First Annual Railroad Days

The restored historic Grand Trunk Depot will be the site of the first annual “St. Johns Depot Railroad Days” to be held on Sept 15,16, & 17th from 10 am until 6 pm.

The railroad first arrived in St. Johns January 16, 1857. That was nearly 150 years ago. Maybe you can see a correlation between the railroad and the beginning of St. Johns. If it were not for the railroad, St. Johns would not have developed as it has, maybe not at all. It seems fitting that we remember the railroad along with our Sesquicentennial celebration.

Featured inside the depot will be an exhibit of miniature railroad cars for young and old to play with. Railroad track in G, S, and multiple Lionel and American Flyer scale, will be set up so that you may run our trains, or bring your own. Peter Salisbury, from St. Johns, will have an elaborate G (garden) scale train set up outside the depot. His trains were a popular Attraction during mint festival at the Depot.

1964 was the last time a passenger train came through St. Johns. Ironically, that same year, a combination Post Office and Baggage car made by Barney and Smith of Dayton Ohio, was taken out of service and stored in a round house in Tawas Michigan, where it has remained until this month. The car was part of the Detroit Mackinac Railroad, and it is only a few years older than our inaugural Sault Ste Marie car, waiting patiently to be restored. The RPO car was donated to our developing new railroad museum by the Straits Corporation and will be brought here piece by piece. One set of wheels is already at the depot, and we hope the whole RPO car will be here for the Railroad Days Celebration. Interesting fact: the very last Railway Post Office car made its final run on June 30th, 1977 from the 30th Street Station in Philadelphia PA.

Memorabilia such as maps, time tables, photos, signs, and equipment to run the railroad will be on display inside the Depot and in the 1926 Ann Arbor Crew Car (Annie). Annie is the first car in our railroad museum to be open to the public. Railroad Days will be her debut. Railroad days are not just for the Railroad fan. There will be something for everyone. Hanover Chocolatiers are pouring Mint Chocolate Steam Engines for this special occasion, and as always, we will have our famous Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream made with mint from the Crosby Mint farm.

Don’t be left out of the moustache contest just because you are too young or the wrong gender to grow a one; our artists will paint one on for you. Prize drawings for kids. A very handsome Limited edition Collectable button will we on sale for the rail fan. This is the first in the series, so don’t miss your chance to purchase one.Suggested donation is $2.00 per individual, and $5.00 per family. Your donation will provide you with an armband that will enable you to come and visit as many times as you like during the 3 day show. All proceeds will go to the restoration of our Vintage Rail Car Museum.

The Depot is located at 107 E. Railroad Street across from the Veterans Memorial in St. Johns. For more information, call the Clinton Northern Railway at 989 66 TRAIN