Bloomfield gets town hall holiday train exhibit

BLOOMFIELD — Since October, members of the Bloomfield Historical Society and community volunteers have donated their time to set up a special holiday display at the historic 1893 township hall, 8830 Park Drive.

The fifth annual ”Trains in the Town Hall” will kick off Saturday and be open free to the public 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and 2 to 5 p.m. Saturdays throughout December.

Roger Peterson, a township trustee, brought many of the remote trains and miniature scale-model buildings of historic Bloomfield he made or received as donations, to set up a Christmas-themed display that now exceeds 500 square feet. There is a winter scene and summer scene with a mural and scenery painted by Bonnie Miller.

”We have done this for five years and have added new sections. This started out as an idea we had. We did not want families having to drive very far to have a nice holiday display to see,” Peterson said.

The group started in October and put in ”hundreds of hours” in preparation for this week’s display with final preparations made the week of Thanksgiving.

New this year is a miniature Lockwood display, which was a train station located east of the township where several commercial businesses were located including a post office that closed in 1967.

Peterson said there was also a milk condensery with milk brought from Ashtabula.

Peterson said there is also a new display featuring items from the 1980s film ”Ghostbusters.”

Children and adults will be able to use remote controls and push buttons for the trains. There also will be a fireplace Christmas display for family photos. There will be wooden trains for children to play with and a Christmas tree is in the main entrance lobby.

”There will be a scavenger hunt. There will be items for people to find including the leg lamp from the movie ‘A Christmas Story,'” he said.

Peterson said many Amish children and school groups attend each year.

”I always enjoy seeing the smiles on the childrens’ faces and their reactions when they come here,” he said.

Peterson said children like the factory display that has smoke coming from the stacks.

Mike Schmidt of Bloomfied said he likes knowing he is part of something to be enjoyed by the local community.

”It is really for the benefit of the community,” said Schmidt, who helps with the display setup wherever needed.

Schmidt likes the display of the miniature Bloomfield downtown.

”Everyone helping has a love for the community,” Peterson said.

Holly Ward of Bloomfield said she enjoys decorating the town hall balcony.

”We help where needed. We decorate the stage, the doors and even the bathroom. We decorate everything,” she said.

Visitors will receive free refreshments.

If you go …

The fifth annual Trains in the Town Hall will be held 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and 2 to 5 p.m. Saturdays in December at the town hall, 8830 Park Drive, Bloomfield. There will be train displays, refreshments and a scavenger hunt. Free admission.