This weekend I took a trip back in time on a vintage steam train. I’ve enjoyed trains since I was a young girl gazing with wide eyes at my father’s model train set. As an adult I worked at a train museum in Roanoke, VA for a short time.
Fast forward to this weekend as I climbed aboard the famed Lumberjack Steam Train in Laona, Wisconsin for a journey to the 1800’s. http://www.lumberjacksteamtrain.com/ The train consists of the “4 Spot” steam locomotive which pulls two steel passenger cars, an open air observation car (which it was already too cold for) and three cupola cabooses.
The renovated 1916 Vulcan Steam Engine has been running on this track for 90 years. Originally used to haul log cars, today the engine pulls the “Lumberjack Steam Train” to the historic logging camp. Camp 5 has received many awards and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
While touring the camp, visitors can encouraged to experience the life of the hearty northwoods lumberjack in the museum. Families can step into the world of logging lore and history and even watch men working in the Blacksmith Shop. Later the site became site of the Lumber Company Farm. Today when you arrive, you find some of the old buildings which were a part of the Lumber Company Farm. There is the old Hog Barn which is now the Petting Corral, the Blacksmith Shop which is now a part of the Museum, and the Old Slaughter House. In the distance is the old Boarding House and several original barns, as well as the “Woods Boss’s House”.
The price was quite reasonable, even though the actual train ride was short while passing a hobo camp and over wild rice fields. But if you have any interest in logging, or desire for an interesting, fun family outing, the Lumberjack Steam Train is a great option if you’re in the Northwoods. It’s something completely different and right now they are celebrating fall with a pumpkin patch for the kids, fresh apple cider and marshmallows for s’mores. Twice a year they have a cowboy re-enactment and robbery of the train for fun and the Slaughter House is already transforming into a haunted house for Halloween.
Where will the tracks take you this week?