CLEAR FORK VALLEY — Some railroad cars that have given lots of joy to youngsters and people who know the Bowman family are going to be looking for a new home in July.
A miniature train, with engine, caboose and four passenger cars, will be auctioned off July 29 at the farm of the late Bernard Dwight Bowman outside Butler.
The train made its way onto the farm after Bowman bid on a job at North Lake Park in Mansfield. A train, which had come from the Tuscora Park in New Philadelphia, was sitting on the lot and Bowman asked what would be done with it. He was told they might get rid of it.
“One thing led to another,” said Angela Bowman Jones, a Bowman daughter. Bowman decided to buy the train and transfer it to his farm.
The train was cut into three sections and hauled to the farm. The train track was reconstructed around a lake on the Bowman property.
Jones said she and her siblings decided it wasn’t practical for any of them to keep the train. The vehicle requires upkeep. Jones said she and her sister repainted it once. Over the years others have painted it and done work on the engine and cars.
The original color of the train was yellow and red. When she and her sister repainted it they did it in colors of green, yellow, blue and red. The caboose is red.
Now the train is in more subdued gray and brown colors.
A number of local events were held at the Bowman farm, where kids in school could come and ride the train. Bowman acted as engineer while he was alive.
Firemen and police have been entertained at the farm, said Jones.
Photos show the train at various times during its tenure as transportation and fun provider. In one photo the black engine car shines a bright black. Children of various sizes hang over the sides of train cars.
One photograph shows a sign identifying the maker of the train. It was done by Hurlbut Amusement Equipment Co., of Whittier, Ca.
That company had contacts with people at Disneyland enterprises, Bowman said.
Bernard Bowman was with the D.H. Bowman and Sons, a company which dealt in asphalt and gravel. For a time he was fire chief with the Worthington Township fire department.
Bowman grew up on Newville Road. His wife, Bobby Jean Bowman, was born in Knox County. Both died on the farm.
Bowman passed away Sept. 14, 2007. His wife passed away April 10, 2016.
Angela Bowman is going to be with her siblings and other family members at an event named “Bowman Olympics” Saturday, June 24. For this event, teams that are red, white and blue will compete in events for all ages, Bowman said. The event will draw about 60 family memers. The organizer is Renee Little, Bowman’s niece. She lives in Worthington.
The auction July 19 is going to be handled by Larry Moore of Fredericktown.