Railroad museum to honor Marter
YOUNGSTOWN — The Mahoning Valley Railroad Heritage Association will dedicate the Jim Marter Yard at noon Saturday at the railroad museum, 1340 Poland Ave.
The museum-site yard is being named in honor of the late association president, James Marter. He had been active in railroad preservation in the Mahoning Valley for more than 40 years, and most of the preserved rail equipment in the Valley came about because of Marter’s influence.
He worked to successfully save the Youngstown Sheet & Tube steam engine that now resides at the Canfield fairgrounds’ Western Reserve Village. He also arranged for the donation to the organization of more than 20 other pieces of railroad equipment including hot-metal cars, troop sleepers, ore cars and cabooses.
The MVRHA’s goal of creating a museum site where the public can experience the region’s steel and rail heritage is moving forward with the acquisition of property from Youngstown for the permanent display of equipment. The site has been prepared, and initial track has been installed. Some equipment stored at other locations in the region has been moved to the site. The next step in the development of the site is to install additional track and move the rest of the MVRHA’s collection to the site.
The MVRHA, a 501(c)(3) organization, was formed in 1985 to preserve the railroading history and heritage of the Mahoning Valley. Since the steel industry was a major industry in the area, steel-industry railroading is a major focus of the association, with the result that it has one of the largest collections of steel-industry rail equipment in the United States, largely through Marter’s efforts.
The mission of the MVRHA is to gather, preserve, collect and display equipment and objects of historic importance to the Mahoning Valley railroads. This will include the collection and preservation of railroad cars, engines, cabooses, steel-industry-related rail equipment, pamphlets, photographs, manuscripts, letters, journals, books, records and other articles that describe and illustrate railroad and steelmaking heritage.