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Hesston Steam Museum 2007

Hesston Steam Museum is located north and east of Laporte, Indiana.

All photos copyright (c) 2007 by Robert E Pence

The museum features steam locomotives in four different gauges, a steam sawmill, a 92-ton steam crane, steam traction engines, and other vintage machines. The museum is open weekends and holidays between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and from Labor Day through October trains run on Sundays.

These photos were taken June 3, 2007. The occasion was a family outing for my grandnephew, David, almost 3 years old, to ride some trains. He's a big-time fan of Thomas the Tank Engine, and can't get enough trains.

"Serious" railfans hold "diasy-pickers" in contempt. Go ahead and sneer and get it over with. By the way, I don't pick them; I just take photos.

The guest of honor

The TV show didn't prepare David for just how big and noisy a real steam locomotive is, and his first ride was just a little scary. Next, he tried a smaller train:

The 3-foot-gauge Shay locomotive built in 1929 by Lima Locomotive Works, heavily damaged in a 1985 arson fire that destroyed the engine house, recently has been restored to operation.

The 7 1/2-inch-gauge trains turned out to be just right for him. One ride, and there was no such thing as "enough."

Ready to go again with his dad.

Summer storm moving in.

New station under construction; first-class construction throughout!

One more ride. The engineer put on some speed departing the station, hoping to make it back before the rain started.

They didn't make it back in time; they're still out there, and the rain is starting in earnest.

They finished the ride in a downpour. David was securely wrapped in a plastic poncho that kept him mostly dry, but his dad got soaked.

Steam rises from the hot metal on the locomotive. The rain continued like this for about 20 minutes, and let up around 3 p.m. We headed home soon after; it was a fun day.

Hesston photos from 1997 and 2001 are here.
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