Author Topic: History Center in Anderson  (Read 614 times)


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History Center in Anderson
« on: June 29, 2020, 06:22:31 AM »
Best Kept Secret

I was standing in one of the two large rooms in the Madison County Historical Society, Inc. when one of our volunteers said, "this is the best kept secret in Anderson, and it is. Not because we want it that way.

Here we have two large rooms filled with Model Railroad and railroad materials and virtually no one knows about it. They know about the layout in the Library and the O 27 gauge layouts in the Paramount Theater that is open about 6 weeks at Christmas tine. But we seem to be having a great deal of trouble getting the word out about our layout rooms.

We have a mockup of a Baker Valve Gear in a scale, an 8' x 16' HO Scale Layout with two town scenes and a major yard, a 4' x 6' On30 Scale layout that kids can operate with a push of a button and with a small town of 1900 vintage, an O Scale Traction 4' x 8' layout showing Anderson's own Union Traction line going into the Indiana Railroad line, an ever growing O-27 Gauge Lionel and Marx 8' x 8' setup (roughly) with city and side tracks, an N scale 3 1/2' x 15' setup with a city and major yard, and an S Gauge 4' x 14' American Flyer setup with a city and lake with boat. There is even an HO 3' x 16' display of the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey circus train just coming into town for unloading,

On the walls are numerous photos representing railroads from the early 1900s right up to today. And there are displays and drawings depicting the glory age of railroading and traction along with older Model Railroad magazines for any who might wish them.

I'm a 35 year plus member of the NMRA  and have had my own small layout open for division layout tours from time to time. I have been a member of the CID Board, the webmaster for the CID, and have even been active with the national NMRA website. All this and we still seem to be the Best Kept Secret in Anderson. Perhaps you can help make a difference by visiting us at 15 W 11th Street Anderson, IN on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 to 3. There is no charge for admission, but right now, you must call ahead to make reservations for your visit due to the Covid-19. We really would like to how you around, so come to Anderson or a visit!

Roger Hensley
Madison County Historical Society, Inc.
765-649-2367 Home
765-683-0052 MCHS
Roger Hensley

Railroads of Madison County - (NYC and More) -
East Central Indiana HO RR -


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Re: History Center in Anderson
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2020, 08:46:08 PM »
This really is the truth.  Mr. Hensley runs a fantastic operation.  My kids absolutely loved going to the "train museum."  Take your children/grandchildren and you won't be disappointed. 

We recently moved out of the area, and Mr. Hensley's displays are one of the things we will really miss.  We will try to make it back over the holidays for sure.

"The past is never dead.  It's not even past."  - Faulkner


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Re: History Center in Anderson
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2020, 07:39:58 AM »
This is indeed a hidden gem.  And don't forget the monthly presentations that Roger schedules.

One suggestion for getting more participation - open the museum at least once a month on a weekday evening or Saturday morning.  10-3 on three weekdays eliminates a lot of people who work or have to drive a bit to get there.