Depot Museum to be busy Sept. 13

Marianne Gillespie
An Iowa Interstate train rolls by the Chillicothe Historical Society's Depot Museum recently. At the right, Paul and Joy Tolley created a sign to gauge the society's $12,000 fundraising drive for operational costs. Donations may be sent to the Chillicothe Historical Society, P.O. Box 181, Chillicothe, IL 61523.

With many residents thinking about trains as the special train ride approaches Sept. 13, the Chillicothe Historical Society is asking for the public’s support of their operations.

As the caretakers of Chillicothe’s history in three townships, the members work to keep up two museums.

The Fourth Street Museum, located in the former Dolph house at 723 N. Fourth St., serves as the main headquarters with collections of military uniforms, items of yesteryear, a hair wreath and the newest addition: Chillicothe’s Master Storyteller, Johnston McCulley, the creator of Zorro.

The Depot Museum, located at the corner of Cedar and Third streets, houses all things trains, including a caboose outside behind the building.

The depot will be the hub of activity come Sept. 13 as residents and visitors get on and off the train. A train ride on passenger cars is offered from Chillicothe to Henry that day with a layover of activities while waiting to return.

Tours will be free that day at the museum where many items used in the railroad business can be seen. Both Santa Fe and Rock Island railroad items are featured, as well as a few items of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.

Items include lanterns, telegraph keys, train bells, a model railroad, dining car dishes, photos and more.

The society’s 2014 fund drive is to raise $12,000, which is the operational cost for one year.

Memberships start at $25 for one person or $35 per family for a year.

Volunteers also are needed for various projects and upkeep.

“We need people to help us keep the model railroad up,” CHS President Dianne Colwell said.

Donations may be sent to the Chillicothe Historical Society, P.O. Box 181, Chillicothe, IL 61523.

“We are a 501c3 — they consider us important enough because your own history is important. You learn from your past,” said Colwell.