Thomas T. Taber Museum, Pennsylvania
Anyone who fondly remembers a Lionel train running under the family Christmas tree will love the Shempp train exhibit at the Thomas T. Taber Museum in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Many model railroaders think this collection, founded by the late LaRue Shempp, is the finest in America--and I agree. It features more than 300 trains, 100 locomotives and two working layouts.
I admired toy trains dating to 1877...a German train given to former President Ronald Reagan...an unusual pink Lionel "girls' train"... the "Mickey Mouse" train (below), credited with saving Lionel from bankruptcy in 1932, and more.
Williamsport, also known as the birthplace of Little League baseball, is located in north-central Pennsylvania, where U.S. Highway 15 meets I-180/U.S. Highway 220, about 70 miles west of Wilkes-Barre.
The museum (858 W. Fourth St.) is open 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; it opens at 11 a.m. on Saturday. From May through October, it's open on Sundays from 1-4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $2.50 for children up to age 12.
To learn more, call 1-570/326-3326.