We’re going to be a part of the History Museum! At the May Division meeting, members approved a budget of $2,000 to build a 4’x8’ layout for a forthcoming exhibit at the History Museum in Forest Park. The exhibit, entitled “Our World in Miniature: Trains, Dollhouses and Other Miniatures,” will run from October 5 through January 23.
The History Museum asked if we could build a working layout as a feature of the exhibit after locating us through our website, which features over 60 photos taken during the NMRA’s National Train Show here in St. Louis in July 2001 as Division members and their families built a similar layout in the Dome. The layout design, by Richard Schumacher and Venita Lake, in the July 2001 Model Railroader appeared with some modifications, and the actual convention layout and the current museum layout have greater detail and a more workable plan. In its most recent version, a few changes are being made because some kits are no longer available.
A number of Division members have been involved in on the layout’s construction this summer. Rich Schumacher has reworked parts of the original plan. Rich Laux has volunteered his home and workshop for building the project (and while they were at it, he and Dave Bartz have purchased materials and built the framework for the next annual division project railroad). Venita Lake has purchased structure kits, track and other materials and drafted an able crew of builders including Don Ayres, John Leahy, Bill Beilstein, Bob Amsler, Randy Meyer, Russ Watts, Dave Lotz, Rick Lake, Hank Kraichely, Paul Fries, Brad Joseph, James McDonald, Mike Thomas, Don Taschner, Glenn Koproske, Rich Laux, Ken Thompson, Rich Schumacher, and herself.
In addition, tentative plans are being made for guest appearances during the exhibition. These potentially include a demonstration of layout construction, similar to that during the convention, as we work on the division project layout during the opening day, hands-on tree making and/or structure or car building, and train talks. The World’s Greatest Hobby program will be providing booklets, videos, and other support. Several modular groups are also expected to set up displays periodically during the exhibition.
If you wish to volunteer for activities at the museum, please contact Venita Lake, Rich Schumacher, or Hank Kraichely.