The Nevada Division of Museums and History has chosen historian Christopher MacMahon as the new director of the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Boulder City.
He replaces Randy Hees, who retired on September 30 and moved to Little Rock, Arkansas.
MacMahon will oversee the open air museum that preserves and exhibits railroad equipment from the Boulder Branch Line that helped build Hoover Dam in the 1930s.
The museum works closely with Friends of the Nevada Southern Railway, the nonprofit group that operates excursion trains at the Yucca Street facility.
MacMahon is a Navy veteran who grew up in Carson City, where he developed a love of history and a passion for education. He began working as a volunteer at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City in 1996 and has worked in various volunteer positions, including as a museum lecturer. He also helped create temporary exhibitions and in steam train operations.
MacMahon holds a PhD in history with an emphasis on environment and society from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His areas of research include the history of the American West and the United States. As a doctoral student, he conducted research between 1840 and 1890 on ecological settler colonialism and the design of water policy in the state.
He served as an educational curator at the Las Cruces Museum System in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and as an adjunct professor of history at Santa Barbara City College in Santa Barbara, California and California State University, Channel Islands in Camarillo, California.
His volunteer experience includes serving on the boards of the Friends of Nevada State Railroad Museum and the Goleta Valley, California Historical Society.
“Please welcome Christopher MacMahon with me to the family of Nevada State Museums,” said Myron Freedman, director of the Nevada Division of Museum and History. “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 delighted to have Christopher at the helm of this operation.”
Hali Bernstein Saylor is the editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at [email protected] or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.