked one the few boxes in the Doug Nighswonger collection that we haven’t inventoried.  This box was packed full of Milwaukee Road accident reports, documenting accidents on the railroad in Washington from the late 1940s.  When most people think of accident reports, they think of the Interstate Commerce Commission investigations.  These were internal documents prepared by the railroad for every accident, from events that caused minor injuries with no time lost to those that resulted in fatalities.  Here is a photo:


(click to enlarge)


The  reports had been jam packed into one large box, so we gave them more space to make them easier to access.  The one box filled almost six standard storage boxes.  Eventually, we’ll come back to these reports and put them in individual folders as we inventory them — just like the timebooks we worked on last time.  These reports will be a great resource for people looking for details about Milwaukee Road operations in the late 1940s, as well for people looking for information about individuals who worked for the railroad.


Our Thursday sessions usually meet on the first and third Thursdays each month.  The next Thursday session will be September 5.  Please let us know if you’d like to join us at Pacific Northwest Railroad Archive in Burien, WA. (click here to contact us) A group also meets at the Archive every Wednesday from 10 am to 4 pm and a daytime Saturday group should be starting soon.  There is plenty to do, so come join us!

Paul Krueger


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