McMillan Publications is owned by Joe and Nickie McMillan. The company was formed in Woodridge, Illinois, in 1977 to publish railroad books and calendars, and was incorporated in June 1982. The first book published was Joe McMillan's Route of the Warbonnets in 1977 (copies from the 7th printing are still available), which was followed by a number of other McMillan and Bob Olmsted books. The first calendar (black & white photos) appeared in 1983.
In 1989, McMillan published High Green to Marceline, the first in a series of all-color books geographically covering the Santa Fe Railway. The second volume, Wheat Lines and Super Freights, followed in 1992. The third volume, Warbonnets and Bluebonnets, which features the railroad in Texas and Louisiana was published in June 2004. The fourth volume, Tumbleweeds & Fast Freights, covers the Santa Fe in New Mexico and was released in June 2008. Volume 5, Canyon Lands and Super Chiefs, will feature the Santa Fe in Arizona. No publication date is available at this time, but publication is expected during the 2nd half of 2011.
In the early 1990s, McMillan Publications began marketing video tapes (and later, DVDs) and now stocks over 500 titles from about 30 producers. Likewise, in 1996, McPub began stocking books from other companies and now represents more than 25 of the country's best book publishers.
In 1995, Joe McMillan retired from a 31-year career with the Santa Fe Railway and moved his family to Arvada, Colorado, a northwest Denver suburb about ten miles from the city center. In October 1995, the family moved into its new home especially designed to house the growing business. A large downstairs work room, filled with stock and railroad momentos, looks out over the Rocky Mountains and Union Pacific's Moffat Tunnel Subdivision (formerly D&RGW's Denver to Salt Lake City main line).