Historical society plans train trek


All aboard!

That could be the Johnston Historical Society’s (JHS) call for what may wind up being a record-setting year for the non-profit that recently added several more events to its 2017 schedule.

The railways have played a major role in the building of America, and the JHS is offering an opportunity to view of the most historic trains and engines in New England this spring.

If weather permits, on Saturday, May 6, the JHS will take a day trip to visit the Historic Eastern Railroad Museum that’s housed in Willimantic, Ct.

Anthony Ursillo, a JHS board member, said that their group will meet at the Museum Barn at 9 a.m. that day and travel to Willimantic either by a small chartered bus or via their own vehicles. The cost of the round-trip bus ticket is only $8 per person and $4 entry fee into the outdoor train museum.

Rolf Johnston, a long-time JHS member and volunteer at the Train Museum, will serve as the day’s guide.

“We’ll also be able to take a train ride for a separate fee,” Ursillo noted. “The Train Museum has a 1850s style pump car-locomotive and rolling stock-a-vintage railroad building that features a six-stall roundhouse that was reconstructed on its original foundation that we’re sure people will both quite interesting.”

The train trek will also offer music, blacksmith demonstrations, food vendors, but Ursillo noted: “People are also welcome to bring a lunch, the Train Museum also has a picnic area.”

The JHS, Ursillo emphasized, must have a head-count of those interested in take the trip as soon as possible.

“We are looking forward to an interesting and exciting trip,” said Ursillo. “Folks who’d like to take the trip should call (401) 764-5901 or aursillo401@gmail.com.

The JHS’ “Fence Me In” fund-raiser also continues to climb towards its $2,500 goal that will enable the state’s top-ranking historical group rebuild or replace the fence that surrounds its property at 101 Putnam Pike in Johnston. To date the idea, has taken in $1,770.

“This amount does include a check for $1,000 from an anonymous donor who previously lived in Johnston and has a deep appreciation of history and preservation,” said Ursillo. “It also includes a few other donations I have received in the mail.”

However, as Ursillo pointed out: “we’re doing this through the GOFUNDME link and we encourage people to please visit www.gofundme.com/johnstonhistoricalsociety.”

“Every little bit will help keep the JHS property and fence looking fresh and clean,” Ursillo said. “Our entire membership is proud and works hard – real hard, in fact – to maintain our rich and treasured Elijah Angell House and adjacent Museum Barn.”

The JHS will also host a yard sale on Saturday, April 4 at its property beginning at 8 a.m. Officials have asked for “no early arrivals” and for bargain-hunters to mark their calendar because, as Ursillo said, “We have accumulated an immense amount of good stuff to offer historical pickers.”

Cutline for submitted photos


TRESURED TRAINS: This is the roundhouse that stores the old-time engines at the historic Eastern Railroad Museum in Willimantic, CT that the JHS will visit – weather permitting – on Saturday, May 6. Submitted photos JHS MUSEUM BARN

PRIZE PROPERTY: The Museum Barn, located at 101 Putnam Pike in Johnston, is surrounded by a fence that’s in need of replacement or reconstruction and the non-profit has collected $1,770 of its $2,500 for the project.


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