Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

August 29, 2006 > A window into the past

A window into the past

by By

Trains of all kinds are ready for passengers this weekend at the 6th Annual Washington Township Railroad Fair at Ardenwood Historic Farm. Whether you ride on a steam train, horse train or want to pump your own handcar, it's sure to leave you with an experience you won't forget.

As you enter the farm you will see many authentic costumes, bringing this historical era to life. Listen to stories from brakemen and drivers, carpenters and laborers as they demonstrate their craft.

One of the main attractions is the 1889 Porter Tank Engine brought in for this occasion. Passengers will see steam billowing out atop the wood-burning train and feel the jostling of the tracks. The 1885 flat car is another exciting ride. One of the farm's Belgian draft horses will pull you through a half mile route through cultivated fields with the mint scent of eucalyptus trees wafting on the breeze.

Besides riding the rails, visitors will have a chance to view miniature trains, also known as Garden Railroads; take a tour of the famous Patterson House; and visit farmyard animals. For the kids, there will be old fashioned games to play, just like the Patterson family may have done. Ardenwood is a working farm, so there is lots of interesting stuff for kids and adults alike.

Bring a lunch for a picnic or visit the Country Kitchen for tasty delights and listen to live music. Learn out about organic farming and see the old fashioned farm equipment still operating today.

Don't forget to stop by the Ardenwood Forge shop to meet the farm's resident blacksmith Scott Thomas, who has been working at the farm since 1998. Thomas has added foraging stations, workbenches, and a large variety of hammers, tongs and chisels, many made by Thomas himself. He is a master craftsman which becomes evident when you see his wares. Visitors can purchase his hand-forged goods and take home a piece of history.

The fair is sponsored by the Society for the Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources (SPCRR) whose mission is to find, restore, preserve and operate narrow-gauge Carter railroad cars. They operate the horse drawn railroad train in memory of the 30 years the Centerville line ran in Newark. For more information, visit

Admission is $8/adults; $6/seniors (62+); $5/children (ages 4-17) and free for children age 3 and under. There is no charge for parking.

6th Annual Washington Township Railroad Fair
Saturday, Sunday, Monday
September 2 - 4
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Ardenwood Historic Farm
34600 Ardenwood Blvd, Fremont

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