Galloping Goose museum proposes expansion

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 5:58 PM
Journal File

The Galloping Goose Historical Society Museum wants to add track to display restored railroad cars.

The Galloping Goose Society wants to construct a track behind its museum in downtown Dolores to display restored railroad cars.

The plan is to lay 80-feet of track, running east-west, and parallel to the back porch of the museum on the north side. Up to two narrow-gage freight cars, boxcars, or other railroad rolling stock would be displayed.

“We’re trying to develop more interest in the Galloping Goose, and the idea is to create projects like restoring freight cars that people can participate in,” said Joe Becker, president of the Galloping Goose Society.

The area for the proposed display is within Flanders Park, and is part of the museum’s property lease with the town.

The Galloping Goose Society has the track, and the San Juan Historical Society out of Silverton has volunteered to install it.

Becker said freight car restoration is fairly straightforward, and is something volunteers could help out with.

“It’s basic carpentry and some painting in order to restore them,” he said. “Restoration could be done within the freight shed of the museum, or off site.”

The museum has a passenger coach car stored at the Truelsen lumber yard, but Becker said restoring that would be more than the museum could afford at this point.

Town Trustee Ginger McClellan-Swope expressed support for the museum’s display track plan.

“I am all for this. It brings interest to Dolores and the railroad is part of our history,” she said.

The town board is considering the plan. They directed staff to determine if sprinkler lines, utility lines, or a tree would have to be relocated, and whether a survey of the museum’s designated lease area is needed.

The project was also to be reviewed to determine if restoration activity within the freight shed of the museum requires any building upgrades and is compatible with the land-use code. The track display plan will be revisited at the July meeting.

“We hope this will bring in more local volunteers to support the Galloping Goose museum so it can continue into the future,” Becker said.