Steam Trains and Other Exciting Things

Thursday, I also went back to the Carillon Historical Park, like I said I would. I thought the website would have more pictures, so I deleted a bunch of the ones I took because the light was so lousy the shutter speed was slow enough that it was impossible to handhold the camera and get a shot that wasn’t blurry. Unfortunately, there aren’t many official pictures on the website and doing a Google image search for Carillon Historical Park doesn’t give me any pictures I’m interested in.

My first stop was back to see the Rubicon. I didn’t realize at the time that they also had an older train engine, but knew that I had seen this train through the windows and I wanted to go back and get a better view…and some pictures. This is a much better picture of the Rubicon than any I could get; they must have moved it in the last three years to a darker, smaller building. The building it is currently in is much too small to get the whole engine in the picture and too dark to get a very good picture, but it’s good to jog the memory!

Next, I went to the transportation building, which was probably my favorite stop of the whole park. The building had been locked when we went after hours and I was curious to see what was inside. I was pleasantly surprised to see all of the cool stuff they have stored in there. The girl who was manning the building gave me a tour. First, she showed me an engine that was even older than the Rubicon (see above) – “the oldest existing locomotive built in the US” according to the sheet of paper they give people.

Next, she pointed to this fire engine, parked next to the train. She didn’t say much about it, save that it was pulled by animals. The sheet of paper they gave out says that this type of vehicle began to replace the bucket brigades. I have to say, it’s nothing like the fire engines we have today, but I can see how it’d be an improvement at the time.

There were several trolley cars and those were really interesting, especially since they had ties to the area – most, if not all of the vehicles were made and/or used in the area. The Barney & Smith car was kind of overwhelming in the opulence compared to the other vehicles in the room (stained glass and mahogany with inlay, in particular). It had a separate section for the men who wanted to smoke/drink/play cards/talk politics/do other “manly” things. The summer trolley was interesting in that it only went one way, so someone had the foresight to make reversible benches so the passengers could always be facing forward. There were lots of other really cool things, but I can’t seem to find pictures right now, so I’ll just leave it at that.

My guide told me that the carriage was built to hold 9 people and that it would be a tight fit with any girls in there, as they wore large skirts during its operation (I can only imagine squeezing a maximum of 6 people in there in jeans). I can’t even imagine….


And so, after three days of wandering, my self-guided tour of the Dayton area came to an end. Friday, Tony and I went to the Air Force Museum before driving home. He took the pictures at the museum, so I’ll have to get him to write about that so I can link to it.


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