ST&BF at the Christopher Farm & Gardens (March - The Jay W. Christopher Transportation Museum & Nature Center)

On this visit to the Christopher Farm & Gardens we enjoyed a unique opportunity to tour the Jay W. Christopher Transportation Museum that housed a variety of collections including one of the finest railroad china collections in the world!

To learn more about Mr. Christopher's transportation collection and museum, watch a recent presentation hosted by the Center for Railroad Photography & Art based in Madison (WI).  More details and a link can be found here: https://railphoto-art.org/events/.

Those who attended this outing, which included touring the CF&G Nature Center, are welcome to submit your photos and comments here!  I will try to include as many photos as I can!

ST&BF at the Christopher Farm & Gardens (March - The Jay W. Christopher Transportation Museum & Nature Center)

To learn more about Mr. Christopher's transportation collection and museum, watch a recent presentation hosted by the Center for Railroad Photography & Art based in Madison (WI). More details and a link can be found here: https://railphoto-art.org/events/.

If you would like to see some individual pieces from Mr. Christopher's collection while enjoying many stories from the hey-day of train travel, you will want to watch this presentation!

Special thanks to our gracious hosts Jay Christopher, (center), Anne Lapinski and Erika Lusthoff!

We are so grateful for the opportunity to tour the Jay W. Christopher Transportation Museum prior to its temporary closing to allow for the expansion project!

Mr. Christopher has a passion for collecting as well as a passion for sharing his knowledge and educating others about the history of these pieces and those days from the past that they represent!

Anne Lapinski, museum curator, facilitated small group tours (with COVID-19 precautions)!

One of the big highlights was hearing so many interesting stories of railroad travels from Mr. Christopher's younger days in the 40s, 50s & 60s and how those fond memories evolved into this impressive collections of railroad china and other collectibles beyond railroading (airline chine, zeppelin items and so much more)!

The size of this collection can be overwhelming (especially for those of us who may not understand the nuances of such a collection).  These pieces I recognized from the above-mentioned presentation (about 29:00 into the presentation) and are pieces that both Mr. Christopher and Anne Lapinski consider to be historically valuable and interesting!

One display that I found particularly intriguing was this display that included two pieces that survived the Hindenburg zeppelin crash!

In addition to Jay's vast railroad china collection... he collects a wide variety of railroad-related items... such as "Date Nails"!  If you don't know what these are... do some research (and consider joining us if we have a chance to return after the upcoming expansion project)!

Jay also started collecting railroad-related keys... that casually evolved into a wider variety of keys!

This display of what seemed to primarily be airline-related playing cards also caught my eye!

And then there was an entire room in which Jay displayed his unique newel post collection!  I asked how he got into that... and he explained that he saw a few that looked like large wooden chess pieces and, initially, he started collecting them with the thought of possibly creating a large chess set... and then decided to display them instead!

Some people are collectors of collectibles... Jay could be described as a collector of many collections!!! :-)

Submitted by Bruce Becker

Huge collection of small butter plates from around the world.

Submitted by Bruce Becker

Just one of many former president's display.

Submitted by John Seaman

Railroad memorabilia from yesteryear

Submitted by John Seaman

Every type of Railroad Lantern seems to be here.

Submitted by Althea Smith

A special set of china was made for the younger folks, including a special menu for them as well. Everyone from young to old had an important place on their train excursion.

Along with the opportunity to tour the Transportation Museum, we also had the opportunity to visit the CF&G Nature & Wildlife Collection for Education that houses a wide variety of taxidermy articles.

Submitted by John Seamn

I found the large display of Lake Michigan fish fascinating.

Submitted by Althea Smith

Never underestimate the foxy atmosphere you find yourself in while attending the Christopher Farm and Gardens. There is so much to see and do. Something new and different awaits each visit.

"Birds & Buds" Submitted by Mary Schueller

Two things that are synonymous with Spring are “Birds & Buds.” During this March visit to CF&G, there were birds chirping and there was evidence of their nests --- such as is visible just peeking out of this bird house. And, buds are plentiful on the trees. Spring has truly arrived!

"Wearing of the Green" Submitted by Mary Schueller

If there’s ever a time to wear green, it’s during March --- when we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Even the CF&G calf was proudly displaying the color.

"Maple Syrup Time" Submitted by Mary Schueller

Our March visit to CF&G was perfect to see “up close & personal” how many maple trees were tapped so that syrup  could be made. Just the thought of it made me yearn for some waffles………..

Submitted by Linda Ansay

The drizzle was just enough to have the umbrellas out but only for a few minutes. I found this sign in the Japanese garden and hoped Budda would bring us luck with the weather.

Submitted by Linda Ansay

Spring is here!

Submitted by Althea Smith

F.R.O.G. Forever Rely On God : Although cancer can be difficult in our lives. We are blessed with the little things, like a peaceful walk through the gardens.

"No Guarantees" Submitted by Tim E. Renzelmann

The beauty of the Christopher Farm & Gardens that rests high above the waters of Lake Michigan seems so safe and protected... but a short hike down the Lake Path reveals fresh signs of erosion!  Enjoy every moment of life and of beauty as there are no guarantees they will last forever!

ST&BF at the Christopher Farm & Gardens (March - The Jay W. Christopher Transportation Museum & Nature Center)

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