Whistle Stop Tour comes to Ogden in advance of Sesquicentennial

OGDEN — The Whistle Stop Tour, a series of lectures and exhibits planned as part of this year’s Transcontinental Railroad Sesquicentennial celebration, is coming to Ogden.

Presented by Weber State University Special Collections, the events will examine why the railroad came through Ogden, the people who worked on the railroad, and the effect the railroad had on Ogden and the surrounding areas.

Two exhibits will be featured as part of the Whistle Stop Tour. The first one features photographs and stories about the impact of the railroad on Ogden. This exhibit is on display through the end of February at the Southwest Branch of the Weber County Library, 2039 W. 4000 South, Roy. The other exhibit, highlighting photographs of the 1919 Transcontinental Railroad 50th anniversary celebration parade in Ogden, will be displayed in March and April at the Stewart Library on WSU’s campus, 3848 Harrison Blvd., and throughout May at Ogden’s Union Station, 2501 Wall Ave.

Events planned during the Whistle Stop Tour include:

• “Rising from the Rails: The Story of the Pullman Porters,” 7 p.m. Feb. 19, Weber County Library Pleasant Valley Branch, 5568 Adams Ave., Washington Terrace. Debra Daniels and Sarah McClellan will share their families’ experiences working on the railroads as Pullman porters.

• “How Ogden Became the Junction City and Why Salt Lake Never Forgave Us,” 7 p.m. March 11, Hurst Center Dumke Legacy Hall, Weber State University. Historian/author Val Holley will discuss the impact the railroad had on Ogden’s development from 1869 to 1900. A second offering of this lecture will be given at 7 p.m. March 12 at the Weber County Library Southwest Branch.

• “Iron Ladies of the American Railroad,” 7 p.m. March 13, Weber County Library, 2464 Jefferson Ave. WSU Special Collections curator Sarah Singh and Union Station museum and program director Holly Andrew will share stories of the hardworking women who entered the world of railroading as clerks, laundresses, engineers and more. A second lecture will be at 7 p.m. March 19 in the Weber County Library Southwest Branch.

• “The Train Comes to Ogden,” 7 p.m. March 28, Weber County Library Ogden Valley Branch, 131 S. 7400 East, Huntsville. Former Standard-Examiner writer/columnist Charles Trentelman will discuss the impact of the railroad on Ogden’s history and expansion.

• “Building Tracks to New Beginnings: Japanese Railroad Workers in the West,” 7 p.m. April 24, Weber County Library North Branch, 475 E. 2600 North, North Ogden. Judge Raymond Uno and Lorraine Crouse, University of Utah photograph curator, will examine stories of Japanese men who came to the U.S. to help build the railroad and ended up establishing “Japantowns” across the West.

• “Chinese Migrants and the Transcontinental Railroad,” 6 p.m. May 7, Ogden’s Union Station. Shelley Fishkin, a Stanford University English professor, will discuss her research on Chinese railroad workers who helped build the Transcontinental Railroad.

• “Rails and Ales: Hell on Wheels,” 7 p.m. May 10, Union Grill, 315 24th St. Dick Kreck, a retired Denver Post reporter, will discuss his book “Hell on Wheels: Wicked Towns Along the Union Pacific Railroad,” which inspired the AMC television series “Hell on Wheels.”

Admission is free to all events. For more information, call 801-626-6540.

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