Thursday, August 13, 2009
For all the complexity and "wow" factor of the high-dollar, computer-driven, interactive exhibits, the raw simplicity of ringing a locomotive bell is remarkably appealing to our Museum visitors of all ages. While we have bells to ring in our smallest locomotive - the 30" gauge saddle tanker Laclede Christy, built by Davenport in 1907 -and one of our largest, the 1944 Baldwin-built Texas-type Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe #5011, we wanted to create the opportunity to ring one from the ground adjacent to the cab. Hence, the newest bell-ringing opportunity: the Georgia, an 0-6-0 built for the Georgia Railroad by Baldwin in 1896 and later used by St. Louis Material & Supply in Pacific, Missouri, where it was the last conventional steam locomotive operating in the St. Louis region when it was retired in 1963.
And thank you, Missouri Department of Transportation, for our growing mulch pile. While the widening of Barrett Station Road to our north near Manchester Road led to the inevitable clearing of several mature trees, we can at least recycle those trees for use in soil stabilization in construction areas around the Museum.