Community Museum Reopens After Remodel
Students joined City staff and officials at the ribbon cutting ceremony.
With a rail line bisecting Olde Towne, separating trains from Gaithersburg's history is virtually impossible.
A scale model, to be precise.
But with today's reopening, a nod to that tradition was on hand to see the new museum roll out of the proverbial station.
"The City called me about two weeks ago, so I whipped this together," said Edward Hyland as he pointed to a miniature station that bore a striking—and not coincidental—resemblance to Gaithersburg's own station.
Standing in front of the 10-foot long N-scale train display he and his son Christopher assembled earlier this morning, Hyland explained that he combined two generic train stations to give his a unique and familiar look.
The old stationary exhibit was a much-loved part of the museum before the remodel.
But it was on loan, and when the museum, which is located in part of the Gaithersburg train station just feet from the rail lines, began the renovations, it went back to its owner in Silver Spring.
Hyland, who lives in Kensington, said he hopes to have the chance to come back periodically and set up model train displays—or even create a permanent display in Gaithersburg.
Mayor Sidney Katz addressed a crowd of Gaithersburg students from the wooden platform outside the museum.
"Over the winter out staff and volunteers have been busy with major renovations," he said. "History now comes to life inside as new exhibits and displays invite you to take a step back in time and imagine yourself in a general store, a bank, and a school room."
He went on, noting the railroads significant role in the City's past.
"Gaithersburg was forever changed when the railroad came to town in the 1870s," he said. "The rolling stock here in History Park is a reminder of how important the railroad once was, and how important it continues to be in Gaithersburg. In the near future we'll be extending the museum outside of the building and into the railroad cars, with unique displays that recount Gaithersburg's relationship with trains."
Gaithersburg's recent history with trains has been a mixed one.
Two pedestrians have been killed and one car destroyed by trains this year, with two of those incidents happening at an at-grade road-crossing just feet from the Community Museum.
Then in April, a person was struck and killed by a freight train near the Montgomery County Fairgrounds.