Local Trolleys May Become National Historic Landmark
Yakima Valley Trolley's should become a National Historic Landmark. That from Ken Johnsen, President of Yakima Valley Trolleys. Johnsen is asking for a letter of endorsement from the Yakima City Council for an application to the National Park Service on behalf of the City of Yakima's trolley railroad, the Yakima Valley Transportation Company so it can be named as an historic landmark. The Yakima Valley Trolley railroad is the last historically intact early 20th Century electric interurban railroad in existence. The railroad is already on the National Register of Historic Places.
Johnson, the President of Yakima Valley Trolleys says there are no other electric interurban railroads left in America that still use all their original infrastructure and streetcars and locomotives. In a letter to the council Johnsen writes "with the recommendation of the Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation (letter also attached) and the endorsement by the City of Yakima, I believe we have a very good chance at becoming eastern Washington's third National Historic Landmark. Both the increased tourism value and the increased opportunities for the Yakima Valley Trolleys to obtain large federal grants for repairs and restorations will be cultural and economic benefits to the City of Yakima many times over. And it will help ensure that Yakima's unique trolley railroad will be preserved for generations to come."
Yakima Trolley officials are also hoping for local support for a Heritage Capital Grant from Washington State. The money will be used to reconstruct a special trolley car of which only five are left in the entire country.
To reach the $150,000 in matching local funds members of the board and friends of the local trolley system are matching support for donations until June of 2021. If the funds aren't matched the Trolley Museum will lose the grant.
Check the website and consider giving to Yakima Trolleys at yakimavalleytrolleys.org.
The council will consider the request at a meeting 5:30 p.m. Tuesday on zoom at yakimawa.gov.