Full size caboose

Train Exhibit

The Museum: Inside the Railroad Museum, model trains in many gauges are running. Showcases contain model steam locomotives -many of them are made in brass. Recently added is a  display depicting beer refrigerator cars with corporate art and slogans of many brands from this area (see photo and story below).

Outside, a complete actual caboose.

Historic Recreations & Memorabilia: A telegrapher's office and actual lanterns from many railroads are on display. Show-cased along the walls is a collection of memorabilia from when steam was king is on the high rails.

Gallery: Fine art depicts railroad equipment and scenes.

Library: The Railroad Museum has a reference library of over 1,000 books and magazines, including some over 100 years old.

Gift Shop: Find mementos and souvenirs to remember your visit or as unique gifts.


Addition, completed in 2007

Beer Referigerated "Reefer" Car Display, New in 2010

No one knows exactly when advertising on the sides of reefers began, but as early as 1870 such cars were seen on some railroads. Someone had recognized that these cars would be seen by hundreds of people as they traveled to their destinations. It was cheap advertising. The early cars were primarily for meat packers, but before long produce and other commodities were being shipped in these cars.

The haydays were in the early twentieth century, especially after the repeal of prohibition, when “beer reefers” made an appearance. Although a small segment of the total fleet, the bright and sometimes gaudy displays made these cars distinctive.

Because of the soot and cinders from the engine, as well as dust and dirt, and the fading of the paint due to the sun, the cars were usually repainted every two or three years. Oft times, capriciously, the numbers were changed as well. It was not surprising to see a car with different advertising, for the company, on each side of the car.

In 1934, the ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission) ruled that railroads would no longer be required to handle refrigerator cars with advertising, naming products. Railroads had complained that such cars, which were leased by private companies, reduced railroad revenues, and in some cases, were guilty of the lessees receiving illegal rebates.

By 1937, all billboard reefers had been phased out and only generic information, such as the name of the company were allowed.


Home Page

The Dolls Playground Garden Railroad