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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
April 17, 2012     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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April 17, 2012

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012 PAGE ~pir/t of JEFFERSON and FARMER'S ADVOCATE i~i,i~'~ ~iii~ Train FROM PAGE B1 land Railroad baggage car in downtown Harpers Ferry. The museum was moved to its current location off Bakerton Road beside the School House Ridge Battlefield in the mid- 1980s. About four acres of the Wallich family's one-acre prop- erty are dedicated to the museum and the Joy Line Railroad. With the help of friend8 and rel- atives, the Wallichs spent a year constructing a half-mile outdoor track for the railroad. The railroad ride offers passen- gers three loops around the track for $2, including going through a large red barn tunnel and over a small creek. Two George Wash- ingtons will also get you into the museum or three laps around a track in a Hedges handcar, but that ride is just for young chil- dren. The museum is located on top of a hill behind the railroad line. Wallich's wife, Donna, runs the museum and greets visitors. She said about 99, percent of the collection, which is around 1,000 pieces predates 1939. The oldest toy train is a No. 6 Lionel, which dates back to 1910. There are a couple modem trains such as Thomas the Tank engine and The Polar Express for the younger set to see. The collection also includes railroad tools, lanterns, calendars, signs and other assorted rail- road memorabilia. Donna Wal- lich learned about trains from her mother-in-law Kitty, who ran the museum until she passed away in 2005. "I think it's amazing for one man's collection," Donna Wal- lich said. "You don't see the old trains anymore." Sam and Donna Myers drove up from Berryville, Va. on Satur- day to attend opening day of the museum. Daughter Elizabeth, 8, and son, Henry, 6, took several rides aboard the hand cars nicknamed Kitty and Bob for Wallich's par- ents. Henry, dressed in a Thomas the Tank Engine T-shirt and conduc- tor hat, loves trains, his parents said. He has his own collection of Thomas engines. "I think we will be back," Don- na Myers said. The museum and railroad are open, weather permitting, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sun- days from April until October. There is no web site for the museum but people from all over have made the trek to the site. Wallich said many visitors are from the Washington/Baltimore ROBERT SNYDER are/t but has had tourists from England and Japan come as well. "It's like a big kid's train set," Sam Myers said. Wallich doesn't keep a count on how many visitors come a year but attendance usually de- pends on the weather. Donna Wallich said she enjoys meeting new people, especially children. She can always tell if a child likes trains or is really inter- ested in them by their reactions to the displays. "It's good to see how it was in times gone by," Donna Wallich said. Engineer Chris Wallich brings the 2,000-pound locomotive, No. 9 across the elevated wooden railroad trestle at the Harpers Ferry Toy Train Museum and Joy Line Railroad. Last weekend was the start of the,season for the Iongtime area attraction. Chris Wallich takes time out to rest in the train depot between runs of the No.9 Toy trains line the walls at the Harpers Ferry Toy Train Museum and Joy Lin# locomotive. Railroad. - Publi CHRISTINE MILER FORD Spirit Staff turing songs about hard times. Donalds, both of whom are blind, ture since the fall of 2003, "Side- who we are and make sure tMt we KEYSER- Music lovers across Other shows have focused on organiZe their music collection, tracks" also is he.ard on community get a copy of their latest work." West Wtrginians continue to count dogs, the Civil War, Abraham Lin- "We have thousands and thousands and Internet stations as far away as Having ties to West Virginia, on Ed McDonald's "Sidetracks," coin and songs about home to mark of CDs, so many that I'm honestly New York, Missouri, Ohio, Mary: however, isn't enough to land a a unique hourlong program that the Thanksgiving holiday,afraid to count them all," he said. land, V'trginia and elsewhere, musician on the program, Mc- spotlights contemporary acoustic "Some themes are just a given Braille labels are attached to In part because both McDonalds Donald said. "We don't play any- music rooted in the traditions of as I look through the calendar," the music CDs as soon as they hail from West Vhginia, references thing from a West Virginia artist folk, bluegrass and blues, said McDonald, who worked as arrive in the mail. "Karen writes to the Mountain State pop up regu- if it's not up to our standards," McDonald and his wife Kar- a radio announcer in St. Albans up a card for every song that has larly on "Sidetracks" as do songs he said. "Karen makes sure of en have put together the weekly near Charleston and in other cit- potential for our show," he said. from Hazel Dickens, Kathy Mat- that." program from their Keyser home ies in West Virginia before pur- "Then, as I listen to the CDs, I put tea, Tun and Molly O'Brien and Karen McDonald, the show's since 1998. It airs on West Virginia suing a master's degree in broad- the cards into different envelopes, other West Virginia musicians, music director and associate pro- Public Radio stations 'at 9 pan. on casting at Ohio University. He re- It might take a year or longer be- "I make no apologies about the ducer, for years worked as direc- Fridays. turned to his native Keyser in the fore I have enough song titles program being West Vu'ginia-cen- tor of the Farmington Youth Expe- Each "Sidetracks" show centers late 1980s. "Other times I'll fol- in an envelope to build a show tric," McDonald said. "When I rience cOmmunity choir. She also on a theme, with McDonald orga- low up on something that's on the around. When I need a theme, think that maybe that's not a good plays the piano and other instru- nizing programs around everything news or that strikes me as inter- " I'll look through my envelopes thing, I look at Garrison Keillor ments. from Mother's Day, Father's Day, esting." and see what looks full enough to and his focus on Minnesota. That Both McDonalds want to go on the anniversary of West Virginia's At any given time, McDonald is make a show out of." hasn't hurt him. The math is, the building the audience for "Side- statehood, Independence Day, La- working on dozens of theme possi- Besides West Virginia Public bulk of our listeners are here, and tracks" in the years to come and bor Day and other key dates. The bilities for the show - an approach Radio stations around the state, struggling economy prompted Mc- ' s ' detracks ' ff ers unique tunes, themes Donald to put together a show lea- that's born from the way the Mc- where the program has been a fix- West Virginia artists have learned to secure underwriters for the pro- grain, . "Our focus for all these years has been on establishing a track record and building an audi- ence, both with radio listeners and among musicians, and we've done those things," McDonald sai& "Now we're hoping to find busi= nesses that are willing to invest in us. That's our next big step." Want to know more?: "Sidetracks" can be heard on West Virginia Public Radio sta- tions at 9 p.m. every Friday. For more on the program, go to www. or contact Ed and Karen McDonald by mail in care of EIO Productions, 151 S. Miner- al St., Keyser WV 2672& Br-eas & Ce -wcai Breast & Cervical Dr. Richard C. We now offer vision plans for Rebuck ........... : ,employers large and small. :: ~:~i ~i~e contact us for details. ttme for sunglasses. JLl,,~'~J ~i;.: Co~esee ourline of Rudy Eye Care, PLL~ Project and Switch- Both have ' interchangeable lenses. 805 N. Mildred i ': Bffocai contacts now available, Ranson, WV 25438 even for astigmatism. 304-725-2020 ' Represents ALL county citizens Prudent budgeting of your tax dollars Opposes tax increases Supports job creation The Old Opera House (304) 725-4420 204 N. George Street Charles Town, WV 25414 Ken Ludwig set this mad. cap tale in a posh country club where bad golf and improprieties abound. Filled with mistaken identities, slamming doors, and romantic shenanigans, it's a fast paced comedy that recalls the Marx Brothers' classics and will have Us all rolling in the aisles with laughter. Show times and prices:. Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. $17 Adult Sunday Matinees at 2:30 p.m. $15 Adult Students $8.00 all performances Rated PG13 I