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Annual model train display returns to Hayes museum

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Dec 23, 2018 at 4:00 PM

FREMONT — Visitors can blow the train whistle, lower the crossing gates, run a model train and more at the “Hayes Train Special” model train display at the Rutherford B. Hayes Hayes Presidential Library & Museums.

This annual display, a Christmas tradition in the museum, is open through Jan. 6.

Nine model trains wind through a three-tiered winter wonderland with a candy land theme. Interactive buttons are located all around the display, allowing visitors to participate in the exhibit.

“Kids of all ages love it,” said reservation coordinator Jacque Baker, who helped to design the display this year. “It brings out the kid in all of us.”

Each year, volunteers and staff design a layout with different features for this 12-foot-by-24-foot display. Visitors can blow the train whistle, run the Ferris wheel, lower the crossing gates and more with interactive buttons.

The exhibit area also showcases artwork that has a theme relevant to trains or the holidays.

This year, snowflake art by Mary Gaynier, of Toledo, is featured. Gaynier, who has a bachelor’s degree of fine arts in drawing, has created intricate paper snowflakes with whimsical patterns, from zombies to King Kong to “The Wizard of Oz.”

Admission to the “Hayes Train Special” is included in the price of a regular museum ticket or site pass. Members are admitted free. For a discount coupon, visit rbhayes.org.

The “Hayes Train Special” is sponsored by Croghan Colonial Bank and the Gordon W. Knight Family.

After viewing the trains, visitors can check out the permanent and special exhibits in the museum. Current special exhibits are “A Family of Service: The Hayeses in World War I,” which examines World War I through the experiences of Hayes family members who served, and “Experiencing Veterans and Artists Collaboration,” an exhibit that features original art created based on veterans’ combat experiences.

At the end of the holiday season, visitors can get help and advice for sprucing up their model trains at the clinic from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 5. Veteran model train hobbyists will lead the workshop. 

The Hayes Presidential Library & Museums is America’s first presidential library and the forerunner for the federal presidential library system. It is funded partially by the state of Ohio and affiliated with the Ohio History Connection. The facility located at Spiegel Grove at the corner of Hayes and Buckland avenues in Fremont.

For information, call 419-332-2081, or visit rbhayes.org. Like HPLM on Facebook at fb.me/rbhayespres and follow on Twitter at @rbhayespres and Instagram at rbhayespres.

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