LINDEN — The Linden Depot Museum’s annual Christmas Open House starts Friday and will continue every weekend through the end of the year.
Hours of opeartion are noon to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
Visitors will experience a 1909 fully restored depot filled with artifacts from real trains, mostly from the Monon and Nickel-Plated Railroads for which this junction depot was built to serve. The depot has been fully decorated with nine Christmas trees. The tree in the Nickel Plate Baggage room has an O-gauge Polar Express train traveling around it. This room also has this year’s official museum Christmas ornament, a brass steam engine, which is free with a $10 donation.
Outside visitors will see the nearly completed full-sized replica of the 1837 Norris 4-2-0 steam engine. Volunteers at the museum have worked many hours since the museum’s 25th anniversary in 2018 constructing this engine. This unique engine encompasses all of the best features of the early steam locomotives; it is the configuration that was used for more than 1,000 engines made by Norris for railroads in the United States as well as in Europe. Steam engines were originally created with the intent to carry passengers to towns across the U.S. In keeping with this history, attached to the engine are the tender (for carrying the coal to burn in the boiler) and a parlour car.
The third feature at the museum complex is the building which houses the HO model railroad exhibit. This attraction features animated scenery in a circus theme. Additional circus artifacts are on display in that room as are more than 1,000 model steam and diesel engines and railroad cars. In an adjacent room are two antique N-gauge layouts. This feature is the favorite of the kids (of all ages) who come to the museum.
Additional features on the grounds are two cabooses, a Nickel Plate and a CSX, as well as four 100-year-old semaphores. There are also numerous railroad signs and signals. Located in the depot is a well-stocked museum store with lots of train-related toys and books, especially suited for Christmas shopping lists.
The museum is located at 520 N. Main St. (U.S. 231) in Linden and is a not-for-profit corporation operated by an all-volunteer staff. All donations goes directly towards museum maintenance, acquisitions and projects.
For more information, visit www.LindenDepotMuseum.org; text or call 765-427-3630 or 765-404-8560; or email LindenDepotMuseum@gmail.com.