Lima: Crossroads of Railroad History

By Giles Kennedy

Chief Editor The Ohio Railroader Website

Chief Admin Ohio Valley Rails FB Page

(Portions of article from Allen County Museum Article from Columbus Wired)

Most folks know Lima for the “Kewpee” burgers, tanks being built and some of its railroad history.

Lima and Allen County is literally a microcosm of Ohio’s history in one area.

This could be; if planned correctly, a few days stay. Or if you live in Ohio; visit the Lima Model Railroad Club and Lincoln Park on Sunday, visit the Allen County Museum later in the week.

Let’s give a look into the Lima Model Railroad Club first.

1117 Boyer St, Lima, OH 45801

Open Sundays (special events, inquire for details) 1:00 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Model Railroad Club has been around for over 60 years. It has been the present location on Lima’s north central side for several years.

It is modeling the proto-freelance Lima Connecting Lines. Although; it loosely interprets Southern Ohio, northwestern Ohio and other parts of the country. It is a massive and beautiful layout for visitors to enjoy.

Nearby the layout is Lincoln Park; across the way from Lina Senior High School.

Lincoln Park features Nickel Plate 779, a Lima built Berkshire steam locomotive, a NKP caboose and heavyweight passenger car. Also, near the static display is the DT&I depot from Uniopolis; now signed for Lincoln Park.

The Cincinnati Railway Company, with their Ohio Rail Experience, had excursions stop off at Lincoln Park.

The Allen County Museum; located at the corners of Market and Metcalf streets, is worth a visit as well.

Photo Album from our visit via Columbus Wired’s Facebook page to the Allen County Museum

Basic information for visiting via Allen County Museum’s website

620 W Market St, Lima, OH 45801 (West of Downtown, near Mercy Hospital St. Rita)

(419) 222-9426


(Admission: Suggested donation $5.OO; items for sale at customer service/info desk)

​Tuesday – Friday

​1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

We encourage those at risk to start the afternoon with us at 1:00 p.m.


1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. .

We encourage those at risk to start the afternoon with us at 1:00 p.m.

​Closed Sundays, Mondays And Major Holidays

​The Children’s Discovery Center is not open but does have Take It and Make It crafts.

​The Library is open by appointment only.

The Model Rail Display is available upon request and special events; pending volunteers available to man the train layout.

To say you could spend a half a day; if not the entire day inside of the Museum is an understandment.

The region started as a crossroads for Native Americans; in particular the Shawnee nation.

In the 1700 and 1800’s many explorers and settlers the southern region of the Black Swamp area of Ohio.

Once, Ohio was a state; Lima and Allen County continued to a focus point for settlers and ingenuity.

When the industrial revolution came about; names like Standard Oil, Lima Locomotive Works, Ford Motor Company and others dotted the region.

A vast collection of fossils, native American items, industrial relics and much more spread throughout the space.

As Ohio was a major contributor to the Civil War; a vast firearms and military collection can be found. Even in later times, a rare Liberty Truck is on display from World War I.

As fore mentioned; the Lima Locomotive Works was a long time source of pride for Allen County.

A static Lima built Shay locomotive; as well other artifacts are available to see.

Artifacts from Allen County’s oil history, transportation history and local legends adorn the halls.

If you do visit Lima; there are many other places to visit around the city and the county.

For more details; visit

I would highly making this a day trip from Columbus. It is so well worth the drive.

Filed Under: News


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