Welcome to the Wallace Depot Museum
Let us take you back to when railroads were a primary mode of transportation for both people and freight. The Northern Pacific Depot Museum features a replica of a working railroad agent’s room from the turn of the 20th Century, where you can see a beautiful old safe and even talk on a real telephone from 1908!
Detailed photos and exhibits tell the rich history of railroading in the Coeur d’Alene Mining District, historic Wallace, Idaho, and the Northern Pacific Depot itself. Our well-curated museum shop is the perfect place to pick up great books, gifts, and keepsakes for a wide variety of occasions.
Our History and Present Location
The Northern Pacific Depot was constructed in 1901 with unique bricks from the Olympian Hotel, the original terminus of the transcontinental NPRR in Tacoma. In 1986, due to the construction of I-90, the building was moved approximately 200 feet across the Coeur d’Alene River to its current location. Every year in May we celebrate the anniversary of the Depot’s move, the day before Mother’s Day, with the Depot Day Classic Automobile Show. The last train to service the area (Union Pacific) was July 15th, 1994.
NORTHERN PACIFIC TRAIN DEPOT
Depot Photo by Heather Branstetter Photography Copyright © 2021 All Rights Reserved
PUBLIC WI-FI ACCESS
The Depot Museum offers complimentary free Public Wi-Fi to its guests and visitors.
The spacious, grass-covered Depot grounds are a perfect spot to rest and relax while you and your family enjoy an outdoor picnic in beautiful downtown Wallace.
CENTRAL LOCATION & FREE PARKING
The Depot grounds are located within a short walking distance of other must-see Wallace attractions. It’s the perfect jumping off spot to explore Wallace and then meet back with your group. Several coffee shops, restaurants, and bars are located close by.
Our well-curated museum shop is the perfect place to pick up great books, gifts, and souvenirs for a wide variety of occasions.
DEPOT MUSEUM Day pass
ADULT DAY PASS
FAMILY DAY PASS
TOUR BUS GROUP
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)
You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers. We always try to provide you our best answers to your questions about the Northern Pacific Railway, the Depot, Historic Wallace, and local tourist and recreational opportunities. If you don’t find it here, just ask! We’re happy to help.
Where is the Depot located?
The museum is located in the heart of Historic Wallace, Idaho on the corner of 6th and Pine St. just off Interstate 90.
Wallace is easy to find at Exit 61 or 62 off Interstate 90. Wallace is 12 miles from the Montana border or 62 miles from the Washington border.
Click here for a detailed map of Wallace.
Map courtesy of Wallace Chamber of Commerce Copyright © 2021 All Rights Reserved
What are the Depot's hours of operation?
The Northern Pacific Depot Museum is open daily 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. from April 15 through October 15. Off-season the NPR depot is open upon request and to compliment Wallace winter events.
Is the Depot ADA accessible?
The first floor of the museum is ADA accessible and has restrooms with ADA features such as hands-free door operation, light switches, and railing. The museum also offers a hands-free water fountain that was funded by the Idaho Community Foundation and the F. A. Morbeck Community Foundation.
The automatic restroom door was funded by a rehabilitation grant sponsored by Wallace Elks Lodge #331.
Are restrooms available at the Depot?
The Depot has the cleanest, nicest restrooms in Wallace (there are two). They feature hands-free door operation and light switches. In addition, the museum offers a hands-free water bottle filling station and drinking fountain that is both sanitary and healthy.
Why is Wallace the Center of the Universe?
On the corner of Bank Street and Sixth Street (just 2 blocks from the museum), you will find a manhole. Initially, it may seem like an unremarkable sewer cover, but step a bit closer and you’ll realize it is much, much more: It is the Center of the Universe!
Want to know more? Find Shauna.
What else should I know?
All walking tours begin at the Depot, it is centrally located in Historic Downtown Wallace. Free parking and free Wi-Fi are available. The spacious grass covered Depot grounds are a perfect spot for a picnic and to begin your exploration of Wallace. Other attractions and food and beverage options abound less than 2 blocks from the Depot. Tourist and other recreational activity information and directions are available in the museum.
We love our happy visitors! The Northern Pacific Depot Museum in Wallace hosts thousands of visitors from all over the world every year. We are a proud recipient of the 2020 Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice Award. Reviews from the millions of travelers that use Tripadvisor place the Depot museum in the top 10% of attractions worldwide!
Wonderful area and great museum
Loved the museum. We had the best guides telling us about the history of the railroad, the museum, and the area. The museum was packed with information and exhibits. Beautiful area also and I would like to go back and spend more time.
The staff is so fun, friendly and helpful. This museum has many cool artifacts. We didn’t have much time to explore, so we plan to come back next month and bring the whole family for the weekend!
NOT TO BE MISSED !!! ALL ABOARD !!!
We’ve been to Wallace several times over the years but never noticed until this visit that the train depot is actually a free museum and the original one (donations accepted). Well worth he visit, plenty of parking. Its history with the rest of Wallace is very interesting, the Station Master is great with old and young and can provide information on the place and the history. There are delightful surprises on the 2nd level with bells to ring and things to do. Little train lovers will really enjoy this and it gives a great perspective of the town. The whole town of Wallace is on the National register of historical places.
Big must for any train fan
It’s a small museum, but it is jam packed with train and historical memorabilia. Friendly staff who took the time to take my small kid through the exhibits (and find him the bells to wring), but could also answer my older sons questions, and let him type away on a typewriter. Good place to start your exploration of this historic town.
This is a great place to visit
We stumbled across this town on our way to Seattle. The whole town is on the National Historic Register. The depot is filled with memorabilia of a time long gone. The women who work at the train depot have a lot of knowledge about the Northern Pacific Railroad and the town of Wallace. They are beaming with pride when they tell stories of their town and the history within. This was definitely a great place to stop and visit.
ABOUT THE DEPOT FOUNDATION
The Northern Pacific Depot Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation committed to protecting the historic Depot building and its many artifacts. Donations are welcome and are tax-deductible.
The many caretakers of the Northern Pacific Railroad Depot Museum were recently honored for their commitment to keeping the historic structure in pristine condition.
The Northern Pacific Railway Depot Museum’s mission is to interpret the history of railroad transportation, associated people and events in the region known as the Coeur d’Alene Mining District, and bordering area, with focus on the Northern Pacific Railroad, Union Pacific Railroad, and Milwaukee Road companies by collecting, managing, preserving, exhibiting, and publishing relevant materials.
The Northern Pacific Railway Depot Museum’s vision is to provide a look back into the Northern Pacific Railway’s past and the vital role it played in the Coeur d’Alene Mining District’s evolution and its rich history.
Photo by Lizzie Keitel Photography Copyright © 2021 All Rights Reserved
Our STATION MASTER
Northern Pacific Depot Museum Director
Shauna Hillman is the Northern Pacific Museum Director. Her leadership in preserving, cataloging, and archiving historical photographs of Idaho’s railroad, mining, timber, and farming activities – many of them on glass-plate negatives, has been her passion over the years. She is truly an Idaho “gem” and is instrumental in making the Depot the wonderful historical resource that it is today. In addition to serving as the museum’s Chief Curator, she is also an active member of the Historic Wallace Preservation Society.
Shauna is a born and reared Idahoan. She is a graduate of Idaho State University, and came to the Idaho Panhandle in 1980 in pursuit of the mountains’ beauty.
NORTHERN PACIFIC DEPOT FLOOR PLAN
MUSEUM GROUNDS ARCHITECTURAL DRAWING
The spacious, grass covered Depot grounds are a perfect spot to rest and relax while you and your family enjoy an outdoor picnic in beautiful downtown Wallace. The Depot Museum also offers complimentary free Public Wi-Fi to its guests.
GROUND FLOOR ARCHITECTURAL DRAWING
The Northern Pacific Depot was constructed in 1901 with unique bricks from the Olympian Hotel, the original terminus of the transcontinental NPRR in Tacoma. The prominent turret is a rail fan’s dream.
SECOND FLOOR ARCHITECTURAL DRAWING
The bricks used in construction of the Northern Pacific Depot were manufactured by Gladding McBean Bricks of Lincoln, California. Concrete panels for the Depot were made from mine tailings.
ICONIC CHATEAU ARCHITECTURE
The Northern Pacific Depot is an excellent example of Chateau archtecture. In 1986, due to the construction of I-90, the building was moved approximately 200 feet across the Coeur d’Alene River to its current location.
MOVING THE DEPOT
IN THE PATH OF PROGRESS
The Wallace Depot and northern Idaho’s railroad history were threatened with the development of I-90. Idaho DOT engineers and surveyors determined that Wallace stood right in the path of planned improvements to I-90.
NO SMALL FEAT
In 1986, the Northern Pacific Railroad Depot was moved 200 feet across the south fork of the Coeur d’Alene River to make room for two massive highway columns planned for the Wallace Viaduct flyover project.
HEROISM ABOUNDS IN WALLACE
Local heroes Nancy Lee Hanson and mining tycoon Harry F. Magnuson were instrumental in getting the entire town listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Thanks to their and many others’ efforts, the Depot was saved.
THE END OF AN ERA
The late 1980’s and early 1990’s brought many changes to Wallace. The construction of the Wallace Viaduct flyover brought an end to the last stoplight on I-90 between Seattle and Boston. It was the end of Wallace’s red light era in more ways than one. Today the Depot stands as an icon of the past and testament to the region’s rich railroading history.
WALLACE WATER PROJECT
TESTING THE WATERS
To further work toward our project goal of reducing bottled water waste, we had the museum’s water quality tested to prove how clean it is. Silver Valley Analytical Laboratory performed the test and we’re happy to provide a copy of the full report to anyone interested. Just ask!
MAKING A DIFFERENCE ONE BOTTLE AT A TIME
We consider it a privilege to live in Historic Wallace and its surrounding scenery. A sideline goal of the Wallace Water Project is to reduce the footprint of waste and litter in our historic mountain community. Please join us by refilling your reuseble water container while visiting the museum. Our wildlife will thank you!
TAKE A SIP AND SEE FOR YOURSELF
Wallace water is of better quality than most water in a purchased in a plastic bottle. The water is full of life-giving minerals, clean and fresh, and readily available anywhere in town.
The Depot fountain is funded by a grant from the Idaho Community Foundation and the Frank A. Morbeck Community Foundation.
NEED WATER? FILL 'ER UP RIGHT HERE
The Depot offers an indoor drinking fountain with a stainless steel, hands-free, bottle-filling station. The goal of the Wallace Water Project is to encourage every guest and resident of Wallace to refill a drinking bottle at least once with Wallace Water.
NORTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD DEPOT
The Northern Pacific Depot Museum is the perfect meeting spot and jump off point to explore the trails. The Wallace region abounds with recreational opportunities. Ride the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes or the Route of the Hiawatha. Hike the Pulaski Trail. Explore Historic Wallace. Visit the ghost town of Burke. Then meet back at the Museum to tell us about your adventures! If you need directions or information, just ask! We’re happy to help.