Sorry this is coming out so late. But we will be having a volunteer session for the #9, tomorrow, Saturday, April 23, 2022. The start time will be 10 AM until complete. We will continue to knock out small tasks in preparation for the next phases of cosmetic restoration. I hope you can make it.
Fletch and his crew survived winter, and did not waste any time as a small group of us met this last Monday, March 21. Sadly, Fletch was not able to join us on this day, as he was in school. As you know, meeting during a weekday is not when we normally work on the #9, but we took this time off to be able to conduct what we dubbed a “leader meeting” or “leaders’ recon”. Those of you with a military background are probably familiar with this concept. After the winter season, we wanted to check the current condition of the #9, and for the most part she looked good. A couple of the lighter tarps had partially blown off, but all in all she was intact and still hibernating well. After we felt the #9 was looking good, we started brainstorming our first phases of 2022. We re-affirmed our first priority of this year will be to get the loco staged for what could be her first coat of paint. With that comes move requests, coordination with painters, volunteer sessions, and watching the weather. We left that day with a good “To-Do” list, and once we solidify some volunteer sessions, we will let you know.
If you have kids, you know what it’s like to tuck them in and night, and then right before you go to bed, you pop your head through the door to make sure the little ones are still sound asleep.
That’s what our team member Frank Fisher did this month when he swung into the museum grounds to check on the #9. As most of you probably experienced in November or December, we had a few days of high winds and snow, and Frank volunteered his time to go and make sure all the protective tarps and coverings we put on the #9 this last fall were still secured down. Frank was happy to report that it looked like the day we put her away, with the exception of the snow.
It was good to get this report from Frank, and I am looking forward to our next post when we will hopefully be putting out dates for our first volunteer sessions. The day we can unwrap her and get back to work is fast approaching. Please stay tuned in to the museum’s Facebook page and website for further updates.
October 16-17, 2021; Fletch and his crew had a great weekend during the last volunteer session this year on the D&R #9. Fall is here, so we did what most folks in Wisconsin do; buttoned up and prepared. In hopes of not losing the great progress we made on the #9 in the last 6 months, we wrapped the locomotive and tender in layers of tarps and did our best to seal the elements out of the cab and coal space, and especially to keep snow and water from sitting anywhere on the locomotive or tender. It was not hard work, but a lot of guessing and anticipating where water or snow could cause a problem. We reinforced those locations with wood and bracing. Hopefully we find her high and dry in the spring.
We also had the pleasure of meeting a fan of the D&R #9 this weekend. He stopped by and walked all the way back to our little corner of the museum to say hi. I apologize we didn’t get your name, but you came all the way from Minneapolis, and I wanted to thank you for coming down, and taking the time to check out the #9. If you read this, please say hello to everyone here. If there are any other fans of the #9’s restoration, and you want to see in person how it’s coming along, please, by all means, come over and check us out. We are down at the far end of the car shop, and would love to say hi.
Finally, we want to wish a Very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the little leader of our crew, Fletcher Reiman, who turned 10 years old on 10/23. Fletcher is a great reminder of what our purpose truly is when working on the #9. When we are outside tinkering with parts on the boiler, or planning our next move, we might find Fletcher inside the cab pulling levers and making steam noises. In his eyes, the #9 is literally coming back to life. But don’t be fooled, when Fletcher is not daydreaming about the good ole days of Steam, he is out turning wrenches with the rest of us. Fletchers’ family stopped by Saturday, and we all went out for a birthday supper, opened some presents, and a large crowd of Museum volunteers were on hand to sing him Happy Birthday. Thanks for keeping us young Fletch, and Happy Birthday.
And a HUGE thank you to ALL volunteers and vendors that have helped us get the #9 to the point she is at now. Please continue to watch over winter, as we will be tackling small projects here and there, and will keep you updated with those and more.
D&R #9 volunteer session is scheduled for this weekend, starting at 10:00 am on Saturday 10/16. This may be one of the last for this year, so if you wanna lend a hand before the snow flies, please come down and check it out.