All aboard: Exhibit explores local railroads and depots

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:14

Middletown — "The Next Stop Is...," an exhibit of photos, prints, paintings, drawings, maps, artifacts, and educational panels, is on exhibit at Orange Hall Gallery through Dec. 1. The county's history, especially its agriculture, commerce, and population, has been directly connected to railroads. They've been in the county for more than 170 years, and played a major role in its development, economic growth, and prosperity. Trains provided fast, reliable, all-weather service for both freight and passengers. Many people worked for a railroad, or had family or friends who did. They may have worked for a business dependent on a railroad, used goods and services provided by railroads, or traveled by train. Although railroads are now much less important to the area, they do still provide useful passenger and freight transportation service. The exhibit includes original and prints of paintings and drawings, period photos and artifacts, maps, and educational panels with text explaining the histories of the many railroads that criss-crossed the county, plus anecdotal memories featured in a booklet. In addition to lanterns and large heavy tools, uniforms, buttons, and books, the exhibit includes a trombone and cornet from the Erie Railroad Band of Port Jervis, a cream bottle from the Howell Creamery of Goshen, artworks by the late Manville Wakefield, E. J. McLaughlin III, and John Gould, plus many paintings and drawings by living artists of the region. Items in the exhibit come from private collections as well as the Tri-State Railway Preservation Society and the O&W Society. The exhibit is the culmination of nine months of research by the Orange County Citizens Foundation Exhibit Committee and Cultural Affairs at SUNY Orange, which is co-sponsoring and producing the exhibit. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, and during events in Orange Hall, located at the corner of Wawayanda and Grandview Avenues, Middletown. Admission is free. For more information call 341-4891 or visit