Dallas Brownson, 1948-2015

It is with great regret that we announce the passing of one of NRMI's founders, Dallas Brownson, on April 23, 2015. 

Dallas was born on April 23, 1948 in Flint, Michigan. He worked in the family business Brownson Fisher Wall Paper and Paint that was an anchor store in Downtown Flint for many years, located in the historic Paterson Carriage Factory building. When the business sold, Dallas worked as the manager for the historic building and owned/operated the Music Warehouse located there. His true profession was as a free-lance photographer, but his passion was history, historic buildings and railroads. Mr. Brownson alone worked to obtain a state historic designation for the Paterson (Brownson) Building in 1981 and had it placed on the National Register of Historic Buildings in 1984. He was an original member of the Durand Union Station Model Railroad Engineers helping to create the popular historically to scale model train layout exhibit at Durand Union Station. Naturally, Mr. Brownson became involved in the restoration of the train station and was the full time volunteer archivist for the Margaret Zdunic Archive in the station for three years.

Given his love of history, railroading and his volunteering spirit, in 2009, with the help of his wife, Mr. Brownson formed the National Railroad Memorial, Inc., a nonprofit corporation dedicated to honoring the men and women of the railroad industry by building a national railroad memorial in a beautiful park in downtown Durand. At his death, he served as President of the corporation and was working with the City of Durand to build the memorial and park. However, first and foremost, Dallas Brownson was a loving husband and partner to his wife Jan and a devoted friend to his family and acquaintances.

He will be deeply missed.

2015 Train-N-Wheels Fall Bike Tour

The National Railroad Memorial's Fifth Annual Train~N~Wheels Fall Bike Tour will be held rain or shine on Saturday September 26th, 2015.  The tour was a great success last year with dozens of riders taking part.  If you missed it, you have another chance to ride for fun this fall and support the National Railroad Memorial Inc.

Registration will be from 8:00am to 10:00am at the Sandula Clock Tower, downtown, Durand, Michigan.  Look for the NRMI Registration Tent.  Routes of 3, 56, 32 and 100 miles will be marked with our unique railroad spike arrows.  Maps, marked routes and rest stops with food and drink will be set up on all routes.  SAG support vehicles will be on all routes until 4:00pm.  Entry fee is $20 per rider or $45 per family the day of the event.  The family rate is available for groups with dependent children under 18 years of age.  Riders under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.  Registration will be accepted on the day of the event.  Event T-Shirts are available the day of the event for purchase.  You can also “Get the Dirt on NRMI” by purchasing a certificate of stock for $10.00.  Registration forms can be downloaded or picked up at Dietrich’s Flower Shop in Durand.

Download Registration and Release Form

Photo: Kevin Turinsky