WINSLOW, Ariz. - The Winslow Historical Society and the Winslow Centennial Committee continue their year-long series of programs celebrating the city's history on
Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m., with "Riding the Rails into Winslow." Join us at the Snowdrift Art Space, 120 W. Second St., where former Santa Fe locomotive engineers Bill Shumway and Bert Peterson will discuss the development of the railroad through northern Arizona and the establishment of the city of Winslow. Doors open at 1 p.m. so visitors can also view Santa Fe images and BNSF video, as well as some model train displays in anticipation of Winslow Railroad Days the following weekend.
The construction of the Atlantic and Pacific Railway, predecessor of the Santa Fe Railway, first reached the Winslow area in late 1881, and within a month had stretched westward an additional 25 miles to Canyon Diablo. From the beginning Winslow was a both a division point and crew change location, which resulted in the railroad investing heavily in Winslow's development and growth. In addition, these important designations guaranteed the need for a substantial local work force to maintain railroad operations.
Winslow's early railroad facilities included a machine shop, engine house and blacksmith shops, followed soon by a depot, freight house, eating house and stockyards. Private development along Railroad Avenue (now First Street) also blossomed as entrepreneurs Fred Demarest, J. H. Breed and others built hotels, restaurants, saloons and mercantile stores to supply the needs of the new community. By Feb. 14, 1912, Winslow was the most vibrant town in the northern portion of the new state of Arizona.
This presentation is part of Second Saturdays in Winslow, a year-long series of programs that explore Winslow's diverse history in celebration of the Arizona State Centennial on Feb. 14, 2012. Find us on Facebook or go to www.OldTrailsMuseum.org for the latest exhibit and program information.