Saturday, November 9, 2013

Heritage Museum Libby Montana

If your traveling through Libby on Hwy 2, on the south side of town is the Heritage Museum. It contains many static displays inside and out. This place is several hundred yards from my boyhood home. My great grandfather, grandfather and father worked for J. Neils and St Regis Lumber Company. Both grandfathers engineered the numerous shay locomotives that operated here, my dad worked on the small narrow gauge railroad inside of the pole mill and operated the little diesel switcher before it was closed.

The Museum from Hwy 2

Lima Shay 1643 on display.

My Pop beside the lumber carrier. One of his first jobs he had at St.Regis when he worked there. He later worked in the pole mill operating the narrow gauge Plymouth, pushing cars into the creosote pressure cooker. They closed the pole yard down in the late 60's and he was laid off. He rebounded by taking a job up at W.R, Grace, and worked until the mine shut down in the early 90's. 
Love you Dad. 


My dad with a nicely restored J.Neils lumber carrier. He operated one of these while employed at the mill.

They saved the old engine house. This is not the original location, I remember my grandfather (Stanley Reedy) would bring me to work with him in his later years. After the logging railroads were closed for logging trucks, he was the engineer for the sawmill switcher until he retired. We would pull up to to this structure in his old Willys Jeep. His brakeman usually would arrive early and have the loco fired up and ready. (It was a diesel but I can't recall what make or model, more on this later perhaps)

My grandfather, Stanley Reedy on the fireman's side of J.Neils #6 (sn-2938)  for a photo op.

Various mine cars and muckers from the area mountains saved from vandalism and theft.

Again, this is a very nice museum and I easily spent several enjoyable hours here. Stop by and visit.

Historical J.Neils Lumber Company pictures with Shay #6.

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  1. Hello Dean. I've found your comments about your family members operating the J Neils Shay #6 very interesting. I'm told that a family member, Peter Templin that lived in Libby from about 1910-1936 operated Shay #4 that now sits at the Heritage Museum. I am curious if this name is familiar to you, and if you might know anything about him. Thanks, Jim

  2. Hi Jim
    That name is not familiar to me but again I was born a "late comer" in 1963. My grandpa "Stew" Reedy told a lot of stories but any name he may have referred to escape me, that and it seemed no one was called by their real name, but nicknames instead. I remember hearing names like "Shorty Johnson, Stuffy and Swede". Based on the time frame Mr. Templin was engineering, there is little doubt that my great grandfather knew him, who was an engineer while his son was Fireman. Sorry I don't know anymore than this but I recommend if you have an opportunity the visit the museum, there are many historic pictures and documents.
    Thanks for visiting Jim

  3. my father Marvin Laird youset to run the shay no.6 for Klicktat w.a have tons of pictures

  4. Hi Dean My Grand Father helped fix up a steam engine for mrl if i get more info on it do you think if you no anything about it can you give me some info