Kruger Street Toy And Train Museum
In the summer of 1905 a bond issue was authorized by which means money was procured to erect a new building to house the public school for the Elm Grove area. The old site and building were sold at auction, and a new site on the right bank of Big Wheeling Creek was purchased. This site was originally part of the Moses Shepherd estate. This ground was once an Indian burial ground, and that diagonally across from the southeast corner once stood an old Indian mound. In the spring of 1906 work was begun on the new building and on March 4, 1907, the teachers and pupils said goodbye to the old school house and took up their work in the new.
The Board of Education at the time consisted of U.M.Hervey (President), W.L.Duncan (Secretary), G.W.Guy, and J.F.Shirk. The architect for the structure was Charles D. McCarty of Wheeling. The contractors were Elliot & Winchell of Clarksburg, West Virginia. The cornerstone was laid on June 30, 1906 by the Knights of the Pythias, Mystic Lodge No. 24. The cornerstone can be found on the right corner of the building as viewed from Kruger Street.
This building was an up-to-date structure for its time, a two-story brick, with improved basement, one of the finest in the state. It contained twelve recitation rooms, a room for the Board of Education, a principal's office and library, and two manual training rooms. It originally housed not only grades one through eight, but also a two-year high school program.
The building remained a public school until 1991, when the last classes of Ohio County Schools were held there. The building was then used by West Liberty State College for the 1994-95 school year, before being closed in the mid nineties. On March 18,1997 the building was sold at auction to the Eibel Corporation, which developed the building into the current home of the Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum. The Museum opened on September 1, 1998. Another Eibel Corporation business, Elizabeth's Upholstery, also currently occupies space on the ground floor of the building.
The floors in the classrooms are made of Georgia yellow pine, and the woodwork throughout the building are red pine. The "tin ceilings" are believed to have been made by Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel, and are original; they are actually pressed steel and not tin! In the belfry of the school is still found the original school bell, weighing nearly 1 ton and still operational.
A few interesting side notes about the property are that the Linden tree in the front of the building is the oldest of its type in the state of West Virginia, and that the building contains embedded in its lower left corner a medallion indicating that it was the benchmark for the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey in 1957.
Fun place for a short visit. Great for kids from 3 to 11. Displays are neat, lots of rooms, lots of interactive exibits but some were out of order but enough to see and have a good time. Be sure to say hi to Loo!
Coming here you are going to see lots of toys from your childhood, maybe your parents and kids childhood too! There are toys young kids can play with to keep them busy while you look around the exhibits around the edges of the rooms. The train exhibits have fun set ups to keep kids busy as well, like "can you find the 15 dinosaurs". They now have a cat here, Loo, named after the famous railroad cat, and pinball machines that you can play for free / donation. This place has a very interesting collection: trains, Lego trains, dolls, and miniatures. The earliest toys I saw were from the 50's, but I likely missed some. There is also some history about China and real trains. You could come here and spend hours. My favorite area was the kinex roller coasters set up as a miniature exhibit.
Awesome toy and train museum. Lots of fun stuff to do. Cheap Groupon deal. The cat is friendly there too and will follow you around. Stop by if you can!
This is not just fun for children. It is wonderful for adults as well. Lady at pay station was helpful. Exhibits werefin. Collections are awesome. Don't miss it. Even the gift shop has several unique gifts.
Kenneth Rudisill, III
So much more then we expected. Very friendly staff. So much to see. They even have little plastic step ups for kids to carry around and use to help them see the train displays. Nice touch. Well done.
Kruger Street Toy And Train Museum is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media