Christmas Garden – 2019

The Hillsborough Heritage Museum at the old fire station was filed with festive Christmas trees, trains and holiday spirit! One of the better known holiday traditions is that of the Christmas Garden placed at the foot of the family Christmas tree. After Lionel and American Flyer began producing increasingly realistic and affordable toy trains, animated Christmas Gardens were soon not only seen in the parlor or family room, but in public places as well. Our visitors, young and old alike, enjoyed a variety of trains under decorated Christmas trees (including our throwback tinsel tree with rotating light wheel!), as well as our current museum displays, A Woman’s Place and Disasters!

  • This HO scale Christmas garden shows a fanciful North Pole served by trains of the Baltimore & Ohio R.R. Many pieces are more than 40 years old.
  • This view of the museum's Christmas exhibits features a tree reminiscent of the aluminum Christmas tress of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Note the antique Lionel Bridge No.300- the Hell Gate Bridge- at the lower left.
  • A 40 year old Lionel 2-4-0 steam locomotive (loaned by Elizabeth Cole) and a 20 year old "Thomas the Tank Engine" (loaned by Dillon Cole) are shown doing their job as they have done for many years.
  • This very new Lionel work train set highlights this Christmas Garden, compliments of young Ben Chadwick.
  • Another view of the aluminum-like Christmas tree and garden shows a great mixture of the old and new including the 1920s Lionel Hell Gate Bridge (loaned by Marjorie Porter), the working Ice Skating Rink (loaned by Laura Gould), and a 50 years old Santa's House in addition to the Lionel Trains.
  • This Christmas Garden features a traditional Christmas tree and village and a sound equipped Lionel Polar Express train (loaned by Christina Chadwick) enhanced with two vintage Lionel coaches ( loaned by Elizabeth Cole). Christina also kindly loaned many of the pieces used in the Christmas gardens in this year's exhibition.

Although the holiday season is over, we still invite you to come visit us! Browse among the artifacts, watch our home movie of the Hillsborough hurricane of 1938 (original footage by Walter Sterling) and learn about the people and events that made this town special.