Historian Christopher MacMahon to lead Boulder City railroad museum

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Division of Museums and History has selected historian Christopher MacMahon as the new director of the Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City. In this role, MacMahon will oversee the open-air museum, which preserves and displays railroad equipment of the Boulder Branch line, which supported construction activities at the Hoover Dam in 1930s. The museum also works closely with Friends of the Nevada Southern Railway, the nonprofit group that runs excursion trains at the museum.

MacMahon holds a doctorate in history with an interdisciplinary emphasis in the environment and society from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with research areas in the history of the American West, United States history, environmental history and public history. He has worked as an education curator with the Las Cruces Museum System in Las Cruces, N.M., and as an adjunct professor of history at Santa Barbara City College in Santa Barbara, Calif., and California State University Channel Islands in Camarillo, Calif.

“Please join me in welcoming Christopher MacMahon to the Nevada state museums family,” Myron Freedman, director of the Nevada Division of Museum and History, said. “The Boulder City railroad museum tells the story of a very significant time in the history of Nevada and the United States, and we are pleased to have Christopher at the helm of this operation.”

MacMahon is a U.S. Navy veteran who grew up in Carson City, where he developed a love of history and a passion for education. He began volunteering at the Nevada State Railroad Museum, Carson City, in 1996, working various volunteer positions, including museum docent. He also assisted in the creation of temporary exhibits and in steam train operations.

MacMahon’s professional volunteer experience includes serving on the inaugural cohort of Public Humanities Graduate Fellows at the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center at UCSB and on the boards of the Friends of Nevada State Railroad Museum and Goleta Valley (Calif.) Historical Society.

EDITORS: For an image of Christopher MacMahon, click here.

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 The Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City, preserves the heritage of the Boulder Branch Line, commissioned by the Union Pacific Railroad to support the Hoover Dam construction. It is one of seven state museums that make up the Nevada Division of Museums and History.