Rosenberg Railroad Museum

Rosenberg Railroad Museum
1921 Avenue F
281-633-2846

First, there was the dream. A group first met in 1990 with the idea for a railroad museum. In late 1992, an exploratory committee met to determine the feasibility of establishing museum to emphasize the railroad history of FortBendCounty. Rosenberg was the largest city in the county that was named for a railroad official, was actually platted by a railroad company - the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe, and is centrally located, so it became the primary focus as a location for the museum.

In 1993, committee chairman and County Court-at-Law Judge Larry Wagenbach convinced the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railway Company to donate 1.47 acres of land on the west side of 3rd Street and north of Avenue F in downtown Rosenberg to the Rosenberg Revitalization Association [which was the parent organization for the museum committee, and had the 501(c)3 tax status required to accept the land as a gift]. In July of that year, the railroad museum acquired its first artifacts from an auction at the George Ranch - the largest being the 1879 business car "Quebec".

Dreams can only take a project so far, and the next step was to have a fundraising event, scheduled for November, 1993. At that time, RRM had use of the former RosenbergStateBankBuilding on the corner of Avenue G and 2nd Street in downtown Rosenberg and it was decided to set up the tables "Fred Harvey" style and have the hostesses dress as Harvey Girls. The top left image shows the building set up and awaiting guests. Actor James Drury, best known as "The Virginian", was the celebrity guest star of the event.

By the summer of 1994, enough money had been raised to prepare a foundation for the rail car to reside on, and a groundbreaking event was held on the property at 1921 Avenue F. The photo at top right depicts this event. From left are Larry Wagenbach, Vera Marietta, Bud O'Shields, Olive Lois Holstine, Linda Wilkinson, Joan Reese, Lupe Uresti, Mary Meyer (partially obscured), Franklin Schodek, Jo Edwards, Charles Marietta (partially obscured), Tim Cumings, Ken Stavinoha, Martha Ray, Gary Gillen (partially obscured), James Moore, Dick Crabtree, and Bob Ray. After much more fundraising, the Quebec would finally arrive on the RRM site in the summer of 1995. [See the 1879 Rail Car page]

Much of the time between 1993 and 1996 was spent on fundraising, and trying to get ISTEA money from the state of Texas to build a replica of one of the depots in Rosenberg. None of the original railroad structures in town had survived, and Tower 17 was still in service, so there was a need to construct a building that would house the exhibits. By the end of 1998, enough money had been secured to begin construction of the museum gallery so another groundbreaking event was held in December of that year


Photos