Exhibit opens to the public with a free train-themed event for families on Sept. 17, 2023
For more than 80 years, Nickel Plate Station set the scene for many Edwardsville residents’ stories, whether individuals were traveling out of town or returning home from an adventure. Edwardsville Children’s Museum (ECM) is excited to share a collection of these memorable tales with its new exhibit, “Stories of the Nickel Plate,” located at the Windland Education Center at Nickel Plate Station and opening with a free family event on Sept. 17, 2023.
Through visuals and audio, this interactive exhibit introduces children and their families to four storytellers from bygone eras who passed through the depot’s doors. From Phil Schafer, who boarded a train for boot camp during World War I, to young Florence Glass, whose trip took her to the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, “Stories of the Nickel Plate” fuses the stories of the station with defining moments in our region’s history.
In addition to hearing our honorees’ memories, kids can create ones of their own by climbing aboard ECM’s new eight-foot wooden replica train to enjoy a pretend meal in the dining car or snag a mail bag like the railway post office clerks of the past. Nickel Plate’s ever-popular wooden railway table also gives little ones the chance to become conductors by engineering their own journeys.
ECM invites the community to get their first look – and first listen – of “Stories of the Nickel Plate” during a special opening event from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023. The day includes free admission to ECM and Nickel Plate Station and children’s train rides around the ECM campus.
“As a train depot, Nickel Plate Station helped develop Edwardsville into the incredible city it is, and as an education center, it continues to positively impact the community,” said Kristen Fries, executive director of ECM. “’Stories of Nickel Plate’ is one more way we are harnessing kids’ love of trains and travel to connect them to our region’s rich history.”
“Stories of Nickel Plate” and its opening day festivities are funded in part by the Edwardsville Community Foundation and the City of Edwardsville. For more information on the exhibit, contact Kristen Fries at KFries@edwcm.org or (618) 692-2094.
About Edwardsville Children’s Museum
Edwardsville Children’s Museum is committed to stimulating curiosity and cultivating learning at the age of wonder. ECM believes that kids of all ages learn through discovery and hands-on play. All exhibits and programs are designed to build happy and curious learners from ages six months to 60 years. Families are invited to explore ECM’s exhibits, discover its seasonal programs, or become members for year-round learning fun. For more information, visit www.edwardsvillechildrensmuseum.org.