TAVARES — The City of Tavares, in partnership with Inland Lakes Railway, is presenting an opening reception of an interactive and historical retrospection showcasing railroad history and art on Friday, Jan. 5, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Accompanying the art display and opening reception at City Hall, located at 201 E. Main St., are half-hour train rides at nearby Wooton Park at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. The train adventures cost $5 per person.
The free reception is open to the public and will include refreshments, live entertainment provided by a fiddler and Morse code demonstrations. In addition, the opening reception will feature the raffle of eight Walt Disney World Main Street Train Stations to children in attendance.
The art and railroad memorabilia display will feature vintage Tavares and Lake County postcards, some dating to the early 1900s, and vintage railroad-themed lithographic prints. Other pieces of railroad memorabilia are items such as lanterns, signage and stepping stools.
“The City’s rich railroad history was the inspiration for this exhibit,” said Tammey Rogers, Community Services Director for the City of Tavares.
The Tavares & Gulf Railroad was a small branch line that ran form Winter Garden and Ocoee to Tavares from the 1890s until 1969. It was acquired by the Seaboard Air Line Railroad in 1926, but operated separately for a number of years, even after the merger with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1967 (which formed the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad). During the 1960s, the T & G (also known as the Tug and Grunt) operated one diesel engine, an RS-3 on loan from Seaboard, and carried freight, supplies and product to and from the citrus groves, quarries and manufacturing plants that were located along the line.
For more information about the railroad exhibit or reception, call Tammey Rogers at (352) 742-6338 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.