The Fowler McCormicks donated 100 acres of McCormick Ranch to the City of Scottsdale in 1967, with the condition that it be used as a park open to the public. Guy Stillman, Anne and James Stillman’s son, built his 15-inch (381-mm) narrow gauge railroad replica on the site. The “Paradise & Pacific Railroad,” as he described it, was sold to the city in 1971.
The railroad construction was supported by the United States Marine Corps and Senator Barry Goldwater. The park formally opened on October 4, 1975, with their contributions to the railroad path extension.
Residents of Scottsdale celebrated the grand opening of McCormick Railroad Park with free train rides, sports, music, and a Wild West Shootout. The services were “bare bones,” and the one mile of track had been laid by volunteers with donations.
A journey on the Paradise & Pacific Railroad was the event’s highlight. About $1.25 million had been invested in the park and its facilities at the time of its opening. With nearly 1 million visitors per year, the park has developed into one of Scottsdale’s most iconic attractions over the past 40 years.
McCormick Railroad Park was the park’s original name, but in 1996 it was renamed McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in honor of its founder, Guy Stillman. Several years ago, the city of Scottsdale sold 60 acres of the donation property to a developer.
The Scottsdale Parks and Recreation Department manages the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. The 30-acre park, which is situated in the heart of Scottsdale, Arizona, is the country’s only one of its kind.
Take a ride on the Paradise & Pacific Railroad and the Allan Herschell carousel, which was built in 1950. Visit their exclusive playgrounds and play fields, or just rest in the grass under a tree in Scottsdale’s most beautiful park.
- Scottsdale Charros Carousel
The Scottsdale Railroad and Mechanical Society bought the finely carved and meticulously restored Scottsdale Charros Carousel with substantial help from the Scottsdale Charros, a local service group.
It was completed in 1950 and is a member of the National Carousel Association, which is dedicated to the restoration of antique carousels. It’s a kid’s dream of 30 horses and two wheelchair chariots!
- Arboretum Train
The Arboretum Railroad, a secret treasure of the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, operates on Saturdays and Sundays through the park’s two-acre desert arboretum. The train trip, which is 1.5 inches to 1 foot scale, takes passengers on a ten-minute loop around the desert arboretum, offering a breathtaking view and a special train riding experience for visitors of all ages.
The trip, which is organized by the Scottsdale Live Steamers club, costs one ticket per person on Saturdays and a donation on Sundays. From October to May, this ride is open for the season.
By Dru Bloomfield – https://www.flickr.com/photos/athomeinscottsdale/3836187025/in/photostream/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=95427764
- Paradise & Pacific Railroad
The park’s centerpiece remains the park’s first draw. It’s a 5:12 scale replica of a Colorado narrow gauge railroad that’s been designed and run. Three steam locomotives, two diesel engines, an electric motor, numerous miniature model trains, a turntable, water tank, trestles, and a 32-by-200-foot train shed provide weather cover. A full machine shop for constructing and repairing the railroad is also housed in the train shed.
- Scottsdale Railroad Museum
The Scottsdale Railroad Museum is a one-of-a-kind destination that captures decades of railroad heritage. The museum features the historic Peoria Depot, the Roald Amundsen Pullman Car, and a variety of other railroad items and memorabilia that will undoubtedly bring railroad heritage to life.
Scottsdale, Arizona is full of amazing historical landmarks that help to make our city an amazing, culturally rich city:
- Scottsdale Grammar School, also called The Little Red Schoolhouse
- George Ellis House
- Louise Lincoln Kerr House
- The Valley Field Riding and Polo Club of Scottsdale
- Roald Amundsen Pullman Private Railroad Car
- Historic Taliesin West
- Old Town Scottsdale
- Main Street Arts District
All of these wonderful landmarks are located just a short distance from our location at 7106 East Main Street! Stop by for a visit anytime!