Field Day of the Past

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2013 Map of Field Day Show Grounds

Tour of the show grounds


Many permanent structures are located on the Field Day of the Past Show Grounds. We invite you to use this guide to visit each location. Take advantage of the trams for a quick circuit around the field. Many of the permanent exhibits are manned by volunteers who can provide information on the displays and exhibits. Also, be sure to check the Schedule of Events to make sure you don’t miss anything planned throughout the weekend.


Information Booth

   The Information Booth, located inside the grounds opposite the main Pedestrian Gate, should be the first stop any visitor makes when he/she comes to the show.

   In 1999, Field Day of the Past acquired a gazebo from Goochland Builders, Inc. and located it on the show grounds to be used as an Information Booth. Volunteers man the booth, passing out newspapers, maps and other information, shepherding lost children and serving as a resting place for tired souls.

   In 2000, the flag poles which were once located near the end of the Tractor Pull Track in the center of the grounds, were moved to a site just behind the Information Booth. With all the work of our “landscape specialist” Pam Ottley and her “crew,” the attractive flower beds help make this an eye pleasing spot at which to enter the grounds. Several years ago Southern Building Materials added a “patio” in front of  the booth.

   Be sure to stop here for a chat and details on your visit to Field Day of the Past.

1. Springfield Baptist Church

     Springfield Baptist Church was relocated to the show grounds from the Short Pump area in 2007, and was one of only a few remaining African American churches in Henrico County from this era. The original portion of the church dates back to 1887. The congregation sold the church in 2004 and moved its worship services elsewhere.

     With the threat of demolition hovering, the church was donated to Field Day of the Past by Brookriver L.L.C. Later additions were removed, and the structure was moved in two pieces to its new location. Here it rejoins the Short Pump Garage and Short Pump Grocery Store -- its neighbors of a prior era.

   The church is manned by volunteers from the Springfield congregation and church services are conducted on Sunday during the show.

Next stop: #2 Short Pump Grocery

2. Short Pump Grocery

   The Short Pump Grocery is typical of the local grocery store/filling stations which were built along rapidly growing major highways in rural Virginia in the 1930s. Unlike the stores of earlier times, which were stocked with every item essential to farm living from needles to flour, these stores were built to cater to the newly evolving motor traffic. These rural grocery stores served more as gathering places where people stopped to hear the local news, discuss politics and socialize.

   The Short Pump Grocery was built in the 1930s and was operated as a grocery store/filling station along the side of Rt. 250 in Short Pump throughout the 1950s. It was converted to a convenience store and remained opened until 1995 when the highway was widened through Short Pump. At that time, the building was scheduled for demolition. Working with the Virginia Dept. of Highways, Field Day volunteers moved this building, along with the Short Pump Transmission Shop, to the show grounds.

   The Short Pump Grocery is decorated in an “ole country store” motif. Here, visitors can sip on a Coke from a glass bottle, chat with “locals” about weather, politics, family or the neighbors. Purchase a hunk of cheese, candy bar or other goodie and enjoy a time when the local grocery store, not a major supermarket, catered to the whims and needs of the local populace.

Next stop: #3 Ice House

3.  Ice House

   Once upon a time time could not be found at every little stop along the road. Instead, it had to be hauled by truck from Richmond to country stores and stored in small ice houses such as the one at Field Day of the Past. Customers came to the ice house and bought chipped ice or large blocks.

   The Field Day ice house was located on the property of the Marsh Oil Co. on Rt. 6 at Goochland Courthouse. Richmond Ice Co. moved the ice house to the Esso  now Exxon) Service Station property approximately 45 year ago.

   Ice was sold out of the ice house until the early 1970s. By that time, the availability of ice had become so commonplace this structure was no longer needed. The building was used for storage for a number of years.

   In 1997, Walter Marsh donated the ice house and the ice crusher, which chipped ice into small pieces, to Field Day of the Past. Glenn Nuckols moved it to the grounds in early September that year. Volunteers working on the building discovered it cooled as well as it had the last day it was used and today it is used during the show.

Next stop: #4 Rocketts Voting Precinct

4. Rocketts Voting Precinct

     The Rocketts Voting Precinct House was constructed in the early part of the remains of an older building. In the 1940s Henry Brooking and Bryan Holland of Sandy Hook in Goochland County, refurbished the building. The voting house was used until the early 1960s when the Goochland Recreational Center was built and subsequently became the voting place for people in the area. This house was moved from its original location in the 1980s to the property of James Brooking. In 2009 the house was placed on permanent loan by the Brooking family and it was moved to the show grounds. One of the original voting boxes has been placed on loan by Dale Brooking.

Nexty Stop: #5 Short Pump Garage

5.  Short Pump Garage

   The Short Pump Garage was built around 1930 by Seward’s Lumber Co. and was a popular place for “locals” to congregate while mechanics worked on their cars.

   In later years, the Nuckolses bought the garage and began to specialize in transmission repair.

   This building is typical of many garages which were built throughout the state in the early part of the.20th century.

   A mechanic of the 1930s understood how to do every repair necessary on an automobile. Although, in those days, you could not find a service station on every corner, the emergence of these stations represented a trend to a more mobile society. As the number of vehicles increased, the need to have a place to buy gasoline or have repairs made arose. Service station attendants filled the gas tank, washed the windshield and did the repairs.

    With the expansion of Rt. 250, the Short Pump Transmission Shop was to be torn down when it was rescued along with the Short Pump Grocery and relocated to the show grounds in 1995. It has been re-outfitted as closely as possible to its original state.

   At the side of the garage you can see a rack where a car could be raised so the mechanic could grease it and do repairs. Inside, the shelves are stocked with parts for the most modern cars — 60 years ago.  Visit with our “mechanic on duty” Peyton Roden , who will be glad to explain all tools and operations at the garage.

Next stop: #6 Fire Tower

6.  Fire Tower

   From the top of the fire lookout tower, the tree tops form a magic carpet that floats above the tiny ant-like figures below.

   Fire lookout towers were originally built in the 1930s as part of the Civilian Conservation Corps, one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal agencies designed to fight the Great Depression. Civilians manned the towers part time between March 1 and May 15 when conditions were most likely for forest fires. Occasionally, civilians would man these structures in the fall if conditions merited it.

According to the Forest Fire Lookout Association, there was once a network of 5,000 fire lookout towers throughout the U.S. Now, the number is steadily deceasing as the need for them has been replaced by aerial surveillance and modern technology.

   In early 1996, the  Fire Lookout Tower was obtained by Field Day of the Past. It originally stood on Rt. 54 near Scotchtown in  Hanover. This particular tower is estimated to have been built around 1937 and it was manned well into the 1980s.

   Field Day volunteers used the tower to make aerial photographs of the grounds and at its base, the Virginia Dept. of Forestry exhibit can be found. Personnel from the department explain how the tower was used and exhibits some of the items used in it. The Field Day tower is a monument to a disappearing piece of Americana.

Next stop: #7 Barnyard

7.  Barnyard

Children of all ages enjoy visiting the Field Day of the Past Petting Zoo. For three days, this is home to many farm animals, horses, ponies, and fowl of various descriptions.

   The barn was one of the first permanent structures built on the grounds. It was constructed by volunteers in 1992. Stop here and take a few minutes to enjoy the animals here.

Next stop: #8 Corn Crib

8. Corn Crib

   The Corn Crib was once an essential building on the farm. Each year, farmers would plant corn. When the crop matured and produced ears, the farmers would sell some to the grain mills and save some back to grind into meal for their own use. Some ears were also allotted to feed farm animals throughout the winter and they were stored in the corn crib.

   The crib was constructed from strips of rough lumber with spaces between the boards to allow the flow of air through the building. The air vents allowed the corn to dry. When this was accomplished, the corn was ground into meal or stored for feed.

   This corn crib was moved to the show grounds in 1996. It was originally built in the late teens or early 1920s on the property of Forrest and Graham Nuckols on Broad St. and Gayton Rd. in western Henrico County.

Next stop: #9 Smoke House


9. Smoke House

   Nothing reminds someone raised on a farm of fall more than the smell of smoke from the smoke house. When days grew cold enough that meat could be processed without danger of spoiling, farmers killed the hogs they had raised during the summer. Hams, shoulders and other edible parts of the hog were hung in the smoke house to begin “curing,” or preserving the meat. Farm families relied on this stock of meat to feed them through the winter.

   Be sure to take a peek inside the smoke and see the slow burning fire and inhale the aroma of the curing meat. Smoke gives meat a flavor and different “flavors” can be obtained from using different kinds of wood.

   Like the corn crib, the smoke house was built on the Nuckols’ property in Henrico County and was moved to Field Day in 1996.

Next stop: #10 Tobacco Barn

10. Tobacco Barn

     The Tobacco Barn was relocated to the show grounds in 2007.Once harvested, the tobacco was hung in structures like this to dry. As with hams, there are different kinds of curing methods for tobacco.  Howard Mayo of Goochland County mans the  barn displaying some of his tobacco artifacts which he has been collecting for many years, including tobacco signs, tools, advertising and other tobacco related items. 

Next Stop: #11. Gold Mining Equipment 

11. Gold Mine Equipment

   The Erie steam drag line and the accompanying gold separator were used in the Bertha and Edith gold mines in western Goochland County. Although the Bertha and Edith were opened in 1860, these pieces are from the 1930s, when a renewed interest in gold mining reopened old mines.

   The drag line was designed to dig up the earth and dump it into the separator. Water was pumped into the trammel (large revolving barrel), which turned, causing mud containing gold to fall through the holes. Gravel went out the back and was sold to the highway department for road material. The mud covered gold went into one of three spinning dishes on the machine. Centrifugal force caused the mud to be slung off and separate from the gold. Gold, which was black because of the presence of sand, was processed with mercury to separate it from the sand.

   Gold mining was once a prosperous business in Goochland and other Virginia counties. Although complete records are not available, estimates of the amount of gold discovered in Goochland alone range from $500,000 to $1.5 million. The search for gold came to a halt during the War Between the States and the industry never fully recovered after war’s end. The cost of extracting the ore outweighed the profits and promise of gold in California brought an end to any major mining locally. Although the 1930s saw a revitalized interest in mining, it was short lived.

   The drag line and separator were donated to Field Day of the Past by the Walton family in 1993.

Nest stop: #12 Homestead

12.  Homestead

   The log cabin was home to thousands of families of the American frontier and as families struggled to make a living at the edge of civilization, they constructed a homestead around the cabin, including barns, pens for animals and other outbuildings. The log cabin housed entire families in a single room with a loft. As the family grew, rooms might be added to accommodate new members.

   Construction on the Field Day log cabin began in 1997 when Eastern Tree, Bob Davis Custom Sawing and Jim Munden, a professional forester, joined forces to raise the 15’ x 15’ settler’s cabin. In 1998, the cabin was relocated from its original site across from the Sawmill Complex to its present one. A porch was added after the move and many “improvements” have been done since that time.

   In 2004, volunteers Paul Krantz and Mark Clifford built a smoke house to “serve” the homesteader’s needs and a root cellar has been dug and stocked with items traditionally found on the homestead. 

Next stop: #13 Henley-Isbell-Rigsby Bridge

13.  Henley-Isbell-Rigsby Bridge

   Field Day’s Henley-Isbell-Rigsby Bridge was named for the three volunteers instrumental in getting the wooden structure built in 1998. Bert Henley, Ben Isbell and Earl Rigsby teamed up for the effort. A covered wooden bridge replaced the original bridge in 2010. Enjoy this cool sport during your visit with us.

Next stop: #14 Windmill

14. Windmill


The windmill is one of the oldest devices used by man to harness natural energy. The basic principle is simple — harness the wind so it can provide a source of power.

   The Field Day windmill is of a type not most reliable as a source of power as it operates only when the wind is blowing. It’s main use is to pump water.

   In the early years of the show, the windmill stood adjacent to the Sawmill Complex. It was donated by Jimmy Adams of Mechanicsville and was originally erected in eastern Henrico County around 1918. From there it was moved to Charles City County where Hurricane Hazel blew it down in the 1950s. That windmill was relocated to the grounds in 1997. In 1998, the air motor was destroyed in another wind storm and a new motor was mounted to the original tower. In 1999, the Field Day windmill, long a recognizable symbol of the show, was moved to its current location at the log cabin. The original air motor and blades were incorporated in the Farm Exhibit in the Educational Building.

Next stop: #15 Educational Building

15. Educational Building

   The Educational Building was constructed on the grounds in 2000 and was built to house both permanent and rotating exhibits. Among the early exhibits were displays and informational boards of the importance of the Kanawha and James River Canal in Richmond and the eastern U.S. Some of this exhibit, donated by the Ethyl Corp. can still be seen.

   In the ensuing years, several other major exhibitions have developed in the Educational Building. The Field Day Print Shop, originally located in the Post Office, was relocated here. Prior to high tech machines and computers, printers produced the printed page the hard way. Lead was melted and poured into molds to form letters, numbers and symbols, collectively known as “type.” all type was placed (or set) by hand, one letter at a time into wooden frames. Many of the typesetters of the day could set a column of newspaper copy almost as fast as some could type it on the computer today. Many masters of hand-set type could produce up to 60 or 70 words per minutes — one letter at a time.

   In the Field Day print shop, visitors can see displays and demonstrations of hand-set type and printing with an old Brandtjen & Kluge press, donated by National Seal Works and refurbished by Forest Rollers in Maryland. Other printing machinery includes an operation Intertype typesetting machines, a proof press, type cabinets, pigs of lead, lead type and other items necessary in the days of “hot type.” Get the printer to explain this to you!

   The Farm Exhibit and the Farm Kitchen are also located in the Educational Building. The Farm Exhibit contains hundreds of items — hand tools, small machinery and all the odds and ends which could have been found on farms throughout Virginia from the 1700s to today. Rakes, plows, hoes, planters, saws, brooms, are all found here. See how many you can name.

   In the Farm Kitchen, added in 2004, houses household items common for the farming lifestyle for many decades. Oil lamps, a wood cook stove, crocks, a foot warmer, antique dishes, medicine bottles, a trunk, hair curlers which had to be heated over an oil lamp, a spinning wheel, antique washing machine and wash board and many other articles used in daily living are here.

   Antique photographs from Virginia’s past and a photographic history of the streetcar system in Richmond are on display.

   In 2006 Field Day volunteers installed a soda fountain like those seen in drug stores around the turn of the century. Ice cream and soda were served from this soda fountain in Gaithright’s Store in Goochland. Years after the store was closed the equipment was taken apart and stored. It was retrieved from eventual destruction by Field Day volunteers who have reconstructed it and placed it only display.

Over the past few years a growing display on tobacco in Virginia has been incorporated into the exhibits here. Tobacco raised on the showgrounds hangs from the ceiling and informational photographs and boards along with tobacco memorabilia examine the importance of tobacco on Virginia's economy in past decades.

A board tracing the history of Overnite Transporation is also located in this building.

Next stop: #16 Post Office

16. Field Day Post Office

   Yes, it’s a real post office. Visitors can mail letters, buy stamps and take advantage of other services offered by the U.S. Postal Service. You can purchase a post card and mail it to loved ones around the world. Mail has been received from the Field Day Post Office in places as far away as Japan and Hawaii. Each year the post office offers envelopes for sale which carry a special cancellation stamp designed for the show. Many of our visitors have collected all of these envelopes.

   In 1996, the Field Day of the Past Post Office was one of only two post office in Virginia to be open on Sunday to celebrate the 100th anniversary of rural free delivery.

       The Post Office was built by volunteers in 1996. Originally it was home to the Print Shop. Now, in addition to the Post Office it also houses an special Exhibition of antique photographs which have been organized by Wayne Dementi of Dementi Studios. 

Nest stop: #17Stave Mill

17. Stave Mill

     The Stave Mill Building was completed in 2006. It houses a stave mill -- complete with the saws necessary to cut staves (the curved sides of barrels). The mill was manufactured by F.K. Lenker & Co. of Pennsylvania and was moved from Powhatan County to the show grounds by J.E. Liesfeld, Jr. It was originally owned by the Horner family. It is operational on show days.

Next Stop: #18 Rideout Cotton Gin

18. Rideout Cotton Gin

     The Rideout Cotton Gin was relocated to the show grounds from Bracey, Va. in the spring of 2008. Little is known about the cotton gin,although it is operational, it is a static exhibit during the show.

      The "modern" cotton gin was created by Eli Whitney in 1793. The machine separates the cotton fiber from the seed, and its invention greatly reduced the amount of labor needed to do this by hand. This stop offers a glimpse into our past rarely seen today.

Next Stop: #19. Woodwright Shop

19. Woodwright Shop

   In the 19th century, woodwright shops began to spring up in response to the increasing demand for furniture and tools. Originally, the town blacksmith made repairs to or made wooden wagons, farm tools, and even household items such as andirons, but as town grew and private enterprise increased, the woodwright shop evolved.

   The woodwright made and repaired everything from kitchen utensils to wagons and furniture. As factories developed, the woodwright made wooden gears that ran machinery.

   The Field Day Woodwright Shop was built in 1997 by Earl Carwile and Merrill Bowles with materials donated by N.B. Goodwyn and Sons, Inc. of Chesterfield Courthouse, Va. It is equipped with antique tools and machinery as a woodwright shop would have been in the 1800s and early 1900s.

   Some woodworking project is always ongoing here during show days. Master woodworkers demonstrate the methods used to make ladder back chairs or an oxen yoke, or maybe even a hay rake.

   You will also see a display of many tools used for working. Take a minute to talk to the woodworkers. They will be glad to explain the process and answer any questions you may have.

Next stop: #20 Canning Kitchem

20. Canning Kitchen

   In the early part of the 20 century, before electricity, home canning was a way to preserve foods from gardens for the months when there were no fresh fruits and vegetables available. Back then, fresh foods were not as readily available in grocery stores as they are today. Even today, home canning offers complete control over the quality of ingredients that go into your foods. It’s a reliable method of preserving your own food for long-term storage. It also offers a sense of accomplishment you can share with family and friends.

   The Field Day Canning Kitchen was built in 1999 by Field Day of the Past woodwrights and sponsored by Pleasants Hardware. 

Next stop: #21 Blacksmith Shop

21. Blacksmith Shop

The Field Day Blacksmsith Shop was originally constructed around 1850 as a smoke house. It was owned by the family of Forrest and Willard Nash of the Hylas/Rockville area of Hanover County. The structure was moved to the show grounds in 1994. Scott Hingley, Field Day blacksmith for many years, converted it into the shop you see today.

   Blacksmiths were one of the most important members of the farming community in earlier decades. Not only did they work as farriers, but also worked on many of the items used by the family on a daily basis —horse drawn carts, bed frames, farm machinery, branding irons, wheels and other metal objects. The blacksmith often fulfilled other roles within the community as well., the occupations of tooth extractors and undertakers being the most common.

Next stop: #22 Sawmill Complex

22. Sawmill Complex

   The Earl Liesfeld Sawmill Complex is one of the most popular attractions at Field Day of the Past. Earl Liesfeld was “boss” of the mill hands in the show’s earliest days and oversaw the operation of the Frick steam powered saw mill for many years.

   Upon Earl’s death in 1997, a painted saw blade, declaring the building “Earl Liesfeld’s Mill,” was hung in his memory.

   Contained in the complex are several steam engines and boilers which are used to operate the mill.

    Visitors can also see a Skinner steam powered generator, built in 1926, and donated by A.E. Tate Lumber Company operating during show days. The 150-horsepower Corliss steam engine with its massive 12-foot flywheel dominates the front center bay of the Sawmill Complex. The Corliss was moved from Jones Lumber Company in Montpelier in 1998.

   A planning mill is on display, as well as a large air compressor donated by City Ice Works in Petersburg which help give the building its vintage appeal.

   At the B.A. Grasberger Co. exhibit, volunteers peel veneer from logs and feed it through a huge stamping machine, producing endless number of wooden ice cream spoons. The Grasberger Co., located near Mineral, Va around the turn of the century, produced the wooden spoons along with tongue depressors, assorted wooden utensils and paper ice cream dishes. The veneer machine, press, belts, pulleys and assorted bits and pieces of equipment operate at Field Day much as they did in the early 1900s .

   A woodworking shop was added in 2009 to house the many woodworking tools and machinery we have accumulated. The shop is used on a regular basis.

   The wide range of machinery and equipment housed in the Sawmill Complex offers an excellent example of the types and kinds of machines which drove the industries of America in the early decades of the 20th century. Although technology has made them obsolete, many of these pieces will still be operating when machines of today are no longer serviceable. Be sure to include this stop on your tour of the grounds. Some of the dinosaurs you see here were the shining glories on the Industrial Revolution in America.

Next stop: #23 Exhibit Building

23. Exhibit Building

   The Exhibit Building, located the Sawmill Complex is a work in progress. Begun in 2009, several changes have occured here since. John Meola's workshop is also located here. John is our resident artist. 

Next Stop: #24 Metal Working Shop

24. Metal Working Shop

   In 2012 a metal working was added in the Exhibit Building. This shop is home to a vertical shaper used in the Titus Machine Shop in Petersburg in bygone years. A flat bed planer, a old lathe, several pieces of machinery from Shortt's Machine Shop, which was part of a donation from the Valentine, an iron worker which punches holes in metal and a milling machine can be found here. Some of the machinery is operational and is used throughout the year. 

Next Stop: #25 Water Towers

25. Water Towers

   Wooden water towers were once common sights in rural Virginia. These tanks could hold large amounts of water to be was readily available for bathing, fighting fires, irrigation, water for livestock, washing clothes or anything else for which the liquid was required.

   Field Day of the Past is home to two water towers. The oldest of these was donated by Jimmy Adams of Mechanicsville in 1995 and once stood adjacent to the Sawmill Complex. It was relocated to a site near the Gold Mine Equipment, a location much closer to the creek. This tower now serves as a water source for the steam engines which travel the grounds on show days.

   A tower donated by Jack Luck of Ashland was moved to the grounds in 1996 and replaced the original tower near the Sawmill Complex. This tower is used as a water supply for the stationery steam engines in the sawmill building and as a method of fire prevention.

Next stop: #26 Portable Sawmill

26. Portable Sawmill

   In 1999, a rustic sawmill building was constructed in the vicinity of the Sawmill Complex to cover a portable sawmill. This mill represents the type commonly used at the turn of the 20th century by sawyers traveling from one tract of timber to another. The mill is powered by a portable Frick steam engine and is operated by volunteers during the show.

Next stop: #27 Diesel Engine Building

27. Diesel Engine Building

   This building was erected to house a four-cylinder Fairbanks-Morse Model 32 diesel engine. The engine was once used in White Stone, VA and was moved to Field Day in 2000.

    An Anderson engine from Dinwiddie powers a line shaft which was installed by volunteers in 2005. This line shaft drives pumps, air compressors and generators.

   A Kohler 32-volt power place which once was used as an emergency power source for Thalhimers on Broad St in Richmond and two Superior diesel engines also served as a backup unit for C&P Telephone at 7th and Grace streets in Richmond are also located in the Diesel Engine Building

   To the right, just outside this building is a Cummins generator which was used by a power plant in Maryland , and a LeRoi generator which came from Dan River Mills. A generator with a Caterpillar engine was donated by Luck Stone Co. in the show's early years. (This engine saved the show during Hurricane Isabel when Virginia Power went down.)

   Also here, is a huge water turbine once used for generating current for James River Paper Co. It was powered by water by the James River and Kanawha Canal.A 50 hp Bessemer oil field engine is also scheduled to arrive on the grounds.

Next stop: #28 Sorghum Mill

28. Sorghum Mill

   Sorghum is a sweetener that is grown mainly in the southeastern part of the U.S as an alternative to sugar cane, which does not grow well in this area. Field Day of the Past grows its own sorghum cane, harvests it and, on show days, presses it and cooks it down to a syrup  This is a lengthy process but definitely worth the wait.

   The molasses making process begins by pressing the cane to extract the juice. The juice is then evaporated over a fire to produce a thick, heavy syrup. The syrup is then jarred as sorghum molasses. Sorghum molasses was a staple on farms in past decades. It was eaten on biscuits or used in cooking.

   In 2002 Field Day volunteers constructed a shelter to house both the cooking pan and the sorghum press. In addition to the sorghum molasses making, visitors can also see various types of mills used over the years to press the sorghum cane, as well as other sorghum related utensils.

Next stop: #29 Tractor/Truck Pull Track

 29. Tractor/Truck Pull Track

   Tractors owners have been competing with each other on the Field Day Tractor Pull Track since the show opened in 1992. The event is handled by the Tractor Pull Committee, chaired by Terry McNeely. Volunteers built the announcer’s stand on the track in 1993. It was one of the show’s first permanent structures.

   Each year, tractors compete in several classes on Saturday and Sunday during the show. Since 1997, the track has also been home to the Field Day Truck pulls run on Friday and Saturday evenings. These events are hosted by the Truck Pull Committee, chaired by Barbee Cox III.

Next stop: #30 Pullman Railroad Car .

30. Pullman Railroad Car & RF&P Caboose

   The 1023 Pullman Sleeper-Observation heavy weight passenger car, Mt. Foraker is one of 264 such cars built between 1919 and 1929. Originally assigned to the Chicago and Northwestern Railway;s Premier. "Northwestern Limited", after 1928 she was reassigned to Pullman general services and could have been used anywhere in this country. Purchased by Southern Railway in 1968 she served on the very scenic Asheville Special.

With open ten section sleeping compartments, (two berths each, an upper and a lower), a 14-seat observation lounge and an open brass railed observation platform at the rear, the Mt. Foraker represents the very best of old style railway passenger services. She is unique in being, it is believed, the only such 10-section observation car to have survived with any of the original sleeping sections and her brass railed platform intact. More modern streamlined Pullman sleeping cars with all closed room spaces such as Amtrak provides today supplanted these historic heavy weights, but the service excellence provided by Pullman has never been excelled.

Mt. Foraker was old out of Southern Railway's train service in 1972 to Heritage Savings and Loan and was converted for their use at Forest Hill Avenue and Cherokee Rd. She was sold again in 1996 to Goochland County's Elliott family, moved and reconverted for use as a tavern/lounge.

In 2001 this much traveled grand old lady was donated to Field Day of the Past and relocated here. Her interior is decorated with fabrics, materials and patterns typical of her 1920s origin. At that time, and for a very long time afterward, Pullman Company service was synonymous with first class travel, comfort and convenience. Volunteers refurbished the car in 2011.

The wood sheathed 1920 Richmond-Fredericskburg and Potomac's (RF&P) caboose was donated to Field Day by the Rennolds family in 2007 and was moved here with the help of Billy Woodson from Capital Garage. It is coupled to the forward end of the Mt. Foraker for practical purposes and limited space, as well as visitor access. Cabooses were never attached to passenger trains, only to the rear of freight trains.

In 2009 Field Day of the Past volunteers replaced siding, repaired windows and hardware, replaced platforms on both ends and scraped and painted the caboose inside and outside. Exhibits have been placed inside. Now the caboose is part of the Pullman Car tour during the annual event.

In addition to the Pullman Car and Caboose, Field Day has an old railroad work car on display. In 2010 volunteers under the guidance and supervision of Paul Krantz, refurbished this piece of machinery. The wood car was sand blasted and paint and metal work done all for restoration of the car. It is on display in front of the Pullman Car.

Next stop: #31 Souvenir Shop

31. Souvenir Shop

  At the Souvenir Shop, visitors will find pieces of memorabilia from the show's history, show buttons and a few plaques from prior years shows, hats and t-shirts can be purchased here at very reasonable prices. Current year buttons are also available in the shop, as well as information on memberships, committees and other particulars. Located adjacent to the Information Booth, the Souvenir Shop is convenient for guests who are coming in or those who are leaving and need that last minute souvenir.