July 03, 2012LINCOLN — Saturday marked the start of the Hobo Railroad's 25th Anniversary festivities. Owner Benjamin Clark said that the railroad wanted to have a "summer of celebration" to thank a quarter century of loyal customers. Through Sept. 1 the railroad will have special activities for all ages.
Clark said that the railroad, founded by his dad Edward in 1987, offers "affordable family fun for the vacationers who come to the White Mountains." He mentioned the history of railroading in the region, then said that the Hobo Railroad likes to "share that magic for a new generation every day."
Clark noted that Edward passed away on June 30, 1998. That was 14 years to the day before Saturday's celebration.
Executive Councilor Ray Burton praised Edward for being "the great man that he was." Burton then read a letter from Senator Jeanne Shaheen. She congratulated the Clark family. The letter said that the Clarks "have created a rich legacy of original tourist attractions that have delighted generations of families visiting our state."
Burton echoed the sentiment in Shaheen's letter. He said that the company has been a "major player in promoting the Lakes Region and the White Mountains."
Gene Chandler then read a statement from Representative Bass. The letter said that the Clarks have "contributed greatly to the local and state economy." Bass offered "congratulations as you celebrate this occasion."
Later in the ceremony, Clark praised the company's employees. He said that "the longevity of any organization" is based on great workers. Clark was grateful for his "exceptional team of employees and volunteers."
Clark had special regards for two former employees at the ceremony. Siblings Joseph Flagg and Thelma Hanson worked for the railroad for many years. Clark presented both of them with certificates "in honor of their service" to the Clark family and the company's customers.
Hanson's quilt, "The Many Colors of Hobo Railroad," was displayed behind the podium at Saturday's ceremony. Another part of her service was to recreate the plush purple seats in the Flying Yankee, an old passenger train on display at the Hobo Railroad.
She was very happy to be at the railroad to help the community celebrate 25 great years. "I wish for many more to come," Hanson said.
She presented Clark with a framed poster on Saturday. The poster dated from 1987. It was a promotional announcement that advertised the opening of the Hobo Railroad.
The railroad had three train rides on Saturday. Tickets for a seat were at the $5 level charged in 1987.
The times for the rides were 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Clark announced that celebratory cupcakes were available on the trains. This was another way, Clark said, to thank "our extended railroad family."
In addition to the rides, the railroad was offering other family activities during the anniversary kick-off. This included face painting, juggling acts, and other means of celebration.
The railroad is offering special events throughout the summer. On Saturday, July 7, anyone dressed as a hobo can ride a train for $5. On the following Saturday, every passenger will be given a hobo backpack. Each Saturday through September 1 will provide a special event. On August 18, for example, all products at the Hobo Junction gift shop are 25% off.
Additional information can be found at www.hoborr.com.