Thursday, June 17, 2010
Today we went on a grand adventure to the Conway Scenic Railroad. Some of the creative moms in our homeschool group organized a jam packed day surrounding a historical tidbit. The weather wasn't as cooperative as we would have liked - off and on rain, but that didn't stop about 90 of us, 53 homeschoolers and 21 parents plus younger siblings, from showing up!
The station is in the center of downtown North Conway. Built in 1874, it served as the main terminal for the Conway Branch of the Boston & Maine Railroad. The station closed in 1961 when passenger service to Boston ended. The Conway Scenic Railroad, a heritage railway, opened in 1974.
The day started with a scavenger hunt. Groups of about five kids headed off to local stores to collect clues. Each clue lead them to their next. The final clue was a hint to the historical tidbit.
Everyone had a great time looking for clues. The businesses in town were great too. How would you like 50 plus kids running through searching for clues? Actually, everyone was behaved really well, and not all the kids went to the same stores.
The little ones stayed in the park in front of the station. They found clues in the flower pots, at the base of the flag pole, and the Iron Entrance Gate. Each clue had them looking for something or doing something. They loved it!
Here are a bunch of them holding the clues! It's hard to see, but there were even photos to help the little ones. Smart! Then it was lunch time. No pictures! We were too busy eating.
Then we were off on a tour of the station and its outbuildings. This picture isn't very clear, but it is of the turntable in front of the roundhouse. There are also a couple of engines and on the far left is the snowplow engine. It was huge! Yes, we get a lot of snow up here in the White Mountains.
Finally, what everyone was waiting for. The train ride. Here Bekah and her new friend, Solenne, show off their tickets.
And of course, when the conductor came to punch them, they thought it was great, as long as they got their ticket back. The conductor was great! We engaged the kids, asked them questions, told them jokes. And on the way back to the station told the kids all about the history of the line and early settlers, as well as information about the different signs, crossing, bridges and whistles. Thanks Derrick!
After we got back to the station we headed over to the White Mountain Model Railroad exhibit. The group has a wonderful collection of model rail roads set up in the old freight building at the station.
It was a wonderfully full day of friends, trains, scavenger hunts and more.
Thanks to all the moms and kids who helped put this together. And if you are wondering about the historical tidbit ~ it has to do with Alexander Graham Bell and a phone call to Boston.
You can see more picture from our day here.
Labels: Little Explorers