Railroad museum seeks local matching funds


Staff report



BRADFORD — The Bradford Railroad Museum Board is reaching out to area residents to help the museum qualify for a $275,000 capital appropriation from the State of Ohio.

The museum is preserving railroad history for future generations and bringing railroad heritage tourism to the area.

The opportunity to qualify for the $275,000 capital appropriation from the state will expire June 2016. The appropriation always requires a local match, and $185,000 in local money is needed to qualify. The BORM is $100,000 from achieving this match.

“Local donors are the driving force behind the Ohio General Assembly’s continued support of the museum complex development,” the board said in a campaign letter. “When they see local support, they continue to build on past investments with additional appropriations.”

The museum is at the exhibit phase of development, with an interpretive plan to design and install the exhibits to tell the story of the railroad at Bradford and the surrounding area.

There are seven areas being used to display the artifacts: The Birth of Bradford, The Early Years of the Railroad, A Booming Railroad Town, The Decline of the Railroad, The Impact of the War, The Bradford Railway YMCA, and The Children’s Learning Center.

The funds are only available for a two-year period, and the project will be completed according to the Ohio Construction Facilities Commission guidelines.

The museum will be transformed into an educational experience for area youth and adults. The exhibits will meet the Ohio School Standards in math, science and social studies. Children learn best in a hands-on environment, and the museum will provide this experience.

With the state of Ohio and private donors, the museum restored and renovated the BF Tower and the 1919 bank into the Bradford Ohio Railroad Museum.

The current appropriation project consists of interpretive exhibits at the three-level exhibit hall. The new exhibits will include the following: The Impact of War on the Railroad, The Railway YMCA, The Depot, The Roundhouse, The Switching Tower, The Birth, Boom and Decline of the Railroad at Bradford, The Dining Car, The Hoboes, The Lincoln Funeral Train, The Tools, The Local Saloons and People, The Baggage Cart with an interactive CPU, and The Children’s Center to provide after school programs.

The museum has been awarded two Outstanding Achievement Awards from the Ohio Local History Alliance for its contribution in the field of local history.

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Staff report