Hidden Gem of Texas History: Rosenberg Railroad Museum
Rainey Webster, Executive Director of the Rosenberg Railroad Museum (RRM), forgoes the planes and automobiles this week to talk to us about trains and the railroads that have built the Texas we know today. The Rosenberg Railroad Museum educates and engages members of the Fort Bend community of all ages about the importance and impact of railroads and train technology. Stops along our journey include field trips for local schools, the current photography exhibit, and how you can visit and volunteer.
[00:00] Podcast begins
[03:40] Introducing Rainey Webster of the Rosenberg Railroad Museum
[10:39] History & influences of the railroads in Fort Bend County
[14:39] Preserving & educating all ages at the RRM
[21:56] Different Perspectives: the student photography exhibit
[36:24] Christmas events & RRM holiday happenings
[40:39] How you can visit the museum & get involved as a volunteer
Mission & history of the Rosenberg Railroad Museum
Since the 1990s, the Rosenberg Railroad Museum has been focused on preserving railroad history and teaching about how trains helped make Fort Bend county. Today, Rainey believes that RRM has something for everyone, including rail cars, photo exhibitions, and educational tours. The history of railroads that inspired the RRM goes all the way back to the 1800s and Rainey loves watching younger visitors to the museum learn about older ways of life and get excited about everything from cowboys to hobos, authentic full-size cabooses to model trains.
“Rosenberg Railroad Museum has everything, whether you have young children that you’re bringing, or you’re a teenager or an adult who just loves to look at beautiful things and learn about real history. We really are for every age group.”
Getting kids excited with unique field trip opportunities
One of the most important things RRM offers the community is field trip programs for schools in Fort Bend. Rainey explains that people often think about the physical and literal aspects of trains and railroads when they visit the museum, but don’t consider the science or history involved. Field trips offer RRM staff an opportunity to teach students about historical happenings in Fort Bend that they might not learn at school and about the unique science of train travel.
“We offer lessons from history to communications to STEM-based science lessons, because when you talk about railroading, you’re not only talking about history and how it’s impacted the United States and other areas, but you’re also talking about all the science that goes behind it.”
Engaging local artists in a community exhibit
Exhibitions at the museum are not just historical artifacts. Open now through the end of 2023, RRM has a special exhibition that involves local student photographers. Titled “Different Perspectives,” this exhibition features photographs of Rosenberg model trains and aims to showcase the creativity of model railroading. Rainey explains that students who participated had a chance to win a $250 scholarship from their Board of Directors and have had their work displayed in the museum since early November.
“For the first time ever, we’ve involved the community in an exhibit, which is very exciting. We had a reception where the three winners were announced, they each received a scholarship of $250. And so, now all of the pictures for everybody who entered the contest are up for display, and they’ll be up until January.”