For twenty-five years in the 1900s, a Kenworth Touring Motor Coach transported visitors to Mount Rainier National Park. It made its last trip in 1962, but thanks to a generous donation, the historic vehicle is returning to the park to stay.
On July 20, 2009, Mount Rainier National Park will become the official owner of a vintage 1937 Kenworth Touring Motor Coach. This coach transported visitors to Mount Rainier between 1937 and 1962 from the historic Winthrop Hotel in Tacoma and the Olympic Hotel in Seattle. The bus is being donated to the park by owners Art Redford and Frank Pupo of Gig Harbor. The coach was purchased by Art Redford in 1985.
An informal donation ceremony will be held at Longmire in front of the historic Longmire Gas Station at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, July 20. Mr. Redford and Mr. Pupo plan to drive the coach from Tacoma to Longmire for the ceremony.
According to the owners, the “coach” is one of only five built by Kenworth between 1937 and 1938. Three still remain active, one in Sitka, Alaska, one in Montana and the one being donated to Mount Rainier.
During the past several years, the owners have generously allowed the park to use the coach for its Centennial celebrations in 1999, in 2007 when the park reopened after the six-month closure due to the destructive November 2006 floods, and again in May 2008 when the historic Paradise Inn reopened to the public after two years of rehabilitation.
The park plans to have the coach on display at various times throughout the summer.