Santa Maria Valley Railway Historical Museum    
About Caboose #180 Home Join Partners History Today Boxcar Museum HO Model Events What's New Links Site Map

Train Orders: October, 2001


The SMVRHM hosted a book signing at our new museum site in the Town Center Mall on Sunday, September 9, 2001 between 1:00 and 4:30pm. Museum member, Hal Madson, was present to sign copies of his book, Railroads of the Santa Maria Valley. The Museum goal of "ten books sold" was accomplished and a number of local VIPs and members of the public were introduced to the museum, exhibits and staff.

October 6th, the Museum will again have, as a fundraiser, a booth at the Autumn Grapes & Grains Festival to be held on So. McClelland St. in Santa Maria from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Menu to include
"Chew Choo" burgers. Volunteers are encouraged to contact Phil Goble. This event was a big hit last year and we are looking forward to offering it again this year.

October 13th will be the date the Friends of the Pacific Coast Railway will host a day at the Bitter Creek Western Railroad (BCWRR) in Arroyo Grande. Our Museum will be providing a BBQ lunch. Phil Goble is the point of contact for this event. Several volunteers are needed to make this a success.

October 27th is the Santa Maria Valley Historical Railway Museum Day at the BCWRR. We will host the day and will be responsible for parking, preparing the BBQ, setting up tables and some clean-up afterward. It should be an enjoyable and informative day for everyone. If you haven't been there before, it's a real treat. We have included a flyer with a photo. The BCWRR has over 7000 feet of track, featuring live steam, gasoline and electric motive power. We need volunteers for a variety of jobs on this date. The work is not hard and the shifts will be short, but we need your help on this fund raising project. Think of it: this may be your only chance to be a conductor on a live steam train! Point of contact for this event is Jim Zemaitis.


As of this writing, the Museum has 51 members. Much of the work preparing the Museum for opening and refurbishing the caboose has fallen upon a small group of members. Among these are Phil Goble, Kevin O'Roark, Gary Van Aken, Dick Mininger and the rest of the modelers, Skip Purper and Clint Hinkle. I know we have missed some names. Their efforts showcase our Museum for the public and the media. They are doing a great job. If you can think of anyone who might have an interest in trains, give them a brochure, refer them to our web site, or invite them to a meeting.

Museum Operations

The Museum was open and operating on September 9th as part of the book signing on that date. At present. we are designing a Docent Program to provide a short course of instruction to those Museum members who wish to serve as docents at the Museum. We hope to have the Museum open to the public on October 6th, concurrent with the Grapes & Grains Festival. Hopefully we can be open every Saturday and/or Sunday for a few hours, depending on the availability of docents to man the counter.

The gift shop in the Museum offers a selection of neckties, tie tacks, iron-on patches, toys and display articles with a railroad theme. Engineer hats may be purchased as well as copies of Hal's book. Also on sale are hats and T-shirts with the Museum's logo.

There are two operating HO layouts and the modelers are working on the Santa Maria Valley layout to be completed soon. There are examples of rail weights, hand tools used in track laying, railroad memorabilia, maps, diagrams, and photos of present and past railroad scenes. Members are encouraged to come down and visit their Museum.

Regarding additions to the holdings, the Museum welcomes any articles or items for exhibit with a railroad theme. These may be loaned on short or long term. All outright donations to the Museum are tax deductible. Items that may be used in the business operation, such as office equipment, or used toward the construction of exhibits or layouts may be tax deductible and are welcome. Have some old track or a model engine that isn't doing anything?... These can have a new home at the Museum. At present, we are looking for those interested in being docents for a few hours each week. Docents would work short shifts in the Museum during open hours, answer questions about exhibits and merchandise in the Gift Shop, and in general represent the Museum to the public. If interested, please contact Jim Zemaitis.

Other Information

The Museum now has a web site courtesy of Museum member Jamie Foster of Arroyo Grande. It can be viewed at (you're here now!). Jamie has done a great job, first with the preliminary work and with continued updates. Thanks to his efforts, we have a current source of Museum information available for everyone, both members and the public.

Meeting Schedule

General Meetings: First Wednesday of each month, 6:30pm, downstairs in the Hancock Room at the Historic Santa Maria Inn.

Museum Steering Committee: meets every Wednesday at the Museum at 5:30pm.

Modelers: meet Wednesdays at 5:30pm and some Friday nights at the Museum for work on the HO layouts.

All committee meetings on first Wednesdays are cancelled due to the General Meeting.

| Train Orders | About | Caboose | Home | Join | Partners | History | Today | Museum | HO Model | Events | What's New | Links |