Today's Acquisition

Today we got a new donation: a trophy from a 1928 winner of a horseshoe-tossing competition.

The donor was a the son of the winner, an Ioco worker. The rest of his father’s trophies are lost and the son hoped we could better preserve the last trophy.

Halloween Haunted Train Successful

Well, it was a success. We got hundreds of people during the two days of our two haunted houses.

In its second year, we expanded the “Halloween Haunted Train and Flashlight Tours of the Haunted Museum” into a two-day event.

Last year, we put on the event for only one day on Halloween itself. It was a little difficult to put up all the decorations and then to immediately take them all down.

Plus, it’s too much to ask volunteers to spend three hours getting ready, then two hours operating the haunted houses, then an hour packing everything up. We tried it out over two days this year on the weekend before Halloween and it worked out better that way.

We were very lucky this year to have a few extremely dedicated volunteers. Our wonderful collections intern, Catherine, led the flashlight tours with her sister, replacing the Living and Dead Cinderellas of 2004. In a fortuitous turn of events, many cadets came to help on both days – Trevor as the Rocky Horror Picture Show corpse bride was particularly effective with the female-only costumes we had available for volunteers.

As the Port Moody Station Museum puts on this event with lots of volunteer help, the scariness of the event depended on the creativity and charisma of the volunteers. 2004’s premier ghoul, Carver (yup, that’s his real name), returned for the whole weekend as the Haunted Train initiation ghoul. Everyone also asked about Miki and Kate who re-enacted the Port Moody Chainsaw Massacre in our logging display on Saturday (we think they had to do homework on Sunday).

The best part was tonight, just before we wrapped up. When two ladies well over six years old came for a visit we alerted the ghouls that adults were coming their way. Bwa ha ha.

(We be posting the pictures of the ghouls on Tuesday.)

Preparing for the Halloween Haunted Train

It took Port Moody Heritage Society director and volunteer Dave a few hours in the rain to give the Venosta railcar black curtains.

For the Halloween Haunted Train this weekend, staff and volunteers have and will put in many more hours to creep out the locals. Besides the big black curtain (which makes the railcar look like a haunted hearse), the interior has black tablecloths and soon will have black curtains…the rest will be a surprise to those who venture inside the hautned train.

We also got word that the Jack FM truck will drop by at the start of the Halloween Haunted Train tomorrow at 3 pm to give away tickets for the Village People concert on Halloween night.

More Murder Mystery Photos!

A guest at our murder mystery dinner, “Your Ghost for the Evening,” put up his six photos of the event. Check them out on Flickr!

The Port Moody Station Museum on Wikipedia!

We’ve created a page about the Port Moody Station Museum and the Port Moody Heritage Society on Wikipedia. You can get to it by searching for “Port Moody Station Museum” or by clicking here.

We still need to do a bit more work on it and add a few pictures.

Thanks for reading.

Rating Railroad Museums

We just found a website on railroad museums with a listing for us.

Usually we warn hardcore train buffs that the museum is particularly concerned with Port Moody’s history, making us more of a community museum than a train museum.

Yes, we are housed in a train station, we do have a railcar, a velocipede, a boom car and two handcars on display. But then again Port Moody’s history as the original terminus of the CPR requires us to highlight the most important detail in our history.

Railmuseums.com allows the reader to rate the museums from one to five stars, with five stars being the best. Readers can also add their comments. Each museum can have up to ten ratings only.

The Port Moody Station Museum does not have any ratings yet. If anyone is so inclined, please add them here.

Your Ghost for the Evening Part 2

It was a stark and dormy night. Lightning wasn’t flashing and thunder wasn’t crashing but the freights were rumbling by as the passengers entered the passenger car.

It was the end of the war and Canadian soldiers were heading home from Europe. Trains carried the tired troops travelling across a triumphant Canada back to their loved ones.

Except for one soldier heading home to the quiet life of a widower. Three soldiers on this car, drinking perhaps a little too much to keep some cheer on the long journey home to Port Moody may have yet one more war story to tell before they reach home and hearth.

Soldiers returning from war, femme fatales, ditzy waitresses, a car hostess right out of the French Underground, and a too quiet barman in his quiet cubical doling out the drinks were all a part of the production.

When many were heading home for a well-deserved Saturday night dinner, some 43 souls were headed off on a train ride of “murder, mayhem and a marvellous meal.”

The Port Moody Station Museum celebrated “The Year of the Veteran” with a military theme when they had their annual murder mystery fundraising dinner Saturday night in their 1920s railcar, the Venosta, and a grand time was had by all as the story unwound through the evening.

The Port Moody Station Usual Suspects put on the first performance of a new murder mystery dinner, “Your Ghost for the Evening” by Darrell Penner, with meal catered by Mac of “Mac’s Galley” to a sold-out car.

The performance included both first time performers and veterans from the murder mystery dinners of the past six years.

Comments on the dinner included “Great!” “Had a Blast!” “I loved Betty and Molly!”

In addition to their traditional annual end of October performance, the Port Moody Station Usual Suspects occasionally puts on other performances during the year and might be booked to do a special performance for a group given sufficient advance warning. Contact the Port Moody Station Museum for further information at (604) 939-1648 or email pmmuseum@telus.net.

This Year’s Cast:

Private Warren Peterson played by Jim Millar
Private Clyde Barnette played by Matthew Savage
Private Martin Shuster played by Kevin Penner
Olive Christianson played by Loretta Dyck
Conductor Ben Herbert played by Darrell Penner
Kimberly Valentine played by Kristin Meier
Betty Holdover played by Samantha Savage
Molly Watt played by Kathryn Murray
Hostess Margarita played by Oana Capota
Server played by Jennifer Bergeron
Bartender played by Chris Penner

By Darrell Penner

Your Ghost for the Evening Part 1

Every year, the Port Moody Station Museum hosts one murder mystery fundraiser dinner. Our wonderful volunteers do everything from writing the script to acting to cleaning up afterwards.

This year our murder mystery dinner, “Your Ghost for the Evening,” was set in 1945, just as Canadian soldiers were returning from the front to a new life:

Privates Martin Shuster and Clyde Barnette

Above are actors Kevin Penner and Matthew Savage (Privates Martin Shuster and Clyde Barnette respectively). Missing is Private Warren Peterson (played by our Curator). Presumably Private Peterson was on his way to being murdered.

Museum director and actor Darrell Penner wrote this year’s script in July and August, despite family tragedy and what a good job he did!

Below is Darrell as the conductor:

The Conductor Takes Tickets

The entire production was done by volunteers, which included staff members putting in extra time outside their work hours. Even the serving was done by volunteers:

Molly Watt

Above we have actress Kathryn Murray as the sweet but bubble-headed waitress Molly Watt and below we have Samantha Savage as the blonde bombshell Betty Holdover.

Betty Holdover

And we can’t forget these two crafty ladies:

The Murderesses

(Left is Kristin Meier as Kimberly Valentine and at right is Loretta Dyck as Olive Christianson.)

Cleveland, Ohio

Dear Museum Assistant,

We got a call from a guy in Cleveland, Ohio Tuesday at 6:30pm. He wanted me to appraise an old pinball machine for him. He thought the Antiques Roadshow was $5 per appraisal done over the phone or online somehow 🙂 Anyhow, I talked to him for 20 minutes on his own long distance and convinced him to Yellow Pages or Google “Appraiser and Cleveland and Ohio” Webpage must be working!

The Collections Assistant

Heritage Tour of Inlet Trail

Exploring Port Moody’s very photogenic Inlet Trail:

Heritage Tour of Inlet Trail

On Saturday October 8, the curator of the Port Moody Station Museum led a guided tour through Port Moody’s Inlet Trail to launch our new historical guide to the trail. Along with the locals who came on foot and on bicycle to learn about the trail, Geoff Scott of ICTV also filmed the walk.

The picture above shows the location of the former Tidal Swimming Pool; the bank is possibly a remnant of this pool. The pool, known as the Polio Pool during the poliomyelitis epidemics of the 50s, filled up with water from the inlet’s tides until the 1960s when a new pool was opened in the park itself.

The Heritage Tour of Inlet Trail guide is available at the Museum, at the Port Moody City Hall, at the Port Moody Public Library and at both ends of the trail.