610 Lincoln Avenue, Fennimore, Wisconsin
Fennimore Historical Railroad Society Museum will open for the season beginning Friday, July 17.
The 2020 schedule is as follows:
Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday with hours of operation from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. thru Labor Day.
There is no set admission fee to visit the museum. Donations are appreciated and used to help cover operation expenses and maintenance of the museum. Miniature train rides for the youth will be offered on Saturday and Sunday weather permitting (fee). 608-822-3446 or 608-822-6858
Air conditioned and handicap accessible with bus unloading zone
Scheduled group tours are available for $1.00 per person. Escort / bus driver free admission.
Due to Covid-19 those traveling a long distance are encouraged to call ahead to confirm operations are open as normal.
Ride the Dinky Bike Route between Fennimore and Woodman.
The Fennimore Railroad Historical Society is looking for volunteers to help staff the museum throughout the summer months. If you are interested in greeting visitors and helping keep the museum open daily, please email email@example.com. Thank you!
The Fennimore Railroad Historical Society Museum, home of the “Dinky“, is located in the former city power house and utility building. The building has been remodeled inside and out to resemble a turn-of-the-century depot. The replica loading platform was built with sand and brick, just the way it was originally built, using brick from the original depot.
The museum also showcases an excellent collection of antique farm tools and equipment, military uniforms and war memorabilia, and home appliances and tools from the 1900 era. Many of the items on display were donated by families from Fennimore and the surrounding area. This is an attempt by Railroad Society members to better appreciate how our relatives lived in that time period.
Similar in general appearance and size to the original narrow gauge Dinky, a 1907 Davenport 2-6-0 locomotive was obtained through the efforts of the members of the Fennimore Railroad Historical Society. The Dinky* and tender now reside on the museum grounds. Visit this delightful railroad museum and talk with friendly folks who will help bring this charming part of history alive.
- Ticket booth replete with telegraph paraphernalia, ticket window and potbellied stove
- Telegraph switchboard
- Blacksmith Shop
- Pictures tracing the history of the narrow gauge railroad
- Miniature 15″ gauge 4-4-0 steam locomotive where you can watch moving parts
- 2 sets of G model trains with replica buildings featuring Fennimore in the early 1900’s
- Gift case offering souvenirs
- Miniature Train Rides
The Wilkinson Collection
An operational 15″ gauge rail with 700 feet of track sits south of the railroad museum. Scale buildings complete the miniature layout. Rides are available ($1.00 for a train ride) on the 15″ miniature train system on weekends and scheduled holidays. (Please call before traveling a long distance.)
This miniature train layout was purchased from the late Vern Wilkinson who spent most of the spare time of his adult life creating the layout. It was Vern’s greatest hope to share this system with the public.
The Wilkinson Railroad consists of a depot, engine barn, water tower, gondola, 2 hopper cars, coach, two engines and a caboose. The engines, a diesel locomotive and a 4-4-0 steam locomotive, took up to three years each to build. The diesel locomotive pulls the outdoor train, while the 4-4-0 steam engine is on display inside the museum. It is set up on a trestle using compressed air to show how moving parts of a steam engine operate. A steam boiler is set up to show how it is constructed. Other displays include patterns used for casting the various parts for the equipment.
Wisconsin State Historical Society Historical Marker
The State Historical Society Marker recognizes the importance of narrow gauge trains in rural Wisconsin communities. Noted for its versatility in servicing the area and its economical construction and maintenance costs, the narrow gauge trains were a critical link between small communities and larger cities. Here is the complete text of the Railroad Historical Marker. (10Kb)
Fennimore Railroad Historical Society
The Fennimore Railroad Historical Society Museum is operated by extremely dedicated Historical Society members. The museum is a non-profit venture subsisting strictly on donations of money, materials and faithful volunteers. The volunteers assist in operating the museum 7 days a week during the summer season between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Historical Society Officers and Directors
Photo Credits: Bob Felton collection, Tom Newberry collection
* The original Dinky locomotive is owned by the city of Pioche, Nevada, and is on display in a park there.