ND State Railroad Museum raises money to keep history alive

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MANDAN, ND - More than one hundred people crowded Mandan Moose Club earlier today for pancakes, sausage, and to show support.

A breakfast and auction was held to raise money for the upkeep of the North Dakota State Railroad Museum.

There's a childlike magic behind the doors of this museum that keeps volunteers coming back.

"They needed another guy to help put wheels- they call them trucks- underneath one of the freight cars. So I said yeah, I'll come up and do it. And by gosh, I was hooked." - Tom Hansen, Board of directors

But it takes a little more than faith, trust, and pixie dust to keep it going.

"Our paint that we buy To paint the freight- the railroads and so on is 85- 100 dollars a gallon." Tom Hansen, Board of directors

This pancake and sausage breakfast every year is what keep the grass trimmed, the paint fresh, and the locomotives blowing.

"When I started, that's when the breakfast started. Now it's annually, and you can't quit, because everyone is expecting it. " Wes Winger, Museum president.

The museum is funded through grants, gifts, and donations.

The board of directors say they're hoping to raise more than four thousand dollars from the event.

"Laying track with the old fashioned hand tools, or painting, or whatever needs to be done- we're all a 100 percent volunteer run organization. So our fundraisers are very important to us." Tom Hansen, Board of directors.

The museum was established in 1989, almost a century after the first railroad came to Mandan.

"Mandan wouldn't be here if it weren't for the railroad." Wes Winger, Museum president.

"It was a terminal site. It was where they would change crews, and at one time a very, very big population of Mandan was involved working with the railroad, as well as laying track and building the railroad." Tom Hansen, Board of directors

You could say that the breakfast and fundraiser keeps history alive.