Tag Archives: National Railroad Museum

My 2019 Great Lakes Road Trip Part 6A

23 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 6 – Sunday July 28

As I started south on US-41 this morning, I crossed the Menominee River again, thru Marinette, and on south another 10 miles, where I crossed the Peshtigo River just before  stopping to visit  the Fire Museum in Peshtigo, WI.  I was intrigued to discover that the museum’s main function is to honor those 2000+ men, women, and children who perished in the October 8, 1871 fire, that wiped out the entire town of Peshtigo.  The church building that houses the museum is the restored Congregational Church that was move to this site in 1927, and became the museum in 1963.  Ironically, this terrible disaster happened on the very same day as the Great Chicago Fire (October 8, 1871).

I continued south another 45 miles on US-41/US-141 to visit The Automobile Gallery located in Green Bay, WI.  This museum displays some 80+ beautifully restored cars, of all makes and models, which have been selected by the owners of the museum for their artistic value to the automobile enthusiast. 

 The cars on display range from a 1912 Maxwell to a 2016 Shelby Hertz Edition Mustang.

While I was in the Green Bay area, I visited the National Railroad Museum just a few miles south, located in Ashwaubenon, WI.  This is a large museum, dedicated to preserving the nation’s railroad history from the 1820s.  The museum is filled with railroad displays, memorabilia, and artifacts dating from the 1920s.  The museum also has a huge collection of historic steam locomotives and other rare and vintage rolling stock.  Visitors can take a 25-minute ride around the property in a vintage train car (included in admission price), while the conductor describes the daily activities at the maintenance and restoration shops, and includes hobo cultural history.  Special tickets are also available to the various train ride events throughout the year. 

After this interesting visit, I headed southwest about 50 miles on I-41.  I had planned to visit the EAA Museum in Oshkosh, WI but had not realized that the week of July 22-28 was the week of their annual airshow this year.  I was not about to try to elbow my way thru thousands of people to see that museum.  Don’t get me wrong.  The EAA Museum is an outstanding museum, but I had visited their museum several years ago, and didn’t think I would be missing much by not going again today.   However, as luck would have it, just as I was passing the EAA Campground, the CAF’s Boeing B-29 Superfortress “FIFI” was taking off over the interstate right in front of me.  What a unexpected thrill that was, to see that aircraft flying that low!

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As a side note; I found out after I got home, that Tom Reilly had finished the 12-year restoration of his XP-82 Twin Mustang, and won the Grand Champion: Post WWII award at the 2019 EAA AirVenture airshow.  I was sorry I had missed seeing that wonderful warbird flying.  However, that magnificent flying machine is now on display at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Titusville, FL where I volunteer as a tour guide.  That allows me to see it up close any time I want.

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—–This day’s activities will be continued next week—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.




One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

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