Community

Auburn native leads open house, railroad lecture

Fireman Jack Christensen, left, and engineer Max King by the Tacoma Connection at East Auburn, circa 1944. The train took passengers for Tacoma to and from a connection with the Northern Pacific’s premier passenger train, the North Coast Limited.  - Courtesy/James M. Fredrickson
Fireman Jack Christensen, left, and engineer Max King by the Tacoma Connection at East Auburn, circa 1944. The train took passengers for Tacoma to and from a connection with the Northern Pacific’s premier passenger train, the North Coast Limited.
— image credit: Courtesy/James M. Fredrickson

The White River Valley Museum celebrates the railroads that caused the growth of many Pacific Northwest towns with a museum open house, railroad lecture and slide show today from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., led by Auburn native “Ramblin’ Jack” Christensen.

The museum open house is 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. followed by the lecture and slideshow from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Auburn Senior Activity Center.

Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for children and seniors. Museum membership categories Train Master, Conductor and Engineer attend for free.

Christensen grew up in Auburn where his father worked in the Northern Pacific Railroad roundhouse. He began his railroad career in 1944 as a fireman, retiring more than 50 years later after his career took him from Seattle to St. Paul and back again. A well-known fine artist, throttle artist, raconteur and author of numerous articles about his days with the Northern Pacific, Christensen has captured his memories of railroading in the Pacific Northwest with watercolor paintings.

While attending the museum open house, take a step back in time to 1920s Auburn at the museum’s permanent exhibit “Auburn Depot, 1924.” The exhibit includes a Northern Pacific Railroad depot and caboose.

The museum is located at 918 H St. S.E. and the Auburn Senior Activity Center is located at located at 808 Ninth St. S.E.

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