Friends of the East Broad Top
A nonprofit society dedicated to the preservation and restoration
of the East Broad Top Railroad National Historic Landmark
Things we do

FEBT Fall Reunion
22ndannual event offers something for everyone

by Hank Inman
Richmond, VA
photos as noted

Originally published in the Timber Transfer, Vol. 21, No. 2, Fall 2004

Rockhill Shops
EBT mikado #14 blasts past the EBT's Rockhill Furnace shops in a scene that's been repeated almost every year for the past 91. As much as the twin stacks are a Rockhill Furnace landmark so too are the little locomotives of the EBT.
John Radder photo

The communities surrounding the East Broad Top RR played host to over 100 FEBT members over the weekend of October 8-10, 2004, for our 22nd Fall Reunion. This year, the FEBT offered reunion participants more scheduled activities to supplement train operations at the EBT, which again featured only one steam locomotive in operation. Three modeling clinics, four tours, three open houses, and a clinic conducted by Strasburg Rail Road chief mechanical officer Linn Moedinger inside the Rockhill Furnace roundhouse gave those attending the 2004 Fall Reunion plenty to do!

FEBT members arriving early were invited to attend two modeling clinics at the Orbisonia Lions Hall on Friday afternoon. There EBT modelers Peter Clarke and Ronald Pearson discussed the challenges of modeling the EBT, using their own HOn3 EBT layouts to illustrate their comments.

Early Saturday morning Fall Reunion activities resumed at the Orbisonia Lions Hall, where reunion registrar Patricia Coleman and her assistants set up and handled the Fall Reunion registration table. Elsewhere in the hall contest chairman Robert Beebe and Dennis McCoy registered entries and organized the model and photo contests. While all this was going on, Fall Reunion registrants and members of the public wandered by the FEBT Company Store sales tables, organized this year by FEBT director Craig Williams and Wade Woodcock. FEBT members David Crement and Jim Garts also set up their own sales tables in the Lions Hall.

Throughout the day FEBT volunteers provided information about the EBT and FEBT to visitors at the FEBT information tent, erected in its usual spot near the EBT roundhouse. At the information booth FEBT restoration fund treasurer Nancy Jacqmin displayed a sample of the art reproduction of John H. Coker's original painting, Leaving Robertsdale, Pennsylvania, which we are providing to donors who contribute $50 or more during the fourth year of our fund-raising campaign. The FEBT information tent also served as the meeting place for Lee Rainey's guided walking tour through the EBT Rockhill Furnace shops and for Linn Moedinger's clinic on the repairs underway on EBT locomotive no. 15. Over sixty listeners gathered around Linn for not only the specifies of the repairs to no. 15's boiler (with which the Strasburg Rail Road is assisting the EBT, but also an open-ended discussion of the work required to keep steam locomotives in operation in the 21st century. (You can read more about Mr. Moedinger's talk in the Fall 2004 issue of the Timber Transfer available as a back issue from the Company Store)

Aughwick in the Paint Shop
The EBT's unfinished passenger car “Aughwick” occupies the paint shop. The building will soon be used for the FEBT's coach restoration projects.
Jim Vliet photo

On Saturday morning, FEBT Fall Reunion registrants could visit inside the EBT paint shop, where the FEBT is establishing our car restoration shop. On Saturday and Sunday afternoon, FEBT members and visitors attending the EBT's 2004 Fall Celebration were able to enter the EBT car shop to view displays about our restoration program at Rockhill Furnace. FEBT members William Adams and Christopher Coleman organized these open houses and the displays and exhibits illustrating the accomplishments of our Rockhill Furnace restoration volunteers. During the FEBT car shop open house, visitors could also see FEBT's two East Broad Top Railroad passenger cars.

FEBT assistant vice president Vagel Keller opened the FEBT Museum in Robertsdale on Saturday, so that Fall Reunion registrants who were unable to attend the Sunday open house could still visit our museum. In the middle of the afternoon, Chris Coleman conducted a walking tour of the EBT Mount Union yard. At the Lions Hall, voting for the contests proceeded, and visitors had another opportunity to examine the items displayed on the sales tables of the FEBT Company Store and the other vendors.

Night Train at Rockhill
The night train prepares to leave the Orbisonia deport.
William Adams photo

For most Fall Reunion participants it was then time to head to the buffet supper at the Orbisonia-Rockhill Fire Hall, prepared by the volunteer fire department's ladies auxiliary. In addition to plenty of good food, the Fall Reunion dinner provided the occasion to salute and thank the FEBT members who worked as volunteers in 2004. Vagel Keller recognized the volunteers who helped operate the FEBT Museum. Lee Rainey thanked the volunteers who worked as members of our Rockhill Furnace restoration work group, and FEBT president Hank Inman recognized the many other FEBT members who contributed time and effort to the Robertsdale work group, the FEBT education program, and to our other business operations. Hank noted the loss of FEBT director and Company Store manager Rlchard Keller, who died unexpectedly in April. He also announced the two special awards for volunteer service presented by the FEBT board of directors to FEBT member David Graft and artist Frank Vietor for their contributions to the third year of our current fund-raising campaign. FEBT secretary John Snyder provided a brief summary for our "new rider" EBT ticket program, receiving almost $500 in donations from those attending the dinner (and the FEBT business meeting the evening before) to support this initiative.

Back to the Roundhouse
When the weekend is over, it's time to put "the toys" away. Locomotive #17, on static display for the weekend, waits to be pushed onto the turntable and then into her stall in the roundhouse.
William Adams photo

Most Fall Reunion participants followed dinner with a ride on the EBT’s special night trains. Then it was back to the Lions Hall, where Bob Beebe announced the winners of the model and photograph contests. Auctioneer Craig Williams then took over, and with the help of John Snyder, Shawn Stauffer, and Michael Swinnerton, handled the 2004 auction. This year FEBT realized over $1,000 from the items donated for sale, which included one of our reproductions of John H. Coker's Leaving Robertsdale, Pennsylvania, autographed by the artist and framed: an autographed copy of Robert W, Richardson's Rio Grande: Chasing the Narrow Gauge donated by the author; several BTS model kits donated by Bill Wade; cast O and HO-scale coal loads provided by Terry Wellman of Saint Charles Model Works; and many additional modeling items, books, and pieces of EBT and railroad memorabilia donated by William Adams, David Bucher, David Crement, Sherwood Doughman, Jim Garts, Robert McMahon, Gene Milgram, James Rothermel, John Snyder, Michael Swinnerton, and James Vliet.

On Sunday morning 2004 Fall Reunion activities shifted to the FEBT Museum in Robertsdale, where Nancy Jacqmin again organized and supervised our annual open house. Between 9 am and 2 pm visitors enjoyed coffee, tea, juice, soft drinks, and donuts while viewing the exhibits and displays in our two museum buildings. Ron Pearson conducted a second clinic in the old Robertsdale post office, this time focusing his remarks on researching and modeling the mines served by the EBT. He and Vagel Keller then conducted their annual tour around the accessible surface remains of the former Rockhill Iron and Coal Company mines in "greater Robertsdale."

Mt. Union Yard Tour
Chris Coleman leads a group of FEBT members through the Mt. Union yards.
William Adams photo

Meanwhile, In Rockhill Furnace our volunteers distributed information about FEBT and the EBT at our information booth and hosted the final installment of the FEBT car shop open house.

In addition to the event coordinators and volunteers mentioned above, we would like to thank the following individuals who spent parts of their Fall Reunion weekend helping us. Assisting us at the registration table were Caitlin Case, Ricky Case, Jane Clarke, Peter Clarke, Fran Godwin, Max Godwin, Frederick Heide, Henry Oberding, and John Snyder. Helping with the FEBT Company Store sales table were Ric Case, Robert Farquharson, Robert Reffner, and Shawn Stauffer. Thomas Diehl, Jr., assisted us at the EBT car shop open house. Helping at the FEBT information booth were Bob Goldby, Walter Goldby, Robert Harris, Jr., Deane Mellander, Gene Milgram, Deborah Mitchell, Henry Oberding, and Shawn Stauffer. Pete and Jane Clarke helped us supervise the clinic at Robertsdale, and Tom Diehl and Frederick Heide helped us during the FEBT Museum open house.

 

2004 Reunion Contest Winners

Best in Show
Contest Winners
  HOn3 New Rockhill #9 Mine – Ron Pearson

Freight
  1st    On3 EBT Boxcar – Dave Crement
           (FEBT Kit Award Recipient)
2nd   HOn3 EBT Boxcar #157 – Craig Williams
           (FEBT Kit Award Recipient)
3rd    HOn3 2-Bay Hopper – Dave Bucher

Maintenance-of-Way
  1st    On3 Caboose #27 – Blair Drazic
2nd   On3 Caboose #28 – David Bucher
3rd    On3 Work Caboose #26 – Dave Crement

Structures
  1st    #6 Mine Tipple – Dave Crement
2nd   Saltillo Depot – Craig Williams
3rd    Kimmel Section House – John Janusku

Module/Diorama
  1st    HOn3 New Rockhill #9 Mine – Ronald Pearson
2nd   HOn3 Golby Glass Works – Jane Clarke

Photos – Color
  1st    “#14 Gets Service” – Richard Shell
2nd   “Maidens Waking” – Wendy Chesbro
3rd    “Rainy Day at Rockhill” – Robert Harris

Photos – Black & White
  1st    “1928... or 1998?” – Robert Harris
2nd   “Coal Trestle at Mt. Union” – Jesse Meeker
3rd    “Hey, It's My Turn Now” – Jim Vliet

Contest Winners
Model photos all by Bob Beebe



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