W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

WW&F Railway Museum Discussion => Work and Events => Topic started by: Stephen Piwowarski on September 22, 2017, 03:37:49 PM

Title: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on September 22, 2017, 03:37:49 PM
Hi All,

It's high time we share this, not only publicly, but with all of the folks who follow us here on the forum. Next Saturday, September 30th is the Museum's Fall Festival. We're looking forward to it, and look forward to seeing folks who have made attending a tradition along with new faces.

We are adding something new! For a long time, folks have been asking for us to run an evening train. This year we partnered with an expert on local apples, John Bunker of Palermo, to create a unique and wonderful Fall evening train. John is well known in these parts for his work with Maine Heritage Orchards at MOFGA and FEDCO Trees. He also has his Out on a Limb CSA. He also wrote "Not Far from the Tree: A Brief History of the Apples and the Orchards of Palermo, Maine, 1804-2004"

The train will leave Sheepscot promptly at 6pm, and arrive at Alna Center where a bonfire, cider, and snacks will await. John will share the history of apples and cider making in the Sheepscot Valley, along with the transport of the apple harvest on the WW&F. For those of you who have heard stories of how apples growing along the railway wound up there, there will be a special surprise.

John also welcomes anyone who has an apple they would like to know more about to bring a specimen to the event. He will identify it for you.

After enjoying sunset at Alna Center, the train will return to Sheepscot in darkness amidst the warm glow of oil lamps.

Tickets will be the regular price ($8 adults/ $7 60+/ $5 12 & under)
Tickets will be available beginning at 5pm at Sheepscot Station.
The Moonlight Extra will run weather permitting.
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Wayne Laepple on September 22, 2017, 04:20:57 PM
This is brilliant! Whoever came up with this idea is a genius. It's a perfect example of making area history come alive.

It may not be a sellout this time around, but it could become a popular event in the future.
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Mike Fox on September 22, 2017, 04:45:58 PM
Steve spearheaded this idea, and presented it to the board. Anything different or easily added like this is worth trying. He has also been trying to think of differrent ideas to try and have an event every month.
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Jeff Schumaker on September 22, 2017, 06:18:52 PM
A tip of the hat to Steve and his fantastic idea.

Jeff S.
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Paul Uhland on September 22, 2017, 08:54:54 PM
This  at-sunset trip, promoting relaxed, autumn family fun and highlighting local Maine history, sounds fabulous! I detect an atmosphere of easygoing, ruralness that is so appealing, especially since I spent my first 15 years on Staten Island, now jammed with un-ending neighborhoods!  :'(

I would ride if I was closer.
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on September 23, 2017, 01:45:24 AM
Hi all,

From the get go, this idea has been a partnership between Alan Downey and I. As Mike said, the board has been very supportive throughout. The train crews are also critical to making it happen, as is Jason who, as trainmaster, has worked hard to develop effective operating plans. It's been great bringing this to fruition and we hope that everyone who attends gets to enjoy a seldom seen part of the railway. We've been talking over the idea for months now, but he was the one who really lit the fire in my imagination. We started to talk over ideas and figure out what would work best.

Potentially, this will lead to similar events next year and beyond.
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Robert Hale on September 26, 2017, 04:04:45 PM
This might bring up another topic: What commodities/farms/factories are along the ROW? Since I am not from Maine I am not familiar with the area but in addition to this charter are there other types of items that the RR carried or could carry to incorporate a annual/biannual event in the RR operations? Maybe moving harvested logs, or materials or harvested food/materials?

Rob
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: James Patten on September 26, 2017, 06:34:04 PM
Do you mean the entire ROW between Wiscasset and Albion/Winslow?  There's virtually no factories left, only farms.  Maine has lost a lot of manufacturing in the last 100 years.  Most of the ROW is now in the woods, mostly being used as a ski/snowmobile/walking trail, or left fallow.  I can think of one lumber company, in China, set up on the ROW itself.
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Steve Zuppa on September 26, 2017, 08:57:53 PM
We could use some bodies at Alna Center to help organize activities on Saturday. It's light duty but necessary.
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Bob Holmes on September 26, 2017, 11:35:54 PM
RE Robert's question:  Potatoes!!  Potatoes were a big commodity on the WW&F.  There were large potato houses at points along the line.

We could easily create a "Potato Night" similar to the apple event this weekend.

Remember that potatoes are still one of the major agricultural products of Maine, and help drive Maine's economy.

I'm sure we find similar kinds of event support from the Maine potato industry...
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on September 27, 2017, 12:12:00 AM
As an aside to Steve Z's earlier note- he needs people during the day to assist with Fall Festival at Alna Center.
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Robert Hale on September 27, 2017, 12:54:34 PM
RE Robert's question:  Potatoes!!  Potatoes were a big commodity on the WW&F.  There were large potato houses at points along the line.

We could easily create a "Potato Night" similar to the apple event this weekend.

Remember that potatoes are still one of the major agricultural products of Maine, and help drive Maine's economy.

I'm sure we find similar kinds of event support from the Maine potato industry...

Interesting. BTW what is the growing season for potatoes? It is a bulk agricultural product that lends it's self to rail transport in rural areas. Potato night with French fries and potato pancakes!!
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Joe Fox on September 27, 2017, 01:13:52 PM
The last time the WW&F ran any public night trains was back in 2009 when we ended the Halloween trains and the night time Victorian Christmas ride. The night train for Christmas was neat, as three small light displays were set up along the tracks. I think it would be neat to redevelope the Christmas lights trackside for a few evening trains.
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Alex Harvilchuck on September 27, 2017, 05:40:47 PM
RE Robert's question:  Potatoes!!  Potatoes were a big commodity on the WW&F.  There were large potato houses at points along the line.

We could easily create a "Potato Night" similar to the apple event this weekend.

Remember that potatoes are still one of the major agricultural products of Maine, and help drive Maine's economy.

I'm sure we find similar kinds of event support from the Maine potato industry...

Interesting. BTW what is the growing season for potatoes? It is a bulk agricultural product that lends it's self to rail transport in rural areas. Potato night with French fries and potato pancakes!!

Here's my 4 year old's thought on the concept of "Potato Night" when I mentioned it to her...

(https://images.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fimages1.wikia.nocookie.net%2F__cb20120216225705%2Fpeppapedia%2Fimages%2F8%2F86%2F2105-4-1.jpg&f=1)
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: John McNamara on September 27, 2017, 07:35:47 PM
Very creative and artistic! :) The more I look, the more potatoes I see.
-John
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Alex Harvilchuck on September 27, 2017, 08:39:25 PM
It's from Peppa Pig ....
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Dwight Winkley on September 27, 2017, 09:43:42 PM
Plant in June. Harvest now.  About every town had a potato storage barn located near the railroad.
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on September 28, 2017, 01:45:33 AM
I had actually planted some potatoes outside the Percival house earlier this year. Just dug them last week. The one I tried was pretty tasty!
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: James Patten on September 28, 2017, 11:00:03 AM
Those were steam-powered potatoes.  Steam makes everything better.
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: John Kokas on September 28, 2017, 01:08:05 PM
Actually, foil wrapped baked potatoes on the backhead are really good!
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Wayne Laepple on September 28, 2017, 01:15:13 PM
The WW&F Potato Festival....

I can see it all now -- baked potatoes, french fries, potato salad....a potato sculpture contest, a hot potato toss, Mr. Potato Head kits for the kids....
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Jeff Schumaker on September 28, 2017, 01:22:44 PM
I think you're onto something, Wayne. Don't forget potato sack races.

Jeff S.
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Jeff Schumaker on September 28, 2017, 01:25:02 PM
Just checked online. Burlap potato sacks are still made.

Jeff S.
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Wayne Laepple on September 28, 2017, 01:25:58 PM
Yep. Potato sack races for sure! Our enthusiasm knows no bounds!
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Wayne Laepple on September 28, 2017, 01:30:01 PM
There is an Australian jazz band called -- you guess it -- the Hot Potato Band. I wonder how much it would cost to import them....?
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Terry Harper on September 28, 2017, 02:33:46 PM
I love the "Apple Harvest" train & event. What a wonderful way to bring in new visitors and to create a interesting, educational and interactive experience.
I can just imagine a stop to off-load crates of apples from a farmers truck or wagon into a WW&F box car.

These are the type of events that will keep people coming back and generate new interest. A museum should be a living thing - not a stagnant collection gathering dust. This is what makes the WW&F so special to many. Kudos!

In regards to potatoes.... I am up here in Fort Fairfield and believe me the harvest is on! What a great time of year! Wonderful fall foliage the urgency of the work, cool crisp days (well... usually) all combine into a vibrant atmosphere and sense of community and purpose. Makes me long for the days when we hand picked as kids - 40 cents a barrel, 100 barrels per day (with good picking). At the end of harvest we used our earnings to buy school cloths.
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Bob Holmes on September 28, 2017, 11:11:56 PM
OK, you all picked up big time on the potato scheme for a special event.  Wonderful ideas, and I'm sure Steve P will take those to heart in planning future events.

Another idea in response to Robert's question which would also make a great event:  MILK

The Turner Creamery was pretty unique back in those early days, and it depended on a steady supply of milk from farms along the WW&F.  Another whole special train event could celebrate that history.  It could be special summer evening run featuring ice cream, and lots of other ideas which you all will undoubtedly come up with.
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on September 29, 2017, 02:21:14 AM
Ok, so I've been watching these ideas develop with a lot of interest. I think a perfect tie in for dairy/milk is the Ice Cream Social. And... In case we missed our relevance in modern society, I was just talking to a Maine Cheesemaker from the Common Ground Fair about ways of increasing efficiency and lowering production costs. One of the ideas being tossed around is constructing a cooperative creamery to handle dairy processing... Not unlike Turner Center in Wiscasset over 100 years ago!

The potato idea is slick and totally new. I'd suggest we don't do the same exact thing again next year, but if it's well received do another apple related event. Pie baking/eating contest anyone?!

Steve
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: John Kokas on September 29, 2017, 09:35:06 AM
The thought of an Apple Fest sounds great.  Hand operated cider presses are still around, the thought of apple pie is great,  but how about apple sauce using a colonial style campfire tripod and copper pot?  Also can't forget Apple cider donuts - my favorite!
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on October 02, 2017, 02:27:34 AM
Well, this year's Fall Festival and the Apple Harvest Moonlight Train have now moved into the history books. Annie and I had a great time at the Fall Festival which was superb! Everyone we met or spent time with seemed to be having a great time and it was just about as relaxed as could be. It was a great success.

Meanwhile, the evening train, which was a sort of 'proof of concept' for similar trains in the future was wonderful. Certainly attendance exceeded our wildest imagination. I had anticipated 30-60, but we wound up with a full 3 car train of nearly 100 passengers. The crew who helped put this together and happen was awesome, including many who had already put in a full day during the Fall Festival. Most impressive was how, when faced with the larger than expected crowd, everyone came together and helped the event run smoothly without missing a beat.

Improvising on short notice to help fill some time before everyone got situated, Dana delivered his great story Gagnon, world champeen moose caller. John, our speaker did an awesome job conveying his story of apples in the Sheepscot Valley which actually went back to the earliest cultivation of apples in Kazakstan.

Again, people seemed to have a wonderful time. Alan Downey pointed out that we had a lot of first time visitors who were local, yet came because the event was something they were interested in and the train seemed like a cool way to get there.

As for me, I couldn't imagine a better adopted family who was willing to hear out my crazy ideas, help develop them and then bring them to fruition. I hope that those of you who attended enjoyed the evening. Thank you all volunteers and passengers alike for helping to make the event a success.

Can't wait to do it again!

Now, onward to Head Tide :)
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: Terry Harper on October 03, 2017, 07:31:19 PM
Stephen,

Sounds like it was a great event! Kudo's to you and all the people who helped make it a success!

Photo's please!

Its how us from away get our fix.
Title: Re: Moonlight Extra Train celebrating the Apple Harvest, September 30, 6pm
Post by: John McNamara on October 03, 2017, 07:36:25 PM
Terry,
There are lots of great photos on our Facebook page, especially:
 https://www.facebook.com/Wiscasset-Waterville-and-Farmington-Railway-Museum-147279126870/ (https://www.facebook.com/Wiscasset-Waterville-and-Farmington-Railway-Museum-147279126870/)
-John M