Our Annual Open House - 2022
Our 2022 annual open house was held from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on 3 December and from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on 4 December 2022.
We enjoyed talking trains with at least 100 visitors of all ages. It was great to see numerous familiar faces. It is always nice to see members of other model railroad clubs stop by to visit as well.
One of the numerous interesting anecdotes from this open house, a visitor walked in with a pair of children. One of us asks, “have you visited us before?” The visitor said, “I was here thirty years ago, when my dad brought me here.” The visitor continued, “it was a memorable visit, and I want to share the experience with my kids.”
One of the highlights of this year’s open house was a visit by a multimedia reporter from Green Bay’s WFRV, Channel 5. Wally and two of our visitors were interviewed. We were featured on their 10 o’clock news on 4 December. The story, video, and photographs can be found on their web site at: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/news/local-news/neenah-historical-society-showcases-model-trains/.
Another highlight of the weekend was a visit by the remarkable O-scale Lutz Brothers Circus Train. The train was built by George Lutz in the 1950s. George was a member of the Paper Valley Model Railroad Club, when it was an O-scale club in the former Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western (MLS&W) depot in ‘the Flats’ at Appleton, Wis. In addition to being a model railroader, he was an aficionado of the circus as well.
When George built his circus train, he named it the Lutz Bros. Circus, in honor of his three sons, Warren, Gary, and Wayne. A friend built a beautiful, custom-made, wooden case to store the circus train.
Warren Lutz and his family stopped by to display the train and to share some of its history. Warren recalled how George often took his family to visit various circuses. Warren remembers one time when his father woke him up at 2 a.m. to drive to Illinois to chase a circus. Warren fondly remembers meeting Emmett Kelly, the Flying Walendas, and other prominent circus performers. He also recalled his father taking him to a farm in Grand Chute where a man from India trained elephants. Warren got to ride them.
Warren will set up a time to bring the circus train back to the club in the near future and run it around our layout.
A few additional scenes from our 2022 open house.
We are grateful for the attendance at our open house as well as the generous support we received from our visitors. We look forward to welcoming you to our next open house.