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NRHS 2021 The Christopher Farm & Gardens 8/27/2021

by Chris Guenzler

8/26/2021 Something I ate on Wednesday did not agree with me so I could not go to the Illinois Railway Museum. Elizabeth had her usual buffet breakfast in the hotel's restaurant, led her bus safety meeting and was bus host on the first bus. Upon arrival at Union, Nick Kallas greeted each bus and handed out a map of the site and details of the special attractions that were available for the group today. They included the 1899 Nevada Northern platform observation car "Ely" and the ability to go through Barns 11, 13 and 14 which housed Milwaukee Road equipment, passenger cars awaiting restoration and other treasures. One of the Chicago Surface Lines trolley cars was making the trolley loop throughout the day and a pair of Chicago, Aurora and Elgin streetcars offered rides on the interurban line. Another highlight was the almost-restored Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee Electroliner. All the NRHS members enjoyed their visit immensely and marvelled at the size of the museum and the expansive collection. Elizabeth had not been to Union since 2004 and saw many changes, including the Electro-Motive Division sign from the LaGrange plant.

I, on the other hand, rested and relaxed before finishing the East Troy story and watching some television. Elizabeth told me about the fantastic time she had had at the Illinois Railway Museum, then she proofed the story before we ate dinner in the hotel's restaurant. I watched television while Elizabeth attended Andy Laurent's seminar on the Ahnapee and Western Railroad in Wisconsin. It was a most fascinating presentation. We then called it a night.

8/27/2021 Elizabeth and I awoke at the Doubletree Hotel and had breakfast in the Avenue Bar and Grill on the first floor then returned to the room, from where Elizabeth left for her bus host meeting and awaiting the arrival of the buses. I followed about thirty minutes later.

The NRHS members are waiting in line.

The bus arrived with my loving wife Elizabeth in this picture. She took my ticket and I boarded as the first person on the bus. We left when we had 27 passengers and drove to Sheboygan.

We went down this road to the Christopher Farm & Gardens.

The Christopher Farm & Gardens Background

The estate stretches across 500 acres of farm and botanical gardens along a mile of Lake Michigan shoreline. This private venue also features the "Dairyland Express", a 16-inch gauge amusement park train powered by a Wisconsin gas engine that runs on a half-mile of track. The highlight of the tour will be the Christopher Transportation Railroad China Collection. The vast and varied collection features vintage china pieces and sets from a wide variety of American and International air, steamship and rail lines. The collection also includes various railroad equipment and transportation memorabilia. The grounds are a world-class botanical garden and are outstanding. They are worth the trip by themselves. Photography is permitted and encouraged in the garden area, but may not be used for any commercial use without prior written approval from Farm management.

Our Visit

We remained on the bus until Mr. Christopher arrived and our tour guide George who would led our tour of the grounds.

The Christopher Farm & Gardens initials in a hedge.

The Main Gate of the Christopher Farm & Gardens.

The horse of the Christopher Farm & Gardens represents that this was a horse stable. We went inside and walked by Mr. Christopher's house.

A statue of a lion. We went into the former tennis courts with a koi pond.

Views of the former tennis courts which have been transformed into a garden.

The newset addition which was put into the gardens yesterday.

Many unique plants on this property. We next entered the Asian Garden.

The Asian Garden. We next headed to the Railroad Garden.

On the way to the Railroad Garden. We entered the garden.

The railroad hand car shed.

My very cute Elizabeth and the railroad hand car shed.

The rest of the Railroad Garden. We reached a highlight of our visit here.

The Train Barn, known here as the Sheboygan and Fond Du Lac Railroad. We went inside into the airlines room.

Air China and China Airline aviation china.

Saudi Airlines and Aeroflot aviation china.

Ethopian Airlines and Air New Zealand aviation china.

Air Mautirius, Cameroon Airlines and other airlines aviation china.

El Al Airlines, Emirates Airline and Malaysia Airlines aviation china.

Iran Airlines, Iraq Airlines, Kuwait Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines and Gulf Air aviation china.

Varig Airlines and Trans Brazil Airlines and TAM Airlines aviation china.

Aeroperu Airlines, Areolineas Argentina and Avainca Airlines aviation china.

Lufthansa and Air France aviation china.

British Overseas Airlines Coporation and TAP Air Portugal aviation china.

Alaska Airlines and Delta Airlines aviation china.

Delta Airlines aviation china.

Zeppelin display.

A crystal glass etched with the personal motif of Adolph Hitler.

British Airways and KLM Airlines aviation china.

Various airlines' china.

Comtinental Airlines aviation china.

Singapore Airlines and Japan Airlines aviation china.

All Nippon Airways and other airlines aviation china.

Air China and China Airlines aviation china.

KLM and others airlines aviation china.

Trans World Airlines aviation china.

Braniff Airways aviation china.

Eastern Airlines aviation china.

Capital Airlines aviation china.

Northwest Airlines aviation china.

Canadian Pacific Airlines and Air Canada aviation china.

Air Canada and various Canadian airlines aviation china.

A model of the Hindenburg along with a surviving cream pitcher and platter.

Regent Air and MGM Grand Air aviation china.

Southern Airways and Republic Airlines aviation china.

Dornier D6-X flying boat aviation china.

Pan American World Airways aviation china.

Various airplane models.

Aloha Airlines, National Airline and various other airlines aviation china.

American Airlines aviation china. Now we will proceed to the railroad room and what a sight beheld me.

Kansas City Southern's Southern Belle dining car china.

Hotel key collection.

Timetable rack.

Silverware on display.

There is more to this collection than just china.

Oil cans and railroad lanterns.

Various railroad equipment.

Some of the many railroad lanterns.

Tools of the railroader's trade.

This case is filled with just a small sampling of the railway playing card collection.

Deodorizers and lanterns from various railroads.

Various styles of lanterns and marker lights.

Various railway equipment.

Illinois Central Railroad mail bag.

Chicago and North Western 400 train painting.

Lanterns, tools and trainorder hoops.

Santa Fe's The Chief band uniform.

Santa Fe Topeka band uniform.

Oil cans.

More of the collections, this time oil cans, lanterns and other necessary tools.

The jobs of the railroad as represented by this collection of hats.

Caboose marker lights. All of the items in these photographs since the aviation china are displayed around the perimeter of the room. The main area holds the railroad china collection.

Various compotes from the nation's railroads.

Canadian Pacific and Grand Trunk Pacific china and glassware.

Canadian Pacific dining car china.

The Highland Railway, Manila Railroad Corporation and Mitropa (German) dining car china.

Dining car china of various international railroads.

London and North Eastern Railway and Rhodesia Railway dining car china.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy dining car china.

Pullman railroad towels.

Wagons-Lits and Trans-European Express dining car china.

American Orient Express and Wagons-Lits dining car china.

Milwaukee Electric Railway, Indianapolis and Louisville Traction Company, Sperry Railroad Service and other railway dining car china.

Parker Railway News Company, Canada Railway News, Interstate News Company and Browns News Company china.

United States mailbox from Hinsdale, Illinois.

An amazing collection of finger bowls for hand washing.

Cup and saucer collection.

Gravy boat collection.

Chesapeake and Ohio dining car china.

Illinois Central dining car china.

China from the City of New Orleans train of Illinois Central.

Drink tray.

Union Pacific plates.

International Stewards Association, Grand Central Terminal, New York Railroad Club and others dining car china.

Poetry In Motion.

Various railroad pictures.

Ringling Brothers circus dining car china.

Baltimore and Ohio dining car china.

Chicago and North Western dining car china.

Chicago and North Western, Train of Tomorrow and Valparaiso University china.

Boston and Albany and Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville dining car china.

Boston and Maine, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio and St. Louis-San Francisco dining car china.

New York, New Haven and Hartford dining car china.

New York, New Haven and Hartford and St. Louis-Southwestern dining car china.

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