The Story of the Tooele Valley Museum
In 1981, Claude Atkin began to gain support to request Anaconda/Atlantic Richfield to donate the Tooele Valley Railway complex and equipment to Tooele City for a museum. A year later, after hearing petitions from the city, county, and influential citizens Atlantic Richfield agreed to donate the property. Later that year our locomotive was moved from a city park to the depot, and ten months later the two rail coaches followed. In the summer of 1983, a museum opened in the old depot. The first museum board was dedicated to preserving the history of International Smelter & Refining and the Tooele Valley Railway.
Since then, the collection has grown to include items from other mines. We also began collecting items from all over Tooele County during the twentieth century and strive to preserve and tell the history of the many exciting people and events in the city and county.
We are in a historical train depot complex, but we have much more than train cars. Come by and see our natural history exhibits too. Our history is closely tied to our unique, beautiful landscape. Our giant county has seven mountain ranges, the Great Salt Lake, salt flats, four valleys, and is part of the Great Basin. You can learn more about the plants, animals and minerals that share the space with us.
What are some things you can do at the museum?
- See the inside of the engine of the Tooele Valley Railway
- Learn about the mountains and mineral resources of Tooele County
- See the artifacts of Tooele County’s significant military history
- Discover the far-reaching impact of mining in the Oquirrh mountains
- Enjoy a picnic in our lovely, serene park
- Try to identify the birds that live in our park
- Look out for the family of quail that nest in our park
Want to Bring a Large Group?
We look forward to your visit! If you are bringing more than 15 people, we ask that you let us know first. Email or call us so we can have enough staff there to make your visit great.
You can browse our gallery at your own pace or schedule a tour at this link.