Thanks to Bryce Chisholm of AbcArtAttack.com, the White Pine Tourism and Recreation Board’s Public Art Fund, the City of Ely and Dr. Marc Van Tassell, Dirt has a mural! The mural is located on the east wall of the building at 1141 E Aultman Street, less than a half mile from the railroad.
Bryce did a fantastic job and really captured the essence of Dirt. Included in the mural is Nevada Northern Railway Locomotive 40, the official locomotive of the State of Nevada, and the Ward Charcoal Ovens. This is a great way to commemorate Dirt, the King of the Shop.
Dirt was the beloved shop cat of the Nevada Northern Railway National Historic Landmark. He passed away on January 10th, 2023. Here is Dirt’s story from an earlier Facebook post bit.ly/42KxdTu. We knew Dirt was beloved, not only by us, but also by people around the world. Our Facebook post that announced his passing has reached nearly 2 million people. Phenomenal!
In Dirt’s passing, he has transformed from being our Boss Shop Cat to becoming an ambassador for Heritage Railroading across the country and around the world. Dirt’s physical presence has left us, but his spirit is still with us and will be for as long steam locomotives operate.
We consider Dirt following in the paw prints of Smoky Bear. Smokey was a real bear cub that survived a forest fire. Since 1944 he has been a symbol of forest fire prevention, “Only YOU can prevent forest fires.”
We see Dirt, Boss Shop Cat, doing the same thing. Dirt will help us reach new people to explain why the preservation of our steam railroading heritage is so important and he will also be instrumental in helping us teach railroad safety to children. Dirt was and still is truly amazing. As long as the big wheels keep turning here, Dirt will be with us all. It’s a tall order, but then again, who knew that the runt of the litter, a little orange and white ball of fur would become such a colossus in the world of heritage railroading!