French Creek Valley Railroad Historical Society
We are getting there, slowly but surely. We started about three years ago with the purchase of the Meadville Farm and Garden building on Mead Avenue. Since then we have covered, wired, insulated, plumbed, tiled, parquet, drywall, doors, windows, stained, leveled and gauged, but opened to the public over the Christmas holidays with our model train exhibit.
Most of the work was done by extremely dedicated volunteers who work week after week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Several hundred of you came with your children and grandchildren and marveled at the engines and cars that raced around bends, through switches and even through walls. And our museum houses artifacts from that time: we have maps, photos, bells, uniforms and much more.
If you had relatives living in this area 100 years ago, we may have a photo of them in our collection. The railroad was by far the largest employer in the community.
We have just received on loan from the Crawford County Historical Society the model A&GW steam engine which was built by local railroad workers for the Meadville sesquicentennial in 1938. Thank you! And thank you to everyone who donated cash and railway memorabilia.
Our vision is to bring back history and showcase the era of the railroad in Meadville a century ago when we were the largest railroad point between New York and Chicago on the railroad line of Iron Erie.
Our grand opening is scheduled for the end of May. You are invited. The north end of our building (which was originally taken over in 1891 by the Bessemer and Lake Erie RR as a freight yard) will be available for celebrations, meetings, receptions and educational opportunities.