Old picnic train being restored

Published 10:57 am Thursday, December 17, 2015

If you have been traveling down Junction Road lately, you probably saw an old train sitting on it’s original round track with Christmas lights strung all over it.

You may not have known, but that train is the original train that used to greet everyone near the entrance of the Masonic Picnic years ago.

Mike Whitaker bought an old truck from the Howard family on Corntazer Road, they used to own the K&C Amusement and set up at the Masonic Picnic and other places.

He got a call from the Howards and they asked him to come over to see something they found in the truck.

The truck had a lot of wood in it and had planned to clean the truck out before Whitaker came to pick it up.  After pulling the wood out, they uncovered a piece of history that had been snug as a bug since 1993.

  They couldn’t remember where they had tucked it away.   

It was complete with the center pole that held the electrical wire safely as the train went in circles, the side rails were there which kept spectators at a safe distance, the track was in great shape except for one bent section, and the original bell was still hanging on with the string going down the side of each car that allowed the riders to rings the bell whenever and as many times they wished.

Whitaker bought it and he decided to put it up for Christmas. Many people liked it on FaceBook and they didn’t realize it was the original train from the picnic.

Larry Thies had a poster of an advertisement of the picnic and it shows the train on the bottom left of the picture.

On Thanksgiving Day, Don Spry helped Whitaker put it together. He remembers riding the train when he was a little boy; he just had his 77th birthday.

Whitaker has looked for a name or when it was made and he seems to think it was handmade.

A friend set Whitaker up with a generator and he is going to hook her up and hopefully she will “rock and roll.”

Many people use vintage ornaments, sleds, nativity scenes and other items that their family used many years ago.

Hope everyone is having a grand time making their homes look festive for the celebration of Christ’s birth. Whether it is simple or grand, may you all be blessed in a special way.

Please contact me at:  www/cooleemeenews@gmail.com or 336.250.1133.I would love to hear from you.