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Railroad Historial Society welcomes another year
New and old volunteers working together
Fennimore Railroad Historical Museum
The Fennimore Railroad Historical Society Board has added some new faces to help improve coverage of the museum’s needs.
“We changed the by laws to handle more board members,” Board member Larry Beer noted.  Some of the new faces include Sheldon Bartles, Vicki Marish as the treasurer, and Sharon Beer, secretary.
“We ran into a situation where no one wanted to be the secretary or treasurer,” Beer said. “So we reached out and found people who were capable and wanted the job!”
Beer shared that Sharon retired from Southwest Tech where she performed clerical duties since 1980. Marish also was a treasurer for many local churches and professional organizations, making both a perfect fit for the job.
Other prospective new members include Tom Parrish, Rob Rands, and Gary Sprauge.
“There is a lot of work to do,” Beer said. “Our idea is to brainstorm different things that need done and set the board members to those tasks. The train outside, the trains inside, painting, outside grounds, there are a lot of jobs.”
Beer noted that they also can always use the help of volunteers for not only running the front desk or the popular narrow gauge train on the weekend, but to help with any of the many jobs required to run the museum.
“We bring in volunteers if they say they want to help!” Beer said enthusiastically. “We need volunteers who want to help the board members get everything squared away and give the place a bit of a face lift and lighten the load a bit for everyone.”
Additionally, the museum plans to add two curators, Larry Schultz and Mark Fifrick, to help keep the items in the museum fresh and exciting.
“They will be coming on board to reorganize and update,” Beer said.
The front of the house volunteers have been making the season successful so far, with Beer noting everyone has shown a genuine enthusiasm for participating.
“We have some new volunteers,” Beer said. “A younger couple, just great people came and volunteered for the first time. The woman said she remembered riding the train when she was four years old and felt it was only right she spend her volunteering hours here. Her husband showed up with a conductors hat and a red scarf around his neck and was just really excited to be there.”  
Beer said, even if you’ve never visited the museum, or are not from Fennimore, or are familiar and have visited numerous times, you are still welcome to volunteer.
“You shouldn’t be intimidated to be working in the museum,” Beer said. “People are forgiving, if they ask a question you answer to the best of your knowledge or take their number and we can get back to them with the answer. You’ll learn something new every time you come.”
The excitement on the visitor’s face makes volunteering, and visiting quite worthwhile, Beer notes.
“The kids love the train rides and the smaller trains,” Beer said. “Parents really enjoy getting to walk around and see everything. A lot of kids, though, have never seen a rotary phone or an old style toaster or that vacuum back there. A lot of them wouldn’t be able to tell you it’s a vacuum. They get a real kick out if it,” Beer said with a laugh.

The Fennimore Railroad Historical Society is open every day in the summer from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. with rides on the narrow gauge train on the weekends.