of the show grounds
permanent structures are located on the Field Day of the Past Show Grounds. We invite you to use this guide to visit each
location. Take advantage of the trams for a quick circuit around the field. Many of the permanent exhibits are manned by volunteers
who can provide information on the displays and exhibits. Also, be sure to check the Schedule of Events to make sure you don’t
miss anything planned throughout the weekend.
The Information Booth, located inside the grounds opposite the main Pedestrian
Gate, should be the first stop any visitor makes when he/she comes to the show.
In 1999, Field Day of the Past acquired a gazebo from Goochland Builders, Inc.
and located it on the show grounds to be used as an Information Booth. For the past five years, volunteers have manned the
booth, passing out newspapers, maps and other information, shepherding lost children and serving as a resting place for tired
In 2000, the flag poles which were once located near the end of the Tractor
Pull Track in the center of the grounds, were moved to a site just behind the Information Booth. With all the work of our
“landscape specialist” Pam Ottley and her “crew,” the attractive flower beds help make this an eye
pleasing spot at which to enter the grounds. Several years ago Southern Building Materials added a “patio” in
front of the booth.
Be sure to stop here for a chat and details on your visit to Field Day of the
1. Springfield Baptist Church
Springfield Baptist Church was relocated to the show
grounds from the Short Pump area in 2007. The original portion of the church dates back to 1887 and was one of only a few
remaining African American churches in Henrico County from this area. The congregation sold the church in 2004 and moved its
worship services elsewhere.
With the threat of demolition hovering, the church was donated to Field
Day of the Past by Brookriver L.L.C. Later additions were removed, and the structure was moved in two pieces to its new location.
Here it joins the Short Pump Garage and Short Pump Grocery Store -- its neighbors of a prior era.
The church is manned by volunteers from the Springfield congregation and church services
are conducted on Sunday during the show.
Next stop: #2 Short Pump Grocerry
2. Short Pump Grocery
Short Pump Grocery is typical of the local grocery store/filling stations which were built along rapidly growing major highways
in rural Virginia in the 1930s. Unlike the stores of earlier times, which were stocked with every
item essential to farm living from needles to flour, these stores were built to cater to the newly evolving motor traffic.
These rural grocery stores served more as gathering places where people stopped to hear the local news, discuss politics and
The Short Pump Grocery was built in the 1930s and was operated as a grocery
store/filling station along the side of Rt. 250 in Short Pump throughout the 1950s. It was converted to a convenience store
and remained opened until 1995 when the highway was widened through Short Pump. At that time, the building was scheduled for
demolition. Working with the Virginia Dept. of Highways, Field Day volunteers moved this building, along with the Short Pump
Transmission Shop, to the show grounds.
The Short Pump Grocery is decorated in an “ole country store” motif.
Here, visitors can sip on a Coke from a glass bottle, chat with “locals” about weather, politics, family or the
neighbors. Purchase a hunk of cheese, candy bar or other goodie and enjoy a time when the local grocery store, not a major
supermarket, catered to the whims and needs of the local populace.
stop: #3 Ice House
3. Ice House
recently as three decades ago, ice could not be found at every little stop along the road. Instead, it had to be hauled by
truck from Richmond to country stores and stored in small
ice houses such as the one at Field Day of the past. Customers came to the ice house and bought chipped ice or large blocks.
The Field Day ice house was located on the property of the Marsh Oil Co. on
Rt. 6 at Goochland Courthouse. According to Walter Marsh, owner of Marsh Oil, Richmond Ice Co. moved the ice house to the
Esso now Exxon) Service Station property approximately 45 year ago.
Ice was sold out of the ice house until the early 1970s. By that time, the availability
of ice had become so commonplace the ice house was no longer needed. The building was used for storage for a number of years.
In 1997, Walter Marsh donated the ice house and the ice crusher, which chipped
ice into small pieces, to Field Day of the Past. Glenn Nuckols moved it to the grounds in early September that year. Volunteers
working on the building discovered it cooled as well as it had the last day it was used and today it is used during the show.
stop: #4 Rocketts Voting Precinct
4. Rocketts Voting Precinct
The Rocketts Voting Precinct House was constructed in the
early part of the remains of an older buildings. In the 1940s Henry Brooking and Bryan Holland of Sandy Hook in Goochland
County, refurbished the building. The voting house was used until the early 1960s when the Goochland Recreational Center was
built and replalced this voting house. This house was moved from its original location in the 1980s to the property of James
Brooking. In 2009 the house was placed on permanent loan by the Brooking family and it was moved to the show grounds. One
of the original voting boxes has been placed on loan by Dale Brooking.
Nexty Stop: #5 Short Pump Garage
5. Short Pump Garage
The Short Pump Garage was built around 1930 by Seward’s Lumber C. and
was a popular place for “locals” to congregate while mechanics worked on their cars.
In later years, the Nuckolses bought the garage and began to specialize in transmission
This building is typical of many which were built throughout the state in the
early part of the.20th century.
A mechanic of the 1930s understood how to do every repair necessary on an automobile.
Although, in those days, you could not find a service station on every corner, the emergency of these stations represented
a trend to a more mobile society. As the number of vehicles increased, the need to have a place to buy gasoline or have repairs
made arose. Service station attendants filled the gas tank, washed the windshield and did the repairs.
With the expansion of Rt. 250, the Short Pump Transmission Shop was to
be torn down when it was rescued along with the Short Pump Grocery and relocated to the show grounds in 1995. It has been
re-outfitted as closely as possible to its original sates.
At the side of the garage you can see a rack where a car could be raised so
the mechanic could grease it and do repairs. Inside, the shelves are stocked with parts for the most modern cars — 60
years ago. Visit with our “mechanic on duty” Peyton Roden , who will
be glad to explain all tools and operations at the garage.
stop: #4 Fire Tower
6. Fire Tower
From the top of the fire lookout tower, the tree tops form a magic carpet that
floats above the tiny ant-like figures below.
Fire lookout towers were originally built in the 1930s as part of the Civilian
Conservation Corps, one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal agencies designed to fight the Great Depression.
Civilians manned the towers part time between March 1 and May 15 when conditions were likely for forest fires. Occasionally,
civilians would man these structures in the fall
to the Forest Fire Lookout Association, there were once a network of 5,000 fire lookout towers throughout the U.S. Now, the number is steadily deceasing as the need for them has been replaced
by aerial surveillance and modern technology.
In early 1996, the Fire Lookout Tower
was obtained by Field Day of the Past. It originally stood on Rt. 54 near Scotchtown in
Hanover. This particular tower is estimated to have
been built around 1937 and it was manned well into the 1980s.
Field Day volunteers used the tower to make aerial photographs of the grounds
and it is the site of the Virginia Dept. of Forestry exhibit. Personnel from the department explain how the tower was used
and exhibits some of the items used in it. The Field Day tower is a monument to a disappearing piece of Americana.
stop: #5 Petting Zoo
Children of all ages enjoy visiting the Field Day of the Past Petting Zoo. For three days, this is
home to many farm animals, horses, ponies, and fowl of various descriptions.
The Petting Zoo was one of the first permanent structures built
on the grounds. It was constructed by volunteers in 1992. Stop here and take a few minutes to enjoy the animals here.
Next stop: #8 Corn Crib
8. Corn Crib
The Corn Crib was once
an essential building on the farm. Each year, farmers would plant corn. When the crop matured and produced ears, they would
sell some to the grain mills and save some back to grind into meal for their own use. Some ears were also allotted to feed
farm animals throughout the winter and they were stored in the corn crib.
The crib was constructed from strips of rough lumber with spaces between the
boards to allow air through. The air vents allowed the corn to dry. When this was accomplished, the corn was ground into meal
or stored for feed.
This corn crib was moved to the show grounds in 1996. It was originally built
in the late teens or early 1920s on the property of Forrest and Graham Nuckols on Broad
St. and Gayton Rd. in western
stop: #9 Smoke House
9. Smoke House
Nothing reminds someone
raised on a farm of fall more than the smell of smoke from the smoke house. When days grew cold enough that meat could be
processed without danger of spoiling, farmers killed the hogs they had raised during the summer. Hams, shoulders and other
edible parts of the hog were hung in the smoke house to begin “curing,” or preserving the meat. Farm families
relied on this stock of meat to feed them through the winter.
Be sure to take a peek inside the smoke and see the slow burning fire and inhale
the aroma of the curing meat. Smoke gives meat a flavor and different “flavors” can be obtained from using different
kinds of wood.
Like the corn crib, the smoke house was built on the Nuckols’ property
in Henrico County
and was moved to Field Day in 1996.
stop: #10 Tobacco Barn
10. Tobacco Barn
The Tobacco Barn was relocated to the show grounds in 2007. In 2008, Howard
Mayo of Goochland County began using the barn to displayt some of his tobacco artifiacs which he has been collecting for many
years. During the show the barn houses tobacco signs, tools for farming tobacco, tobacco advertising and as assortment of
other tobacoo industry items.
Next Stop: #11. Gold Mining Equipment
11. Gold Mine Equipment
steam drag line and the accompanying gold separator were used in the Bertha and Edith gold mines in western Goochland County. Although the Bertha and Edith
were opened in 1860, these pieces are from the 1930s, when a renewed interest in gold mining reopened old mines.
The drag line was designed to dig up the earth and dump it into the separator.
Water was pumped into the trammel (large revolving barrel), which turned, causing mud containing gold to fall through the
holes. Gravel went out the back and was sold to the highway department for road material. The mud covered gold went into one
of three spinning dishes on the machine. Centrifugal force caused the mud to be slung off and separate from the gold. Gold,
which was black because of the sand, was processed with mercury to separate it from the sand.
Gold mining was once a prosperous business in Goochland and other Virginia counties. Although complete records are not available, estimates
of the amount of gold discovered in Goochland alone range from $500,000 to $1.5 million. The search for gold came to a halt
during the War Between the States and the industry never fully recovered after war’s end. The cost of extracting the
ore outweighed the profits and promise of gold in California
brought an end to any major mining. Although the 1930s saw a revitalized interest in mining, it was short lived.
The drag line and separator were donated to Field Day of the Past by the Walton
family in 1993.
stop: #12 Homestead
The log cabin was home to thousands of
families of the American frontier and as families struggled to make a living at the edge of civilization, they constructed
homestead around the cabin, including barns, pens for animals and other outbuildings. The log cabin housed entire families
in a single room with a loft. As the family grew, room might be added to accommodate new members.
Construction on the Field Day log cabin began in 1997 when Eastern Tree, Bob
Davis Custom Sawing and Jim Munden, a professional forester, joined forces to raise the 15’ x 15’ settler’s
cabin. In 1998, the cabin was relocated from its original site across from the Sawmill Complex to its present one. A porch
was added after the move and many “improvements” have been done since that time.
In 2004, volunteers Paul Krantz and Mark Clifford built a smoke house to “serve”
the homesteader’s needs and last year a root cellar was dug and stocked
with items traditionally found on the homestead. This area is an ongoing project and Field Day would like to create an entire
homestead at this site.
stop: #13 Henley-Isbell-Rigsby
13. Henley-Isbell-Rigsby Bridge
Field Day’s Henley-Isbell-Rigsby Bridge
was named for the three volunteers instrumental in getting the wooden structure built in 1998. Bert Henley, Ben Isbell and
Earl Rigsby teamed up for the effort. The bridge’s picturesque atmosphere allows visitors to pause for a few moments
in the shade of the trees and reflect on life. Enjoy the coolness before resuming your tour.
stop: #14 Windmill
windmill is one of the oldest methods used by man to harness natural energy. The basic principle is simple — harness
the wind so it can provide a source of power.
The Field Day windmill is of a type not most reliable as a source of power as
it operates only when the wind is blowing. It’s main use is to pump water.
In the early years of the show, the windmill stood adjacent to the Sawmill Complex.
It was donated by Jimmy Adams of Mechanicsville and was originally erected in eastern Henrico County around 1918. From there it was
moved to Charles City
County where Hurricane Hazel blew it down in the 1950s. That windmill
was relocated to the grounds in 1997. In 1998, the air motor was destroyed in another wind storm and a new motor was mounted
to the original tower. In 1999, the Field Day windmill, long a recognizable symbol of the show, was moved to its current location
at the log cabin. The original air motor and blades were incorporated in the Farm Exhibit in the Educational Building.
stop: #15 Educational
Building was constructed on the grounds in 2000 and was built to house
both permanent and rotating exhibits. Among the early exhibits were displays and informational boards of the importance of
the Kanawha and James River Canal in Richmond and the eastern U.S.
Some of this exhibit, donated by the Ethyl Corp. can still be seen.
In the ensuing five years, several other major exhibitions have developed in
the Educational Building.
The Field Day Print Shop, originally located in the Post Office, was relocated here. Prior to high tech machines and computers,
printers produced the printed page the hard way. Lead was melted and poured into molds to form letters, numbers and symbols,
collectively known as “type.” all type was placed (or set) by hand, one letter at a time into wooden frames. Many
of the typesetters of the day could set a column of newspaper copy almost as fast as some could type it on the computer today.
Many masters of hand-set type could produce up to 60 or 70 words per minutes — one letter at a time.
In the Field Day print shop, visitors can see displays and demonstrations of
hand-set type and printing with an old Brandtjen & Kluge press, donated by National Seal Works and refurbished by Forest
Rollers in Maryland. Other printing machinery includes a
proof press, a linotype, type cabinets, pigs of lead, lead type and other items necessary in the days of “hot type.”
Get the printer to explain this to you!
The Farm Exhibit and the Farm Kitchen are also located in the Educational Building. The Farm Exhibit contains
hundreds of items — hand tools, small machinery and all the odds and ends which could have been found on farms throughout
Virginia from the 1700s to today. Rakes, plows, hoes, planters, saws, brooms, are all found here. See how many you can name.
In the Farm Kitchen, added in 2004, houses household items common for the farming
lifestyle for many decades. Oil lamps, a wood cook stove, crocks, a foot warmer, antique dishes, medicine bottles, a trunk,
hair curlers which had to be heated over an oil lamp, a spinning wheel, antique washing machine an wash board and many other
articles used in daily living are here.
Antique photographs from Virginia’s past
and a photographic history of the streetcar system in Richmond
are on display.
New in the Educational
Building for 2006 is a soda fountain of those seen in drug stores around
the turn of the century. Ice cream and soda were served from this soda fountain in Gaithright’s Store in Goochland.
Years after the store was closed the equipment was taken apart and stored. This year it was retrieved from eventual destruction
by Field Day volunteers who have reconstructed it and placed it only display.
stop: #16 Post Office
Day Post Office
it’s a real post office. Visitors can mail letters, buy stamps and take advantage of other services offered by the U.S.
Postal Service. You can purchase a post card and mail it to loved ones around the world. Mail has been received from the Field
Day Post Office in places as far away as Japan and Hawaii. Each year the post office offers envelopes for sale which carry a special cancellation
stamp designed for the show. Many of our visitors have collected all of these envelopes.
In 1996, the Field Day of the Past Post Office was one of only two post office
in Virginia to be open on Sunday to celebrate the 100th
anniversary of rural free delivery.
The Post Office was built by volunteers in 1996. Originally
it was home to the Print Shop. Now, in addition to the Post Office it also houses an special Exhibition of antique photographs
which have been organized by Wayne Dementi of Dementi Studios. This exhibition has changes each year.
stop: #17Stave Mill
17. Stave Mill
The Stave Mill Building was completed in 2006. It house a stave mill --
complete with the saws necessary to cut staves (the curved sides of barrels). The mill was manufactured by F.K. Lenker &
Co. of Pennsylvania and was moved from Powhatan County to the show grounds by J.E. Liesfeld, Jr. It was originally owned by
the Horner family and is operational during show days.
Next Stop: #18 Rideout Cotton Gin
18. Rideout Cotton Gin
The Rideout Cotton Gin was relocated to the show grounds from Bracey, Va. in the spring of
2008. Little is known about the cotton gin, but it is operational.
The "modern" cotton gin was created by Eli Whitney in 1793. The machine separates the
cotton fiber from the seed, and its invention greatly reducted the amount of neighbor needed to do this by hand. This stop
offers a glimpse into our past rarely seen today.
Next Stop: #19. Woodwright Shop
In the 19th century, woodwright shops began to spring up in response to the
increasing demand for furniture and tools. Originally, the town blacksmith made repairs to or made wooden wagons, farm tools,
and even household items such as andirons, but as town grew and private enterprise increased, the woodwright shop evolved.
The woodwright made and repaired everything from kitchen utensils to wagons
and furniture. As factories developed, the woodwright made wooden gears that ran machinery.
The Field Day Woodwright Shop was built in 1997 by Earl Carwile and Merrill
Bowles with materials donated by N.B. Goodwyn and Sons, Inc. of Chesterfield Courthouse, Va.
It is equipped with antique tools and machinery as a woodwright shop would have been in the 1800s and early 1900s.
Some woodworking project is always ongoing here during show days. Master woodworkers
demonstrate the methods used to make ladder back chairs or an oxen yoke, or maybe even a hay rake.
You will also see a display of many tools used for working. Take a minute to
talk to the woodworkers. They will be glad to explain the process and answer any questions you may have.
stop: #20 Canning Kitchem
In the early part of the 20 century, before electricity, home canning was a
way to preserve foods from gardens for the months when there were no fresh fruits and vegetables available. Back then, fresh
foods were not readily available in grocery stores as they are today. Even today, home canning offers complete control over
the quality of ingredients that go into yur foods. It’s a reliable method of preserving your own food for long-term
storage. It also offers a sense of accomplishment you can share with family and friends.
The Field Day Canning Kitchen was built in 1999 by Field Day of the Past woodwrights
and sponsored by Pleasants Hardware. That year, Wilma Carwile stoked up the stove, brought out the jars and commenced to process
vegetables for canning. Canning is a hot, time consuming job, but the end result is glass jars filled with fresh greens, sunny
yellows and a splash of other delicious looking goods. Wilma will be back again this year to demonstrate the art of home cooking.
stop: #21 Blacksmith Shop
21. Blacksmith Shop
constructed around 1850 as a smoke house. It was owned by the family of Forrest and Willard Nash of the Hylas/Rockville area
of Hanover County.
The structure was moved to the show grounds in 1994. Scott Hingley, Field Day blacksmith, converted it into the shop you see
Blacksmiths were one of the most important members of the farming community
in earlier decades. Not only did they take care of the horse shoeing, but also worked on many of the items used by the family
on a daily basis —horse drawn carts, bed frames, farm machinery, branding irons, wheels and other metal objects. The
blacksmith often fulfilled other roles within the community as well., the occupations of tooth extractors and undertakers
being the most common.
stop: #22 Sawmill Complex
The Earl Liesfeld Sawmill Complex is one of the most popular attractions at
Field Day of the Past. Earl Liesfeld was “boss” of the mill hands in the show’s earliest days and oversaw
the operation of the Frick steam powered saw mill for many years.
Upon Earl’s death in 1997, a painted saw blade, declaring the building
“Earl Liesfeld’s Mill,” was hung in his memory.
Contained in the complex are several steam engines and boilers which are used
to operate the mill.
Visitors can also see a Skinner steam powered generator, built in 1926,
and donated by A.E. Tate Lumber Company operating during show days. The 150-horsepower Corliss steam engine with its massive
12-foot flywheel dominates the front center bay of the Sawmill Complex. The Corliss was moved from Jones Lumber Company in
Montpelier in 1998.
A planning mill, moulding machine are on displays, as well as a large air compressor
donated by City Ice Works in Petersburg help give the building
its vintage appeal.
At the B.A. Grasberger Co. exhibit, volunteers peel veneer from logs and feed
it through a huge stamping machine, producing endless number of wooden ice cream spoons. The Grasberger Co., located near
Mineral, Va around the turn of the century, produced the wooden spoons along with tongue depressors, assorted wooden utensils
and paper ice cream dishes. The veneer machine, press, belts, pulleys and assorted bits and pieces of equipment operate at
Field Day much as they did in the early 1900s .
The wide range of machinery and equipment
housed in the Sawmill Complex offers an excellent example of the types and kinds of machines which drove the industries of
America in the early decades of the 20th
century. Although technology has made them obsolete, many of these pieces will still be operating when machines of today are
no longer serviceable. Be sure to include this stop on your tour of the grounds. Some of the dinosaurs you see here were the
shining glories on the Industrial Revolution in America.
stop: #23 Exhibit Building
23. Exhibit Building
The Exhibit Building is a work in progress. Begun in 2004, an addition has been added
to the structure. In the future, Field Day exhibits of machinery, farm equipment and other equipment will be housed here.
Currently, it is home to John Meola's "workship." John is our resident artist/inventor.
Next Stop: #24 Water Towers
24. Water Towers
Wooden water towers were once common sights in rural Virginia. These tanks could hold large amounts of water that was readily available for bathing,
fighting fires, irrigation, water for livestock, washing clothes or anything else for which the liquid was required.
Field Day of the Past is home to two water towers. The oldest of these was donated
by Jimmy Adams of Mechanicsville in 1995 and once stood adjacent to the Sawmill Complex. It was relocated to a sire near the
Gold Mine Equipment, a location much closer to the creek. This tower now serves as a water source for the steam engines which
travel the grounds on show days.
A tower donated by Jack Luck of Ashland
was moved to the grounds in 1996 and replaced the original tower near the Sawmill Complex. This tower is used as a water supply
for the stationery steam engines in the sawmill building and as a method of fire prevention.
stop: #25 Portable Sawmill
In 1999, a rustic sawmill building was constructed in the vicinity of the Sawmill
Complex to cover a portable sawmill. This mill represents the type commonly used at the turn of the 20th century by sawyers
traveling from one tract of timber to another. The mill is powered by a portable Frick steam engine and is operated by volunteers
during the show.
stop: #26 Diesel
26. Diesel Engine Building
This building was erected to house a four-cylinder Fairbanks-Morse Model 32
diesel engine. The engine was once used in White Stone, VA and was moved to Field Day in 2000.
engine from Dinwiddie powers a line shaft which was put installed by volunteers in 2005. This line shaft drives pumps, air
compressors and generators.
A Kohler 32-volt power place which once was used as an emergency power source
for Thalhimers on Broad St in Richmond
and two Superior diesel engines also served as a backup unit for C&P Telephone at 7th and Grace streets in Richmond are also located in the Diesel Engine Building
To the right, just outside this building is a Cummins generator which was used
by a power plant in Maryland , and a LeRoi generator which
came from Dan River Mills. A generator with a Caterpillar engine was donated by Luck Stone Co. (This engine saved the show
during Hurricane Isabel when Virginia Power went down.)
A huge water turbine once used for generating current for James River Paper
Co. It was powered by water by the James River and Kanawha Canal
Before this year’s show, a 50 hp Bessemer
oil field engine is also scheduled to arrive on the grounds.
stop: #27 Sorghum Mill
Sorghum is a sweetener that is grown mainly in the southeastern part of the
U.S as an alternative to sugar cane, which does not grow well in this area. Field Day of the Past grows its own sorghum cane,
harvests it and , on show days, presses it and cooks it down to a syrup This
is a lengthy process but definitely worth the wait.
The molasses making process begins by pressing the cane to extract the juice.
The juice is then evaporated over a fire to produce a thick, heavy syrup. The syrup is then jarred as sorghum molasses. Sorghum
molasses was a staple on farms in past decades. It was eaten on biscuits or used in cooking.
In 2002 Field Day volunteers constructed a shelter to house both the cooking
pan and the sorghum press. In addition to the sorghum molasses making, visitors can also see various types of mills used over
the years to press the sorghum cane, as well as
sorghum related utensils.
stop: #28 Modern sawmill
28. Modern Sawmill
Directly across from the Sawmill Complex is Field Day’s third sawmilling operation. Under
the management of Barbee Cox, this mill represents an age when sawmilling was “modernized.” After World War II,
gas and diesel powered units replaced steam as a source of power. Although the mill remained basically the same, throughout
the century, the mode by which it was powered evolved over time as can be seen in the contrast between our steam powered mills
and this one.
stop: #29 Tractor/Truck Pull Track
Tractors owners have been competing with each other on the Field Day Tractor
Pull Track since the show opened in 1992. The event is handled by the Tractor Pull Committee, chaired by Terry McNeely. Volunteers
built the announcer’s stand on the track in 1993. It was one of the show’s first permanent structures.
Each year, tractors compete in several classes on Saturday and Sunday during
the show. Since 1997, the track has also been home to the Field Day Truck pulls run on Friday and Saturday evenings. These
events are hosted by the Truck Pull Committee, chaired by Barbee Cox III.
stop: #30 Pullman Railroad Car and and relax a while.
Railroad Car & Caboose
The ten-section Pullman Observation/Sleeping Car, named the Mt. Foraker,
was built in December, 1923. It was one of the 15 of the “Mt.” series cars built to Plan 3521 as Lot
4742. Plans for all of these cars show them as having been originally assigned to Pullman General Service, meaning they could
be used anywhere they were needed on any Pullman lines.
Foraker was never converted to any other floor plan. In the mid 1900s,
Pullman Co. was required by the United States Supreme Court to divest itself of car ownership and thus had to sell off its
fleet to the various individual railroads using the cars. At that time, Southern was operating two ten-section Observation
heavyweight cars on Trains #15 and #16, the “Asheville Special,” between Raleigh
and Asheville. These were the only Southern Railway trains
with such cars in regular service, one of which was the Mt.
In 1972, Southern sold
the Mt. Foraker to Heritage Savings and Loan. At that time, she was lettered and configured as work train #W-1, and
assigned to the Savannah & Atlanta Railroad, which had been acquired by the Southern around 1966.
In 1977, the Mt. Foraker was sold to the Elliott family of Goochland
County and was moved to the parking lot of a local shopping center. Here
is was used as a restaurant lounge.
Field Day of the Past acquired the railroad car in 2001 and it was relocated
to the grounds where the grand old lady is open to visitors during the annual show.
Foraker’s interior is decorated in fabrics, materials
and patterns in keeping with the styles of the early 1900s. At that time, Pullman service was synonymous with first class
service and those who rode in Pullman received only the best.
Although some interior alterations have been made over the years to conform
the train car to its various uses, the basic design is still the one on which she was built. Visitors through the car can
view the dining, sleeping and lounge sections. One berth in the sleeping section has been prepared for the next Pullman guest who wishes to retire.
The wood sheathed 1920s Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac (RF&P) caboose was donated to Field Day by the Rennolds
family in 2007 and was moved here with the help of Billy Woodson from Capital Garage. It is coupled to the forward end of
the "Mt. Foraker" for practical purposes and limited spaces, as well as visitor access. In reality, cabooses were never attached
to passenger trains, only to the rear of freight trains.
In 2009, Field Day of the Past volunteers replaced siding, repaired windows and hardware, replaced both ends of the platforms
and scraped and painted the car inside and outside. Exhxibits have been placed inside. Now the caboose is part of the Pullman
Car tour during the annual event. In 2010, under the guidance and supervision of Paul Krantz, volunteers refurbished the old
railroad work car located in front of the Pullman car.
stop: #31 Souvenir Shop
In 2002, Field Day of the Past opened the Souvenir Shop for the first time.
Here visitors will find pieces of memorabilia from the show’s history. Show buttons and a few plaques from prior’s
year’s shows, hats and some of our vintage t-shirts can be purchased here at very reasonable prices. For 25 cents, you
can choose a vintage button to take home as a souvenir. Current year buttons are also available in the shop. Information of
memberships, committees. If you want a copy of prior years’ newspapers, request them here.