Preserving and Telling Stories of 20th Century Tooele County
Opened in 1983, the Tooele Valley Museum complex is located on the former Tooele Depot lot. It is a historical park with three historic buildings, one of which is on the National Register, Tooele Valley Railroad cars and equipment, retired Air Force cars, and an operational child-size railroad. All of this is set in a beautiful park with tables and a pavilion.
“The Tooele Valley Railway was built in 1908 to service the International Smelting and Refining Company. The smelter processed lead, zinc and copper ores from 1910 to 1972. The railway delivered raw materials and finished product to and from the smelter, plus served as a commuter train for smelter employees. The museum’s collection includes priceless photographs of the railway and the smelter’s construction, operation, and demolition in 1975. The photographs provide a living record of the smelter and life in Tooele Valley during the early 20th Century. Also inside the museum are artifacts from mining operations and other historically significant events. The museum’s tour guides share with visitors firsthand knowledge of the Tooele Valley Railway, and mining operations in nearby Oquirrh Mountains.
If you harbor an interest in railroading, the Tooele Valley Railroad Museum will get you on the right track to understanding a good share of the local railroading and mining lore. The museum is housed in the old Tooele Valley Depot, which is filled with artifacts from the old railroading, smelting and mining days of Tooele County. The building was built in 1909 to service the 7.5 mile Tooele Valley Railroad, which connected the international Smelter to the Union Pacific. The train served the smelter by bringing workers to it along with ore. One of the charms of this museum is that retired railroad men and miners take visitors around the site and entertain them with their stories and colorful memories. The Tooele Valley Railroad Museum is just the place to add to your knowledge of our old time railroads. With all the equipment and exhibits available, the museum is sure to please every member of your family.”
– From the City of Tooele Website