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The Rohner Family

Fortuna Depot Museum

Walk Through the Past
at the Fortuna Depot Museum

Why does the Museum look like a railroad depot? It used to be one! In 1893 the Eel River and Eureka Railroad constructed a depot at the foot of 7th Street.

Moving the museum After being abandoned by the Northwestern Pacific Railroad in 1965, the City of Fortuna purchased the depot and moved it to Rohner Park as a Bicentennial project. Pictures of the NWP Railroad are in the Redwood Railroad Album.

The Depot Museum rests on land obtained from the Henry Rohner family. Their original parcel purchase was documented by a Letter Patent from the United States Government and signed by President Lincoln. A copy is on display at the museum.

More railroad information is here

Visit the Ferndale Museum also!


Photo by Wayne Yazzolino

Those aren't the railroad tracks next to the Depot Museum. The winter of 1990 was an unusual one because it snowed in Fortuna for several days!

When the railroad was the main mover in the area, the Depot was also one of the most photographed buildings in Fortuna.

 Rhaetian Railway, Switzerland, Station Spinas
Spinas Rhaetian Railway, Switzerland.
Found home halfway around the world!


Keeping Alive the History of Fortuna and the Eel River Valley

After becoming the Fortuna Depot Museum and reopening on July 4th, 1976, the museum contents soon outgrew its space. The community mounted a fund drive and raised $25,000 to construct an addition. It was matched with $25,000 in grants and the building was completed in 1984. A facsimile of the original depot freight building was the end result and completed the museum.

The museum contains the history of the Eel River Valley. Collections include intriguing memorabilia from railroad, farm and war eras, including large locks, spark plugs, and barbed wire displays. There is an extended doll collection as well as many types of fishing gear and lures.

The museum features a "Children's Touch Corner", where they can touch gently and explore a lot. There are Fortuna High School year books from 1906, old newspapers, books, Indian baskets and many old everyday household items. Books, pictures and information on the local area are a researcher's dream.

  A Steam locomotive called Fortuna!

More Railroad Pictures!



  • Northwestern Pacific Railroad Historical Society (broken link)
  • Pacific Northwest Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (broken link)
  • Railroad links


Other Depot Museums



Y'all come back now, hear?

Museum Hours

June through August
Open Daily
Noon - 4:30 pm

September through May
Thursday - Sunday
Noon - 4:30 pm

Telephone: (707) 725-7645

Those Were the Days

The museum is administered by the City of Fortuna
and the Fortuna Depot Historical Commission.