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Plan Your Visit


Experience the world of the steam engine.

Historic Miniature Railway, One mile trip.

Real Steam, Real Small
Scale Hobby Railroad, One mile trip


The museum's magnificent steam powered narrow gauge railroad runs over a 2 mile line through woods, past farms and up steep grades.

Three Different Railroads
The museum's railroad exhibits demonstrate the tremendous power of the steam locomotive and how the innovation of steam power had been applied to many different industries and hobbies.

Small Steam

Miniature Railroads

More Living History Exhibits & Environments

Experience machines of the industrial past

Hesston Steam Sawmillwith 60 inch blade

Experience how steam power produced lumber for homes, barns, railroad cars and so much more. Huge logs are loaded up and a 60 inch saw blade will amaze you with the speed in which it cuts. Children will have a better understanding of where lumber comes from so they will appreciate wood as a resource, not just a material. This steam powered sawmill is very typical of local mills that were found in our area and surrounding towns and villages across the county. Operates on select weekends.


Electric Power Plant
and Stationary Engine


The  Steamworks
Indoor Museum Gallery


On special weekends, volunteers generate electricity with the city of LaPorte’s first electric generator. The steam engine will spin the dynamo to create 60 KW of DC current, showing how labor intensive it was to create power 100 years ago. This “light plant” was located in the LaPorte courthouse powerhouse.  

Our volunteers are working to bring our guests a traditional museum space to compliment our living history campus. The Steamworks will feature interactive exhibits and will develop as funds and volunteers are available. Visit to see our progress or join our Facebook page to see new developments.

Browning Locomotive Steam Crane

Iconic in size and appearance, the Browning Locomotive steam crane is used to lift logs on to the sawmill skid-way when operation demands. Originally built for the US Navy in 1941 by the Browning Crane & Shovel Company. Currently out of service for inspection and rebuilding.


Steam Traction Engine
Pulling Threshing Machine

America’s unsung hero: The steam traction engine, sometimes referred to as a steam tractor, was a versatile tool for the farmer. It was responsible for increased food production in the 1890s - 1925. Farmers could finally purchase a machine to pull plows and power devices like threshing machines - tasks horses did before these unique machines were available. The museum’s examples of the steam traction engine come from numerous manufacturers and were built between 1899 - 1922. Operation is on select weekends and in full swing at the Labor Day Weekend Steam & Power Show when the threshing machine is used to process grains for the fall harvest.


The Blacksmith Shop
Artwork with Purpose

Every town, village, or settlement had a blacksmith these people were artisans in every sense of the word. The craft was indispensable back in the early 1900s. Everything from wagon wheels to plows were repaired, as well as nails and other hardware produced, at your local smith. Our blacksmith shop is open various days throughout the operating season. Visit the blacksmith and see how fire, anvil, and hammer come together with artistic knowledge to create useful and beautiful creations. You can even purchase some of these one-of-a-kind items from the Depot Store - the museum's gift shop.


Western Union Telegraph Office
in Hesston Station

100 0328

The 1/4 sized railway was originally developed to be used for transportation in World's Fairs, Expositions that encompassed hundreds of acres and transported people around these large areas but also in the small amusement parks and roadside attractions. These type of trains date back to the 1890s the oldest the museum has is over 100 years old built in 1922.

The museum's smallest railroad is a study in S.T.E.A.M. (Science Technology, Art & Math) as these machines are usually built in home machine shops and designed on paper.

The hobby and art of building miniature steam machines and trains dates back to the 1800s when people would tinker to learn about the new innovation of steam equipment.