Jeanne Rogers’ voice trembled when it came time to accept the dedication Saturday of the Interurban Car 55’s barn to honor her and her late husband Gary. But when given the chance at Lynnwood’s Heritage Park to speak about the trolley and its history, she launched right into practiced and energizing storytelling. Perhaps owing to her 19 years of trolley caretaking and docentry, Rogers seemed most upbeat and in her element when lecturing on that history — something she and her husband helped the Lynnwood History and Heritage Board compile and preserve.
Plans to dedicate the trolley barn to the Rogers existed before Gary’s death, but due to the nature of his sudden and swift illness, the ceremony could not be scheduled before his passing. Fortunately, Lynnwood History and Heritage Board President Cheri Ryan was able to visit Gary and show him the dedication plaque just two days before he died.
Jeanne Rogers was supported by those closest to her and her husband when Ryan declared Interurban Car 55’s barn was now the Jeanne and Gary Rogers Trolley Barn.
Jeanne Rogers is the daughter of the late Walter V. Shannon, who was a motorman for the North Coast Transportation Company, which operated the Interurban Trolley Service between Everett and Seattle until its last run in 1939. The trolley — formerly called Interurban Car No. 55 — in 2021 was rechristened “Spirit of Walter V. Shannon.”
After retiring, Shannon became a historian of the Interurban trolleys and collected photos and artifacts and shared his knowledge with the city to aid in restoring the car. Since his death in 2003, Shannon’s family has continued his work by acting as a resource for the city and sharing stories about the area, trains and the trolley cars.
– Story and photos by Jasmine Contreras-Lewis