"We've had people in and out and sticking around to visit for hours,"
Railroads Remembered has indeed proved one of the museum's most popular exhibits. The program focuses on the history of the Cleburne Santa Fe shops as well as
Admission is free and the museum -- located on the first floor of the
Hundreds of photographs and railroad related memorabilia bring
The stories behind many of the items fascinate as well. One exhibit recounts the fate two Cleburne Santa Fe Express workers shot from behind as the train approached
A Pullman stool on display, which has been in the family of
A circa 1913 battery jar, used to generate low-voltage electricity for track signals in those days, was years later recovered from an odd locale. Area resident
"She was the last one to walk out the door and turn out the lights when the [Cleburne Santa Fe shops] closed," said
"Bill's been a great help today helping us identify several of the men in the old pictures who we didn't know," Wallace said.
Bonham should know.
"I spent six decades railroading," Bonham, 74, said. "I still live on the family farm I was born on out between
Bonham also played on the undefeated 1952
"Otherwise I played baseball in summers," Bonham said. "I started to play football [at CHS], but we had practice until dark and I had to walk home after, which was out by
Bonham thanked Wallace and Sims for organizing the exhibit.
"This is wonderful," Bonham said. "I love it."
He's not alone.
"Almost everyone who's come out has been thrilled," Wallace said. "They all say they'll be back and ask how long it will be here."
Which, it turns out, will be a bit longer.
The catch is, the daily and extended hours conclude on Friday. Museum officials plan to display the items for a couple of months after during regular hours, which are
"I wish we had a railroad museum," Bonham said. "I'd visit every week."
A sales tax increase and accompanying list of facilities approved by
City officials say there's no money in the 4B sales tax fund to build the museum at this time. About half those revenues go toward maintenance and operation costs of the existing facilities while the other half goes toward debt payment on the bonds used to build those facilities.
"I have no idea," Bonham said when asked his take on the city railroad museum situation. "I'm not in charge of that. I'll just be glad to see it when they build it."
Time is off the essence, however, Sims and Wallace said.
"A lot of the comments we've had is that a lot of people have items ready to donate," Sims said. "They're just waiting for a permanent railroad museum to give it to."
The rub, Wallace said, is that the
"Some of these people have no kids or family to leave this stuff to," Wallace said. "There's no telling how much of these items and history have already been lost and how much is going to end up sold or thrown away if we don't get a museum soon."
(c)2014 the Cleburne Times-Review (Cleburne, Texas)
Visit the Cleburne Times-Review (Cleburne, Texas) at www.cleburnetimesreview.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services