The "Crown" Jewel of Historic Wallace Idaho

NORTHERN PACIFIC DEPOT MUSEUM

COEUR D’ALENE MINING DISTRICT

The "Crown" Jewel of Historic Wallace Idaho

NORTHERN PACIFIC DEPOT MUSEUM

COEUR D’ALENE MINING DISTRICT

THE MUSEUM

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!

Our Exhibits

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

OUR AMENITIES

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PUBLIC WI-FI ACCESS

The Depot Museum offers complimentary free Public Wi-Fi to its guests and visitors.

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PICNIC AREA

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.

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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.

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GIFT SHOP

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

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)

HAPPY VISITORS

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!

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.

OUR MISSION

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.

OUR VISION

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

Shauna Hillman

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.

Learn More About The Routes

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.