'Railroadiana' offers trainload of memorabilia

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Wendy Munson holds an Oregon Washington Railroad & Navigation Company red embossed tall globe from 1909 while setting up at the Nevada State Library and Archives on Thursday.

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Wendy Munson holds an Oregon Washington Railroad & Navigation Company red embossed tall globe from 1909 while setting up at the Nevada State Library and Archives on Thursday.

Railroad history buffs and memorabilia collectors will be in their element this weekend at Railroadiana, a railroad memorabilia and antique show in Carson City.

The show is part of the Railway Reflections International Art Expo going on through Aug. 17. Railroadiana will be Saturday and Sunday in the foyer of the Nevada State Library and Archives, with an early-in for $20 today.

Wendy and Mike Munson are organizing the show, thanks to an introduction to Railway Reflections organizer Steven Saylor last year, when they went to his gallery to purchase some art.

"This is the first show we have ever coordinated," Wendy Munson said. "But we often sell at other shows."

They have been all over the West visiting railroad memorabilia shows, from Albuquerque to Fort Worth to Buena Park, Calif., next week, and say that if an item is railroad-related, it's likely to be at Railroadiana.

Visitors will see railroad locks, lanterns, keys, china, fire extinguishers, brass baggage tags, tickets, passes, signs, timetables - you name it, if a railroad used it, it will probably be there.

Mike Munson pointed to a sink that was used in a Pullman car, along with a luggage rack. There was even a ticket taker's cage from Santa Fe.

"Anything the railroads used, you can find at this show," he said.

He expects some V&T items to be at the show, but advised that V&T memorabilia come dear.

"Some V&T stuff is highly sought after," he said. "Collectors tend not to want to give it up because it's usually one-of-a-kind."

The Dayton couple has been attending railroad shows for more than 20 years, and said often railroad memorabilia can only be found at shows, since antique stores sell railroad-related items quickly.

"If you look for the best baseball cards, you go to a baseball card show. If you want the latest Star Trek items, you go to a Star Trek show," Mike Munson said. "There's collector's shows for everything."

For this show there will be 41 tables from collectors from Nevada, California and Oregon.

"Dealers are really excited," Wendy Munson said. "There hasn't been a railroad memorabilia show in Nevada for about 20 or 25 years. The last one was done in Carson City in the middle of winter and nobody came."

She said one thing folks should realize is these items are not model railroad collectibles - model railroaders have their own shows, though she said sometimes model railroaders want a piece of authentic rail memorabilia to set off their displays.

Proceeds from the table reservations and the early-in will go to the Northern Nevada Railway Foundation to reconstruct the historic V&T Railway.

The Munsons say it is OK for people attending the show to bring their own items in to sell or exchange, or just get an appraisal.

"People can use it as a swap meet," Mike Munson said.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at kwoodmansee@nevadaappeal.com or call 881-7351.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Railroadiana

WHEN: 5-9 p.m. early-in today; 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

WHERE: Nevada State Library and Archives, 100 North Stewart St., Carson City

COST: Free Saturday and Sunday; $20 for early-in.

CALL: 885-6833

ON THE NET

www.railwayreflections.org

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