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New agricultural railroad exhibit unveiling set in Dover April 26

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

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The Delaware Ag Museum will unveil a new agricultural railroad exhibit at 10 a.m., Tuesday, April 26. The exhibit was inspired by a bequest from past Ag Museum President Norm Collins. He left his entire collection of trains, which were mostly agriculture-related, to the museum.

Delaware Agriculture and the Railroad — Feeding the Country by Rail is a result of the collaboration that included Norm and Suzanne Collins, Ed Kee, the First State Model Railroad Club, the Delaware Department of Agriculture Forestry Division, Kund and Associates, and the Ag Museum Board of Directors and staff.

First State Model Railroad Club President Jim Thompson was asked if their club would take on the project and they kindly accepted. The train display platform was made out of wood harvested in Delaware and made by Franny Cole and Robert Ragin, employees of the Delaware Department of Forestry.

Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee identified the farms and train stations in all three counties that would be highlighted along the state of Delaware. In all, there are 12 farms (four in each county) and nine train stations (three in each county) included in the display.

Visitors will learn how important the railroad was to Delaware farmers trying to make a living. The railroad was the only means they had to transport their products across the state into Wilmington, Philadelphia and New York.

"This was a multi-year project that involved many different people and you will not be disappointed," says Di Rafter, museum director. Admission to the opening reception is free. Regular admission fees resume after the opening reception.

The Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village is a private museum at 866 N. DuPont Hwy. in Dover. Its mission remains to collect, restore, preserve, utilize, publish, exhibit and interpret the history and technology of farm life and culture in Delaware and on the Delmarva Peninsula, and to offer public education programs and services related to aspects of the same. Through the resources and programs, the museum's vision is to foster a society that understands the impact of agriculture on the shaping of the nation's history and its impact on citizens' daily lives.

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Original Publication Date: April 19, 2016

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