Historic Engine No. 9 has a new home! On June 5, 2023, the Mill Valley City Council approved locating No. 9 in front of City Hall. The placement is subject to final agreement on the terms of a contract between the City and Friends of No. 9. The contract will run for five years, with an opportunity to renew for an additional five year period.
Future home of Engine No. 9
The City Hall site will be a great location for the locomotive. Installed just steps away from the original right-of-way for the Mt. Tamalpais Scenic Railway, the City Hall space will allow us to tell a story, in context, of the role that the railroad played in Mill Valley. The railway was an internationally famous tourist attraction. People of Mill Valley could walk to jobs on the railroad or at its two inns, either at the summit or in Muir Woods. Celebrity passengers included Susan B. Anthony, John Muir and Jack London. Among the many deep connections between the railroad and the city, Bill Thomas, the inventor of the railway’s famous gravity cars and Master Mechanic for the railway, also served as Mayor of Mill Valley from 1906 to 1909.
The scenic railway fostered the development of the City of Mill Valley, as well as nurturing the growth of the environmental movement in Marin, California and throughout the U.S. We are hopeful that the presence of No. 9 will also serve as a catalyst for telling these stories and activating an underutilized part of Mill Valley’s downtown core by bringing more foot traffic to local businesses such as The Sweetwater and the Mill Valley Market.
We are grateful to Mayor Jim Wickham and Vice-Mayor Urban Carmel for their visionary leadership in suggesting this location, and look forward to working with City Manager Todd Cusimano on detailed plans for the placement of No. 9 in front of City Hall. Restoration work on the engine is proceeding at a rapid pace, and we are excited to bring No. 9 to its new home in 2024.