Bradford Railroad Museum holds open house for members, donors


BRADFORD — The tracks may be long gone, but the memories and relics of the Age of Rail remain alive and well at the Bradford Railroad Museum in Bradford, Ohio.

The museum, completely renovated and refurbished, reopened its doors to honored guests Saturday, and the impressions were good.

“This has been 15 years in the making,” said Museum Director Marilyn Kosier. “We started in 2002. This will be the fourth opening/reopening we’ve done, but I think this will be the final phase of this part.”

The new and improved museum was designed and executed by Exhibit Concepts of Vandalia, Ohio. Project Manager Alex Friend said the design process took about a year to complete.

“We worked through the design to come up with different graphics and artifact displays that show off the collection and the story,” he said. “For the last few months we’ve been fabricating, and over the last two weeks we’ve been installing it and making it all a cohesive museum.”

As far as projects go, Friend says this one “ranks highly.”

“We’ve worked on several large museums throughout the country, like the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial Museum and the Navy Seal Museum down in Fort Pierce, Florida. But this one kind of has a special place for me because it’s the story of a whole town,” he added. “It’s the reason this town’s here, and now there’s a museum here to commemorate that. We’re very proud of the graphics and the layout that we’ve done here.

Exhibit Concepts’ Matt Brandeberry, who served as lead exhibit designer, said, “As the railroad shut down and as structures started disappearing, its tracks were going away, the history quickly gets lost. To have the opportunity to work with them on giving them a physical representation of that history, to help protect that, has been great.”

The new exhibits, at the former Fifth Third Bank building at 200 North Miami Avenue, take attendees on a chronological journey through Bradford’s railroad history, and also provide a broad overview of an age when railroads were the lifeblood of America’s travel and commerce.

Improvements to the museum come courtesy of a $380,000 grant from the State of Ohio; donations of $100,000 from Fifth Third Bank, Marilyn Kosier and the Kosier Family Foundation; a $50,000 gift from Dayton Power and Light; $10,000 donations from Covington Savings & Loan, Illinois Tool Works Foundation, Emerson Climate Technologies, Greenville National Bank, Niels & Ruth Lundgard Foundation, and Gloria Shafer; and multiple donations from various businesses, organizations and individuals. Placards at the museum commemorate those who gave.

The museum will show off its new look for the public beginning September 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults aged 21 and older and free to those under 21. It will be open each Saturday through October, then reopen again in April 2018.

For more information on the museum and its offerings, go online to bradfordrrmuseum.org.

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The Bradford Railroad Museum held an open house Saturday for members and donors. The museum has been entirely renovated.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/09/web1_Bradford-0018-PRINT.jpgThe Bradford Railroad Museum held an open house Saturday for members and donors. The museum has been entirely renovated. Erik Martin | The Daily Advocate

Renovations to the museum were made possible through a grant from the state as well as generous donations from many businesses, organizations and individuals.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/09/web1_Bradford-0002-PRINT.jpgRenovations to the museum were made possible through a grant from the state as well as generous donations from many businesses, organizations and individuals. Erik Martin | The Daily Advocate

The Bradford Railroad Museum will open to the public Saturday, September 16. Cost is $5 for adults 21 and over and free for those under 21.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/09/web1_Bradford-0025-PRINT.jpgThe Bradford Railroad Museum will open to the public Saturday, September 16. Cost is $5 for adults 21 and over and free for those under 21. Erik Martin | The Daily Advocate
Yearlong renovation efforts now complete

By Erik Martin

emartin@dailyadvocate.com

The writer may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com