All Steamed Up About Trains

Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum near Sugarcreek, Ohio

Just about the time Kathy is certain she never has to see an other airplane, car or train museum, I find a new one. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Kathy & I recently returned from a trip to central Ohio over the Labor Day weekend, visiting family and friends there. While looking over things to do for that trip, I discovered the Age of Steam Roundhouse, a railroad museum located near the town of Sugarcreek.

Workshop area at Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum near Sugarcreek, Ohio

The Age of Steam Roundhouse is actually much more than simply a railroad museum.ย  The roundhouse was built with private funds by a man named Jerry Jacobson and his wife Laura. Jacobson retired in 2008 from the railroad industry, selling his entire 525-mile Ohio Central Railroad System (OCRS) freight railroad to Genesee & Wyoming, a short-line railway company headquartered in Rochester, NY.

As well as being a regular revenue railroad, the Ohio Central had its own steam department that operated steam locomotives for tourist trains, excursions, and special events. When Jacobson sold OCRS in 2008, he maintained ownership of the antique equipment, including the collection of steam locomotives. Needing a place to safely house and restore his old-timers, Jacobson acquired 34 acres of land adjacent to the OC track and constructed his Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum. He built two miles of storage tracks, a depot, store house, coal loader, wood water tank, ash pit, back shop and, the jewel of the site, a working, 18-stall brick roundhouse that surrounds a 115-foot turntable. This was the first full-sized working roundhouse built in the U.S. since 1951.

Since Jacobson’s death in 2017, The Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum is currently operated by a non-profit organization and has three roles: maintaining its roster of 23 steamers, teaching future generations these fast-disappearing job skills, and bringing Americaโ€™s railroad history alive.

Roundhouse exterior. Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum near Sugarcreek, Ohio

Kathy & I, along with my brother Bob and his wife Suzie, booked a tour of the Roundhouse one afternoon, and these are (more than) a few of my photos from this fascinating visit. I just couldn’t narrow them down further and still tell the story! ๐Ÿ™‚

6 thoughts on “All Steamed Up About Trains”

    1. Sugarcreek, despite the name, is a very touristy town in the middle of Ohio’s Amish Country. There are a number of interesting places to visit, but we’ve found most of the attraction to be in the surrounding countryside. Thanks for the comments – I love looking at the little details as I listen to the guide go on about the history of the equipment and the museum.

    1. It might not be too bad a drive from Webster, and it is quite the interesting place. The way the roundhouse is laid out, you either have lovely window light or you have shadows. Visiting at the ends of the high contrast season gives you nice light regardless of the time of day, and the wood ceiling and beams give off a nice warm glow.

    1. Yes, those windows were beautiful. He wanted to them to look authentic but be low maintenance with modern weather resistance, etc. They were custom built by a Canadian company, but I don’t recall the material – either aluminum or steel, I think.

      It was a nice trip, and we capped it off with another stop in Kentucky that I’ll post about shortly. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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