Our Railroad Camp Story
Since the 1980s, the Polson has tried to preserve Grays Harbor's remaining pieces of historically significant heavy equipment. Though we've been blessed with the land to display big iron, Grays Harbor's less-than-forgiving climate for things metal has corroded some of our artifacts. Better to preserve them and better to interpret their significance and use, we have developed a site plan with the aim of designing new buildings and pathways devoted to telling their story within our region's timber history.
Since 2002, our aim has been to preserve logging and lumber equipment in a manner paying homage to historic structures of the Polson Logging Company. Built in 1902 fifteen miles north of Hoquiam, Railroad Camp was originally hub for their operations (serving well into the 1960s even for their successor company, Rayonier). Today Railroad Camp is relocated.
On September 24, 2008, bids were opened from general contractors. We accepted one from Montesano's Bowers Construction, and Bowers' crew soon began the work, finishing Railroad Camp's new exhibit building in the summer of 2009.
To date the Polson has received major grants from the Rayonier, E. K. and Lillian F. Bishop, Weyerhaeuser, Green Diamond Resource, and Sierra Pacific foundations, as well as designated monies from the Washington State Capital Heritage Projects Fund and the City of Hoquiam's Hotel/Motel Tax Fund. Many businesses and individuals have also helped with in-kind contributions, most notably Anderson & Middleton Company, who started our initial site preparations. Additional grant writing is now planned as well as new fundraising for the Camp's next phase, including a rain shed for our Dolbeer Engine, painting, electrical work, exhibit fabrication, and fresh landscaping to be completed as fundraising permits.
We hope you might help us in this effort and come visit.