Duvall’s Centennial Railroad Show

  • Written by Diane Baker

Trains by LisaPhoto by Lisa Allen. A young visitor enjoyed watching the trains.There once was a settlement on the Snoqualmie River called Cherry Valley.  

Soon the Milwaukee Road and the Great Northern railroads decided to lay track along the river, south from Monroe to Tolt.

They visited the settlement and announced their plans.  The settlement said, "NO!"  They had just completed their Main Street and didn’t want to move.

The railroads went up the hill to James Duvall’s logging operation, bought his property and made a deal with the settlement to move their town to Mr. Duvall’s land. 

Thus, the city of Duvall was born and Cherry Valley Settlement disappeared into the mists of time.

October 25th, 26th and 27th brought trains back to Duvall for the first time in more than 50 years to spotlight Duvall’s early railroad history. 

Unfortunately, these were small scale choo-choos, not the powerful locomotives that carried passengers, mail, farm supplies, livestock, machinery, lumber and you-name-it to the cities up and down the lower Snoqualmie Valley. 

We no longer hear the sounds of the Milwaukee Road, nor the Great Northern, who were the ancestors of BNSF.

The show was held in three locations: the restored depot featured two layouts, one "N" and the other "HO" scale.  These highly detailed working train layouts were made by 4-H Club members who proudly ran their railroads for everyone to see.

The second location for the show was Duvall’s old library building, now re-named the Duvall Visitor and Centennial Center.

Inside were vendors featuring outstanding railroad art, books about the railroads, railroad-themed housewares, train whistles and miniature autos, trucks, trains, and miscellaneous scenic items.

There was a free raffle featuring pillowcases made with railroad themed fabrics.  Survey sheets were also available for anyone to sign for more information about Duvall’s Historical Society, the possibility of starting a model railroad club in Duvall and the possibility of starting a 4-H group with a focus on model building.The interest was high in all three areas. 

Anyone who would like more information about these activities can call Diane at The Quilter’s Garden (425-844-1621).

The third location was a vacant building at the corner of Main & Cherry Streets.  Inside was a very impressive N scale train layout measuring 35’ x 15’.

VV Train Centennial 2705Photo by Diane Baker. Allen Miller presented a slide show and lecture.This was brought to Duvall by the members of the Northwest Model Hobby Railroad Club, a non-profit organization that promotes model building of all kinds.

They put a list of comic features to find in their layout including a "herd of Rainier Beers" hiding in the hills as well as "spotteddowels in the old growth forest.

Friday evening brought the "Poindexters" to Duvall to sing a selection of hobo and railroad songs. 

People came on Sunday to hear the stories of railroading in the valley as told by Allen Miller, noted local authority for the Milwaukee Road and one of the last people to actually ride one of these trains through Duvall.

His slide show and lecture was entertaining, as well as educational for many people.

With the trains running all three days, the music and the lecture/slide show attracting many to historic Duvall, the show was declared a success!  Planning is underway to make it an annual event.

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