In the Facebook group Growing Up in Mesa in the '70s, they're making that whole experience sound much cooler than it was. However, everyone agrees that the 1912 steam locomotive we crawled around in at Pioneer Park (across from the Mormon Temple) was the shit. Nowadays, we're so safety-conscious we'd probably never let kids do that. People who grow up in junkyards, hobo jungles, and poorly maintained farms are so lucky.

But even if we never get back onto old Southern Pacific Engine #2355, seeing it restored and moved to a place of honor on the front side of the park will feel great. It's an official Centennial Legacy Project of the state of Arizona, and donations are accepted at the website. The cold steel, the tall steps, pulling levers and spinning wheels because if we did it in just the right order, we were sure something would happen — those are memories we don't want to lose.

Location Details

526 E. Main St.
Mesa AZ 85210


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