NORTH CREEK - Last week's four-day 75th anniversary celebration of the first "snow train" arriving in North Creek was described by local officials as a fitting testament to an event which stands as a prime-mover in the creation of modern Johnsburg.
"The train is a big part of what made North Creek what it is," North Creek Train Depot Museum Director Michelle San Antonio said. "Tourists began flocking here and many stayed - it was the second influx of population to the community."
Originally constructed in 1871, the North Creek Train Depot first served as a hot-bed of commerce, moving men and goods into area logging camps, as well as transporting the harvested timber out of the region.
It was also the site where Theodore Roosevelt learned that
he would be President of the United States following William McKinley's assassination in 1901.
The early 20 century saw the birth of Gore Mountain and
See SNOW TRAIN, page 3
the beginning of the winter tourist economy that continues to be a prime-mover of local commerce.
"We as a community will continue to strike a balance between our economic development, our environment and our history," Johnsburg Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed said. "The snow train and the mountain pulled us out of one economic crisis, and I propose it will pull us out of another." Goodspeed added as he compared the current national economic downturn to the Great Depression.
In 1956, passenger service to the depot ceased, followed by a cessation of commercial service in 1990, said Helen Minor, President of the North Creek Train Depot and Owens Outreach Center.
"This community really came together," Minor said. "People worked so hard to bring the Depot back to life."
A group of like-minded citizens began rehabilitating the depot in 1994, Minor said.
On hand at the Wednesday ceremony was Jane Castaneda, an original snow train passenger, who eventually became a resident of Johnsburg.