Waupaca Rail Museum --- paradise for kids

September 19, 2017

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A warning to all parents visiting Waupaca with their kids, especially with young boys. This railroad museum is a paradise for them. I'm 6 years old, going on 73, and I had the time of my life in here. For starters, there were two caretakers there. They'll let you wander around on your own, or give you a tour of the place. I was glad I took the tour because they took me downstairs where they have a fabulous electric train set up and more. One of the guys turned them all on, and before I knew it trains were rolling down the tracks everywhere, on two tracks in different directions. They then took me out to a caboose and showed me around its interior. Oh yes, and an old-time car barn on the way out! What a delight.

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When you enter the building, the first thing you see is the old time ticket office.

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This display on the first floor is really neat. It is hard to see all the neatness in it, the attention to detail. I'm going to show a few zooms as examples of what I mean.

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Do you see that guy trying to get into the store, upper right?

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This showcase is also on the first floor. Now let's go downstairs and see the action. Now remember, everything is moving. It is a riot. I was jumping all over the room to get the photo shots. A reminder: this is all a project in progress.

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A little closer

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Moving those logs

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Now there's an engine!

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She's pulling into the station

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Logs one way, passenger train the other

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The truth is you have to see this all in person to marvel at the work that has been done to make this museum first class. After I took all these shots, the caretaker walked me outside to the caboose. Now who doesn't love the caboose?

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The caboose. Let's look inside.

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No wonder the guys liked being in the caboose. Looks pretty plush to me! Ha!

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If you need any more, the museum also has this truck parked in the car barn. This is a baggage car from Waupaca's early trolley line.

The
Waupaca Historical Society said this:

"In 2004, after four years of careful negotiations with, first, the Wisconsin Central, and then the Canadian National Railroad, the Waupaca Historical Society was able to purchase the building without moving it off its current site. Many volunteer hours have been spent cleaning up the grounds and restoring the building. More work remains to be done, but with a group of dedicated workers, the beautiful stone Depot with its three fireplaces and Spanish tile roof is returning to its former grandeur.

"In 2015, volunteers dug out a basement below the Depot. This area now houses a G-scale model train display, featuring artwork of historic sites around the Waupaca and Chain O'Lakes area, a train table for little train enthusiasts.

"The Depot is located at 525 Oak Street. It is open to the public, June through August, on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 12-5 p.m. and for special events. Tours of the Depot are available by appointment at other times by calling 715-256-9980."