I originally posted this information on my old website on March 26, 2009, and last updated it on December 18, 2009.
Wishram's Amtrak depot is in this BNSF maintenance building. Wishram was once named Fallbridge but was renamed to honor a local Native American tribe. The town was an important crew change point for the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway, located halfway between Vancouver and Pasco, and to this day this section of the railroad is called the Fallbridge Subdivision.
On the east side of the Wishram depot is a monument to the pioneers of the Pacific Northwest, who are listed on a plaque which reads as follows:
TO THE MEMORY OF THOSE
DAUNTLESS PATHFINDERS AND
PIONEERS WHO FOLLOWED THE
GREAT THOROUGHFARE OF
THE COLUMBIA AT THIS PLACE.
AMONG THEM WERE
Jason and Daniel Lee
Also near the depot is a small park housing former Great Northern Railway steam locomotive #2507.
This locomotive was one of 28 Class P-2 4-8-2 Mountain-type locomotives delivered to Great Northern by the Baldwin Locomotive Works.
These locomotives were originally assigned to passenger service and were the initial power for the Empire Builder when it was inaugurated in June, 1929, but were replaced in Empire Builder service in 1930 by 14 new Baldwin Class S-2 4-8-4 Northern-type locomotives that pulled the Empire Builder until it was streamlined and dieselized in 1947. The Class P-2 Mountains were then assigned to freight service until their retirement in 1955.
After its retirement, #2507 was put into storage in Minnesota instead of being immediately scrapped.
Meanwhile, the Spokane, Portland & Seattle promised a steam locomotive to Klickitat County for display at Maryhill, only to end up having no steam locomotives left; #700 had been given to the city of Portland, #539 to the city of Vancouver, and the rest sold for scrap.
To save face, the SP&S purchased #2507 from parent Great Northern, repainted it with SP&S lettering, and donated it to Klickitat County in 1962. For 30 years, #2507 sat on display in Maryhill in SP&S paint.
An attempted restoration saw #2507 painted back to GN in 1992, and in 1994 it was moved from Maryhill to Pasco to be restored to operation.
No restoration ever occurred, and eventually Klickitat County decided to put the locomotive back on permanent display. Track realignments had made a return to Maryhill impractical, so a new site in Wishram was chosen.
The locomotive was given a complete cosmetic restoration and a structure was built to protect the locomotive from the elements.
BNSF donated the locomotive's move from Pasco to Wishram, and it was dedicated at its now home on October 10, 2003.
The locomotive is displayed with its original plaque from Maryhill and a new display with a brief operational history and technical details, but no mention is made that the locomotive was in Maryhill, or of why a Great Northern locomotive is displayed along the tracks of the Spokane, Portland & Seattle.
Below are the specifications listed on the new display and the text of the original plaque.
THIS BALDWIN LOCOMOTIVE
NO. 2507 WAS PRESENTED TO
KLICKITAT COUNTY IN 1962 BY
THE SPOKANE, PORTLAND AND
SEATTLE RAILWAY COMPANY AS
A LASTING MEMORIAL TO THE
DAYS OF STEAM LOCOMOTIVES AND
THE MEN WHO OPERATED THEM.