October 7, 2022

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It's time to think about Travel.

How Milton’s railroad museum is transforming from ‘a stop in the road’ to a destination


The West Florida Railroad Museum in Milton is about one particular yr into its aggressive revitalization effort and hard work, and individuals spearheading the push said they are enduring a wave of contemporary desire from the neighborhood.

“We get people today driving by just about each and every weekend. Somebody will halt in and say, ‘Oh my gosh, there is so much which is been finished below.’ And they would not have stopped just before,” claimed the museum’s treasurer, Peggy Humbert. “So, it truly is genuinely remarkable to see these people recognizing the improvements and remaining interested in halting.”

The comments for encouraging museum staff as they shift entire steam forward on even more renovations and updates.

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West Florida Railroad Museum President George Wilson enters the Frisco caboose at the museum in Milton on Friday.

West Florida Railroad Museum President George Wilson enters the Frisco caboose at the museum in Milton on Friday.

Driving up to the museum, the centerpiece caboose out entrance is now a gleaming pink, drawing in the attention to the full selection of locomotives and buildings scattered at the intersection of Henry Street and a established of railroad tracks.

Humbert said it was previous spring that the employees at the museum improved their approach all around the museum and determined to get started off on renovation initiatives to improve and appeal to men and women to stop by.

“So, I feel it was just acknowledging, ‘We are not able to go any further more down the line. Do we want to be a real museum that people today want to go to? Or do we just want to be a end in the highway that some men and women will stop by,'” Humbert said, including that these improvements are ushering in a new era at the museum.

Welder Dean Motis works on restoring the floor in the dining car's kitchen at the West Florida Railroad Museum in Milton on Friday.

Welder Dean Motis functions on restoring the floor in the dining car’s kitchen area at the West Florida Railroad Museum in Milton on Friday.

In conditions of initiatives accomplished or started, quite a few of the locomotives on screen have undergone repainting, the flat auto is in the method of getting re-decked — with the museum’s president, George Wilson, noting it took additional than 6 months to acquire lumber for the job — and a section of the eating car, which can be employed as a location place, is established to undertake some structural and beauty do the job.

“The restrooms need to have refurbishing within. We painted the outdoors of the developing, but there is no incredibly hot drinking water in there no (air conditioning) in the restrooms,” Humbert explained. “So, we want to paint within, set in new faucets, scorching water and A/C in the restrooms. So that would be the future massive project that we have.”

$125,000 lifted to renovate museum

The Santa Rosa Historic Culture procured the L&N depot — now the museum — in 1975. The West Florida Railroad Museum began to function with the historic modern society in 1989 to restore the depot, and about the last 12 months, they have lifted in excess of $125,000 for the new renovation attempts.

And even even though the crew performs to increase upon what is now there, they are also previously considering in advance to items truly worth adding to make the house even additional beautiful.

Just one developing on website residences an elaborate, nevertheless-currently being-labored-on, design teach observe, which consists of essential sights from about the Milton place.

“You can explain to we are in the middle of performing our (scenic perform),” Wilson claimed. “It took me nine months to get the complete issue to operate. And the (re-scening) is an fully distinct project.”

West Florida Railroad Museum President George Wilson talks Friday about the model train display set up in the bridge tender's house at the museum in Milton.

West Florida Railroad Museum President George Wilson talks Friday about the model practice exhibit established up in the bridge tender’s house at the museum in Milton.

Toward the again of the property, there is an open area stuffed with the museum’s backyard railroad, which includes a range of model trains functioning their way by means of scenic terrains that include pop-lifestyle people. And the keynote item in the backyard garden area is a design train large enough for kids to sit in. A museum member operates it from the front, giving the children an expedited tour of the room.

Expanding educational chances

Humbert stated when she thinks of the long term of the museum, she imagines a a lot greater emphasis on instructional alternatives.

“We want to increase a QR code technique like some museums have, exactly where persons can use your telephone and pull up and evaluation a movie about what that piece is about,” Humbert claimed, adding they have already started looking into the feasibility of that challenge.

A different long term development would consist of a partnership with the Santa Rosa County College District.

West Florida Railroad Museum President George Wilson adjusts a model train on the display set up in the bridge tender's house on Friday.

West Florida Railroad Museum President George Wilson adjusts a model teach on the display set up in the bridge tender’s household on Friday.

“We have telegraph keys and aged telephones and items exactly where they can basically find out about communications how it was accomplished then versus how we connect now. This kind of things. So all those conversations are truly getting position now,” Humbert claimed.

Other academic emphases, in accordance to Humbert, could contain mathematic assignments involving the movement of a educate, and the historic components typically involved with a museum.

Humbert and Wilson also pointed out that the museum will characteristic on Milton’s ghost stroll this slide, and ultimately said they love the fact they have begun viewing new faces around the museum grounds.

“We have website visitors each 7 days that say, we you in no way knew you had been right here,” Wilson said.

This posting originally appeared on Pensacola Information Journal: West Florida Railroad Museum in Milton investing $125,000 in upgrades



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