Linden Depot Museum
Linden Depot Museum
The Norris Locomotive Company was at one time the largest manufacturer of locomotives in the world. The design of this particular steam locomotive was considered the best in this period of railroad development. The company was based in Philadelphia and produced nearly 1000 locomotives between 1832 and 1861. It was the first major exporter of American Locomotives, selling its popular 4-2-0 engines to railways in Europe.
Norris built the original “LaFayette” in 1837 for the B&O Railroad. It was named after the Revolutionary War hero Marquis de LaFayette, as was Lafayette, Indiana. This new 4-2-0 engine was the B&O’s first locomotive to feature a leading truck and may have been the first standardized production model locomotive in the entire world. Other distinct features of this model include the use of a horizontal boiler, a circular domed firebox, positioning of cylinders outside of the wheels and bar frame and ahead of the smokebox and the use of a bogie, or four-wheel swiveling pilot trucks. The “Lafayette” established the configuration that steam locomotives followed until the end of the steam era.
The museum itself is an original and fully restored 1908 junction depot houses a large display of railroad memorabilia, including artifacts from the Monon and Nickel Plate Railroads which it was built to serve, as well as a Museum Store. An additional building houses a large HO model railroad with four operating trains, an operating monorail, and an operating streetcar which traverses the model town of Linden. In addition there is an animated carnival, mountain and tunnel scenery and an animated circus. In keeping with the circus theme, there are also circus-related exhibits including authentic vintage circus posters, star-back seats, a clown car, a clown bicycle, an elephant stand and a lion transfer cage. Also on display are two N-gauge model railroads and numerous model railroad cars and engines. On the grounds are located many railroad signals including four 100-year old semaphores as well as two cabooses: a Nickel Plate and a CSX.
Opening day is Friday, April 5th. Hours of operation are Friday-Sunday 12pm-5pm.
$6 for adults. $1 for children 12 and under.
Annual memberships are available for $12 for Singles, and $30 for families. Members receive free admissions to the museum complex for the year. The museum is located at 520 N Main St (US Highway 231) in Linden. There is plenty of free parking available for visitors.
****During the Covid-19 shutdown, Gary Vierk, President of the Museum, along with several volunteers have worked on some exciting projects for our visitors to enjoy. All of the additional mechanical parts of the steam engine have been installed, and work has started on installing the boiler lagging this week. Installing and painting the lagging is one of the final steps in constructing the full-sized replica of the 1837 Norris Steam Engine.
The museum is pleased to have acquired a set of five vintage-era street lamps which have been installed along the promenade between the two museum buildings along with several new railroad benches that were generously donated to the museum. Anyone driving by the museum after dark can see how beautifully the grounds are now lighted!
The HO model train display in the HO building has been completed with the circus tents finished and installed. The Interlocking Electrical Equipment Shed (previously referred to as the Block House) is in the process of being restored to its original function of housing the controls for use in operating the signals and switches in the area.
Linden Depot Museum is located at 520 North Main Street (US Highway 231) in Linden. Linden Depot Museum is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation operated by an all-volunteer staff; 100% of all donations goes towards museum acquisitions, maintenance, and projects. For further information, visit www.LindenDepotMuseum.org, or email: LindenDepotMuseum@gmail.com, or text or call: 765-427-3630 or 765-404-8560.
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