Just about the time Kathy is certain she never has to see an other airplane, car or train museum, I find a new one. 😉
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.
The Age of Steam Roundhouse is actually much more than simply a railroad museum. 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 America’s railroad history alive.
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! 🙂