The Chatham Railroad Museum was founded in 1960, following the donation of the vacant depot building and land to the Town of Chatham by Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Cox of Cleveland, Ohio and Chatham, MA. At the suggestion of the Chatham Chamber of Commerce, a railroad museum was created in the building under the leadership of Mr. Frank Love, a retired New York Central Railroad executive. Mr Love, who became the museum’s first director, canvassed sixty-two American railroad presidents requesting items of interest for the museum.
Over its fifty year existence the museum has continued to collect thousands of railroad artifacts including original and operating Western Union telegraph equipment, lanterns, badges, signs, tools, timetables, menus and passes, promotional literature, original paintings and prints, calendars, a six hundred volume library and a restored 1910 wood sided caboose.
Did you know?
The New York Central locomotive outside the museum was actually used at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.
The Chatham Railroad Museum is located in the beautifully restored 1887 railroad depot that served Chatham residents and visitors for nearly fifty years. Featuring an architectural style called Railroad Gothic, the building contains hundreds of exhibits and the New York Central model locomotives used at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. The museum is child friendly and includes a 1910 restored wood caboose available for children and adults to explore.
Popular with children and railroad enthusiasts, the wood sided red caboose is located on the track side of the Chatham Railroad Museum. Constructed during 1910, in the New York Central shops, the caboose traveled over 1 million miles at the end of freight trains running between New York City and Chicago, ILL. The caboose has been fully restored with the lockers, conductor’s desk and cupola intact. An audio system provides the realistic sounds of a train rolling along the track with a whistle blowing and brakes squealing at stops.
The museum is open from mid-June to mid-September Tuesdays-Saturdays
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM.
Donations only; no fixed fee