Newsletter v12 No 2 2014

Page 1

November 20


TRAIN ORDERS by Morris Gould, Executive Director September and traveled to Rosenberg, TX, via BNSF tracks. As discussed below, this was the first of several practice evacuation runs to be sure the Museum’s equipment can be evacuated in the event of another hurricane. I am also happy to report that further significant restoration progress has been made at the Museum. The display cars have been restored and new displays have been installed. In October the annual model train show was held. Again Board member Steve Barkey was in charge of the event and he again succeeded in securing layouts in many scales, and many vendors, to fill the People’s Gallery.

FRANK MOHLER MEMORIAL In the last issue of this newsletter we informed readers of the passing of one of the Museum’s most dedicated volunteers, Frank Mohler. We are pleased to announce that a tree has been planted on the Museum grounds in his memory. 2014 is almost history. The Museum has had a good year. I thank each of you for your support of the Museum this past year. We had a number of changes this year. My right hand gal, Sandi moved back home to be with her Mom, children and grand kids. She will be back to help with any large events and our almost never-ending FEMA work. Lauren Llanes came on board this last May and is feeling like old shoes: fits good and can wear all day. Amanda Vance quit to be a full time mom and Ellen Ferrill came on board in April to take Amanda’s place. She has a full time job with rebuilding the exhibits and helping me with my spelling. Ticket agent Mary Firebaugh moved to Dallas. Jessica Flisowski replaced her and is now working with Betty and Crystal in the gift shop and West Ticket Office. I am pleased to report that our passenger consist – the two F-units and 3 coaches – left Galveston on 20


On September 20, the two Warbonnet F-units and the 3-car consist rolled out of Galveston for the first time since they arrived at the Museum. The occasion was a trial run from Galveston to Rosenberg, west of Houston, to hone the ability of Museum staff and BNSF to evacuate the Museum’s rolling stock in the event of another hurricane, such as Ike that devastated the Museum, and all of Galveston Island, in 2008. The engines were in a pull-push mode, with #316 on the point leaving the yard and #315 on the point on the return trip. This arrangement allowed the train to simply return to Galveston without having to turn the engines, as would have been the case had they both been on the head end. The train was operated on BNSF tracks, under the auspices of Amtrak. On board the coaches were members of the Museum Board of Directors, staff volunteers and invited guests, a total of 109 passengers. Each rider received a mug bearing the Museum logo. Lunches were provided by a the Whistlestop Cafe. The event occurred flawlessly and many very positive

comments were received from riders. BNSF has suggested having another practice hurricane evacuation run in the spring. This run has generated considerable publicity for the Museum. There are two YouTube videos of the run. The first, leaving Galveston, is: The second, leaving Rosenberg is:

NEW STAFF MEMBERS We are pleased introduce to members and friends of the Museum three new staff members who have joined the Museum family. ELLEN FERRILL

Ellen Ferrill is the new Exhibit and Curator, taking the place of Amanda Vance who resigned to spend more time with her newborn. Ellen is from Fairhope, Alabama, a small town on the Alabama Gulf Coast. She received her Bachelor's of Arts in Anthropology from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama where she first discovered her true love - - museums. She moved to Texas in 2010 to perform an internship for Villa Finale National Trust Historic Site in San Antonio's historic King William District. In 2011, She was accepted into the Museum Science program at the Museum of Texas Tech University and moved to Lubbock, Texas. After an internship at the George Ranch Historical Park in Richmond, TX and passing comprehensive finals, she received her Master's in Museum Science in August 2013. She came to the Railroad Museum in late April 2014 and immediately began working on new exhibits and displays, particularly in the newly refurbished display cars. LAUREN LLANES

Lauren Llanes is the new Marketing Director and Events Coordinator, taking the place of Sandi Cobb, who is moving back to her native Indiana with her husband. Lauren was born and raised in League City, Texas. She received her Bachelor of Science in Marketing with minors in Management and Business Administration from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, and is currently pursuing her Masters of Business Administration from LeTourneau University as well. She joined the Galveston Railroad Museum crew in late May 2014, accepting the challenge of marketing the Museum, creating events, and increasing attendance.

Museum staff, l to r: Ramon Coles, Betty Morris, Crystal Perez, Jessica Flisowski and Jim Boone. Jessica Flisowski is the newest employee. She is a part time ticket seller and gift shop operator, working behind the news stand counter in the Peoples’ Gallery. She began working in July and is being trained by Betty Morris.

SANDI COBB VILLENEUVE DEPARTURE It is with great regret that we announce the departure of Sandi, the Museum’s marketing director since 2006. Sandi and her husband moved to Indianapolis, IN, although they are not planning on spending winters there. Sandi came on board in 2006 and immediately set to work increasing the Museum’s visibility throughout the Galveston and Houston area. She created special events and her efforts led to increased attendance and with it increased revenue for the Museum. Then disaster in the form of flooding during Hurricane Ike occurred in September 2008 and the Museum was shut down for nearly 3 years. Sandi worked tirelessly with the other Museum staff to salvage china, silver and other artifacts in the Museum’s inventory. Once that was done, and FEMA funds had been secured, Sandi spent vast amounts of time maintaining the ledgers necessary for documenting each restoration project. Sandi’s last day was July 11th. In recognition of her outstanding work at the Museum, she was presented with

an appreciation plaque. She was also, upon unanimous vote of the board, made a member of the Museum’s Advisory Board upon termination of her Museum employment. We wish Sandi and Randy safe travels, happy “retirement” and all the best in whatever they decide to do.

Sandi leaves the marketing department in good hands. As noted above, she trained Lauren Llanes to take over. Sandi said Lauren hit the ground running.

Sandi Cobb Villineuve poses with her appreciation plaque, presented by Morris Gould.

Sandi’s plaque.

THE GOOD NEWS DEPARTMENT By Don Harper, Board Member NEW EXHIBITS IN THE DISPLAY CARS The interiors of the four display cars (formerly Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul baggage cars) on Tracks 1 and 2 have been completed by local restoration expert, and friend of the Museum, Calvin Wehrle. These cars were among the last to be brought back into service following the flooding caused by Hurricane Ike in 2008. Fortunately, some of the display artifacts were salvaged and could be used in the renovated cars. New display cases and new track lighting and new individual lighting were purchased and have been installed, and new displays were assembled by former curator Amanda Vance, and her successor, Ellen Ferrill Members are invited to come to the Museum and walk through the cars to see the new displays, as well as the overall tremendous progress that has been made in bringing the Museum back from the flooding disaster.

Photos of historic locomotives lining the walls in one of the cars.

available. Anyone interested in donating to this restoration effort is encouraged to do so.

A display of part of the Museum’s collection of switch locks. The Glen Fee on the American Freedom Train. GRANTS ACTIVITIES

A display of plates bearing images of famous trains. GLEN FEE DESIGNATED A HISTORIC PLACE? The Glen Fee, one of the Museum’s most prize possessions, is the only remaining car that was part of the original American Freedom Train that traveled the U.S. in 1947-48. All the other cars and the engine were scrapped at one time or another. The Freedom Train carried selected documents from the National Archives around the country so citizens could see these items without having to travel to Washington, D.C. The Glen Fee housed U.S. Marines who were on board the train to guard the documents. The Glen Fee was originally constructed for the New York Central Railroad in 1926, and it was used in the Twentieth Century Limited until about 1963. While in service it was selected as one of the sleeping cars for the Freedom Train. When in the Freedom Train consist, the car was painted white with a blue horizontal stripe above the windows and a red horizontal stripe below. Affixed to the car on each side, half way along the car, between the stripes, was an gold eagle (visitors can still see where the eagles were affixed to the car if they look closely). The Glen Fee is being considered to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The plan is to return the car to its paint scheme when it was part of the Freedom Train. This will be done as soon as funding is

The Herzstein Foundation of Houston awarded the Museum a grant of $10,000 to partially fund the repair of the oldest car in the Museum’s collection, CB&Q caboose 14118, (currently marked as FWD 107), built in 1880 according to research done by Joe Bailey who was in charge of assembling the collection in the 1980s. Another grant has been submitted to the BNSF Foundation requesting $10,000, one to the Kempner Foundation of Galveston, asking for $5,000, and one to Trains Magazine asking for another $10,000. It is estimated that restoration will cost about $40,000. A proposal has been sent to Humanities, Texas, requesting $3,000. If awarded, the funds will enable Ellen Ferrill to create traveling trunks containing clothing and tools of railroad workers who laid tracks in the era of the transcontinental railroad. The trunks will be available to teachers in elementary schools to use as part of their history curriculum. A grant proposal is being generated to the Moody Foundation of Galveston. The proposal asks for funds to accomplish two things: 1) to purchase the vacant lot across the street from the Museum and convert it to additional parking, with funds from the parking going to the Museum operating fund; and 2) to purchase a vacant lot between two lots owned by the Museum along Harborside Drive. This latter acquisition will result in a large space that the Museum plans on paving and creating a recreational vehicle parking facility, complete with electrical hookups, water and sewer facilities. CAROL’S GARDEN REPLANTED Winter was not kind to the plants around the fountain in what has been named Carol’s Garden in memory of Carol Harper who created the garden in 2006. Almost all the plants died. The Museum brought in landscapers to completely redo the garden. The following series of photos show the process in restoring the garden to its previous beauty.

Landscapers preparing the garden after removing all the dead plants.

Sandi Cobb Villeneuve and Morris Gould by the newly planted garden.

WELCOME ABOARD New members of the Railroad Museum

Landscapers in the process of installing new plants.

Sandi Cobb Villeneuve by the sign denoting Carol’s Garden.

Miriam Alter Megan Berman Sally Harris Branson Roberto Ceron Trey Cross Matthew Dasco Rebekah Doherty Mr. & Mrs. Draut Eryn Dutta Michael Germany Becky Harness Wayne Holt Rick Johnson Winston Larison Tex & Susie Cannon Gerald Maxwell Bryan & Vickie McMicken Domingo Molina Becky Novelli Christopher Rode Mr. & Mrs. Douglas Roome Cielo Salas Nicholas Sammons Melissa Shannon Rachel Stokes Marina Torrone & Doug Stetzer Rebecca Walker Mychael Willon Angela Zalkin Timothy Cooper


The lifeblood of any non-profit organization is the volunteers who give their time and money simply because they love what the organization stands for. There are many great volunteer positions available for YOU at the Galveston Railroad. Check out the types of jobs listed below and see which ones interest you! Archives Volunteer: Assist Ellen Ferrill with cataloguing and care of materials located in the Museum’s archives. Create new displays for artifacts. Some prior experience helpful. Times needed: weekdays and weekends. Docent: Assist Eric Bowen to conduct guided tours of the Museum grounds and watch over Museum displays. A oneday training session to familiarize the docent with railroad history and the Museum equipment and grounds is required prior to beginning tours. Times needed: weekdays and weekends. Education Volunteer: Assist in presenting educational material to merit badge classes, Pullman Parties, and school groups. Should enjoy interacting with children ages 4 through 17. A one-day training session to familiarize the volunteer with railroad history and the Museum grounds and equipment is required. Availability year around is a plus. Grounds Volunteer: Assist the groundskeeper with cutting grass, and planting, watering and weeding flowers, and picking up trash and leaves. On the job training is available if needed. Times needed: flexible to fit your schedule. Publicity Volunteer: Generate publicity notices for local newspapers and provide copy to same. Assist in keeping the Museum’s mailing list for special events and newsletter mailings up to date. Assist in preparing and mailing newsletters. Times needed: flexible to fit your schedule. Model Railroad Volunteer: Assist Stephen Duncan and Joseph Maytum to keep the model railroad display in Theater 4 running by cleaning tracks, engine and railcar wheels, replacing worn out parts, and keeping structures on the layout clean. Also act as a docent and answer questions from visitors while working on the layout. Times needed: flexible to fit your schedule. Rolling Stock Maintenance Volunteer: Assist in restoration, conservation and maintenance of rail cars and engines. Includes painting, woodworking, and upholstering, as well as metal, mechanical, and electrical work. Should have suitable work clothes and work shoes. Safety equipment can be provided. Times needed: weekends and weekdays. Way and Track Volunteer: Assist Scott LaPointe in railway track maintenance and in keeping the Museum yard and right of way clear of weeds and grass. Should enjoy heavy work. Should have suitable work clothes and work boots. Safety equipment can be provided. Times needed: weekends and weekdays. Conductor. Assist Bruce & Glenda Hehemann and Spence Gaskin with passenger control during rides on Saturdays. Must be able to repeatedly climb on and off the engine or caboose. Special Events Volunteer: Assist the Museum staff during events such as the annual train show, Hobo Night, the Santa Train, Mardi Gras, and other such events. Volunteers need only to enjoy interacting with

Board of Directors Steve Barkley John Bertini, Chairman Tommy Blackburn Dr. Stephen Duncan Dr. Don Harper, Secretary Patrick Henry

Advisory Board Joseph Maytum Vic Pierson Doug Poole George Williamson, Vice Chair Kenneth Zimmern, Treasurer

Joe Adams Pete Messina Greg Smith Bobby Theriot Toby Thoresen Sandi Cobb Villeneuve Jon von Briesen Dr. John Worsham

Galveston Island Railroad Museum & Terminal 2602 Santa Fe Place Galveston, TX 77550 409-765-5700

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