Pullman's Past Comes Alive
The Pullman Depot Heritage Center is an effort of the 501c3 nonprofit Whitman County Historical Society.
Depot operations are organized and governed by an autonomous steering committee that
reports to the WCHS board of directors.
Current members of the PDHC steering committee include:
Linda Hackbarth, Chair
Kathleen Ryan – secretary
Sid Pierson – treasurer
Brandon Burch, Ken Casavant, John-Mark Mahnkey,
Kelly McGee, Kathy Meyer, Annette Pettenger, and Debbie Sherman
“Pullman’s Past Comes Alive”
“The mission of the Pullman Depot Heritage Center is to sustain the unique character of the depot and engage the community in the exploration of Pullman’s diverse history: its people, businesses, and organizations. It aims to explain how the railroads served as a catalyst for the growth of the town, its neighbors, the university, and local agriculture.”
The Depot was once the focal point of town, where people arrived and departed when rail transportation was a major means of travel. All mail came by rail. Most express packages and even cars, farm equipment, and furniture was delivered to the depot. The university relied on shipments of books and supplies well into the 1980s. Northern Pacific spur lines to the north of the depot along Grand Avenue brought rail cars to various storage facilities where grain was shipped out, providing area farmers an avenue to market their goods.
Despite Pullman and the Palouse having an impressive history, there is nowhere one can visit to learn about the many stories, people, businesses, and achievements that mark the hundred-plus years of time since the town was first settled. Future generations will grow up never having experienced train travel or understanding how rail transportation built the West and its impact on the local economy. It is our aim to fill that gap by developing the Depot into a vital hub where the community can gather and learn about its history.
We believe in the importance of preserving this historic and unique building of Pullman. The Depot is a prime example of few remaining opportunities to savor, restore, and save the past.