DENNISON (Tusco TV) - Two museums on opposite sides of the county are joining forces to help each other preserve and promote the area’s railroad history.
Officials from the Dennison Depot Railroad Museum and the Age of Steam Roundhouse announced their formal partnership during a press conference Thursday. Age of Steam Executive Director Noel Poirier says that partnership includes an agreement to lease the depot three passenger cars for excursions. He says they want to make sure the depot has what they need to be successful.
"It’s important that the Age of Steam Roundhouse has a presence here in Dennison. It’s also important that Wendy doesn’t have to go all over the place to find what she needs to make sure she can meet her mission and her vision here as well, and as we support her we look forward to Dennison supporting our efforts like she’s doing," he says.
Dennison Depot Executive Director Wendy Zucal says the generous gesture will save them about $70,000 per year in shipping costs.
"One of our strategic plans a few years ago we embarked upon was we need to get all of our cars here in Dennison because shipping them was very costly, very scary because you never knew if they were gonna arrive on time, it wasn’t good for the cars, and everybody is using cars at Christmas. There aren’t good quality cars to get," she says.
Dennison Councilman Greg DiDonato says he thinks this is a fitting partnership.
"It really makes sense that the two should collaborate because, think about it, if somebody comes here to check something out, they’ll probably just naturally want to go there and look, and if someone goes there they probably naturally would want to come here because of the connection, so I think it’s a great opportunity," he says.
Tuscarawas County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Dee Grossman says the partnership should help draw more people to both museums.
"I think it shows the partnership between the museums, and whenever you have partnership, you have a synergy of effect so one could market the other and that’s always a good thing for tourism," she says.
Also during the ceremony Age of Steam Board Chairman Bill Strawn presented the depot with the original builder’s plate to the restored 1943 Chesapeake & Ohio 4700 (47-hundred) steam engine that sits at the front of the museum. Age of Steam Board President Bill Strawn says they found the plate and other parts for the engine recently while inventorying the late Jerry Jacobson’s private collection.