Fantastic train display returns to Sheldon Museum

MIDDLEBURY — In what has become an annual holiday tradition at the Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History in Middlebury, the Midd-Vermont Train Club is presenting an elaborate electric train layout sure to delight all ages.
Over the years, the assemblage has grown and stands three levels high, with tracks running Lionel O gauge trains, Lionel 027 gauge trains and an upper track running HO trains. The backdrop of the green mountains painted by local artist Gayl Braisted adds atmosphere.
New this year is a Lionel milk car that delivers milk cans! The exhibit is made possible by a team of volunteer engineers who operate the trains and by a generous grant from Macy’s. The trains will run through Jan. 9, 2016.
On Saturday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 6, noon-4 p.m., the community is invited to the Sheldon Museum’s annual Holiday Open House. The Judd-Harris House is decked with beautiful floral arrangements enhanced with natural botanical designs by members of the Middlebury Garden Club. Carols played on the Sheldon’s 1831 piano, a 12 Days of Christmas Tree Raffle, and, of course, the trains will all add to the festive event.
The tree raffle features creative miniature trees decorated by the following local artists: Bobbie Brooker, Adèle Connors, Advertisers Workshop of Lake Placid, N.Y., Cacklin’ Hens, Nancie Dunn of Sweet Cecily, Warren Kimble, Michael Manley, Otter Creek Kitchenware & Electronics, Sarah Pope, Sarah Stahl, The Vermont Book Shop and Ashley Wolff.
Admission to the Holiday Open House is by donation. Also on view during the Open House and through the holidays, is the exhibit “Warren Kimble American Artist: An Eclectic Retrospective.” The exhibit was extended, but it closes on Dec. 31.
In conjunction with the train exhibit, the Sheldon presents a talk by Paul Bortz entitled “115 Years of Exciting Toy Train History” on Wednesday, Dec. 16, at noon. Bortz, a Ripton resident, is an enthusiastic collector of over 500 model trains. He will trace the history of the toy train and bring a selection from his collection for everyone to see. The talk is free with regular museum admission.
The Henry Sheldon Museum is located at 1 Park St. in downtown Middlebury across from the Ilsley Library. Holiday Museum hours: Tues.-Sat. 10 am-5 pm and Sundays, Dec. 6, 13, & 20, 12-4 pm. The trains will run November 28, 2015 through January 9, 2016. Engineers will run the trains Tues.-Fri. 1–4 pm; Saturdays 11 am – 2 pm; Sundays 1-3 pm. Research Center hours: Thurs. and Fri. 1-5 pm and by appointment. Regular admission to the Museum is $5 Adults; $3 Youth (6-18); $4.50 Seniors; $12 Family. For more information, call the Henry Sheldon Museum, 388-2117 or visit www.henrysheldonmuseum.org.

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