The Steamtown USA rolling stock, equipment, and archives were assembled in the 1950s to early 1960s by F. Nelson Blount, a steam locomotive fan. Steamtown USA was originally located in North Warpole, New Hampshire, but moved to Bellows Falls, Vermont, in 1967 and then from there to Scranton in the mid-1980s. On March 29, 1989 the administrative arm of Steamtown USA donated rolling stock, museum objects, archives, and miscellaneous equipment to the National Park Service through a signed donor letter. The 1,002,011 objects and archives became the foundation of the park’s museum collection. The rolling stock is not part of the museum collection, instead each piece is treated as a historic structure. For a roster of the rolling stock please go to the Places tab.
From 1989 to 1995 the park concentrated on collecting objects to go on exhibit in the Visitor Center, Theater, History Museum, and Technology Museum, all of which opened in 1995., The number of history objects and archival material added to the museum collection spiked considerably in 1994. As of 2019, the collection contains 2,684 archeology objects; 208,142 history artifacts; and 4,602,933 archival items. The size of the park’s archival collection ranks 3rd in the NPS and the size of the history collection ranks within the top ten in the NPS.
In the early 1990s the park conducted several archeology projects. All were done as compliance projects prior to work, and during work, on the grounds and buildings. No prehistoric artifacts were found in any of the excavations.
Of the 4,617,261 objects/items in the collection only 1159 are on exhibit in the Visitor Center, History Museum, and Technology Museum. The exhibits designed in 1995 are still in use. On occasion the park hosts temporary exhibits using objects and art work from non-NPS sources.
Our museum collection consists of objects and equipment related to the steam-railroading era, including the steam-to-diesel transition, and contains archival and photographic materials, and archeological objects recovered from sites within the park. View items that have been entered into the NPS Web Catalog: https://go.nps.gov/STEAwebcatalog
Other resources can be found at:
NPS Museum Management Program: https://www.nps.gov/museum/index.html
Access and Use
The museum storage collection is open by appointment only:
Kathryn Lang, Curator: email or Phone: 570-340-5196
Pat McKnight, Historian: email or Phone: 570-340-5193