The Sanilac County Historical Society needs the community's help to bring its new U.S. Army Troop Kitchen train car home.
Historical society administrator Dawn Malek said the car and 120 feet of track was gifted to the historical society by the Port Huron and Detroit Railroad Historical Society. The train car, which is currently located in Flint, is being relocated to the Sanilac County Historical Village and Museum's Deckerville Depot.
"Deckerville gifted us the depot several years ago, ever since we’ve been hot to get a train at our depot because how cool would that be?" Malek said.
A donor agreed to match all donations from Monday through Giving Tuesday on Nov. 30 up to $50,000. The donations will go towards the transportation of the car from where it currently sits to the museum, costs for renovation and all expenses relating to the laying of the rail at the museum. The project is estimated to cost $100,000, according to a press release from the historical society.
Malek said the museum hopes to have the car in place by spring.
Mail checks made out to SCHS to P.O. Box 158 Port Sanilac, MI 48469.
Call the office at (810) 622-9946 and pay over the phone via credit card.
Drop in at the office at 228 South Ridge St., Port Sanilac from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday to pay via cash, check or credit card.
To donate via PayPal, click here.
To donate via the Giving Tuesday gofundme fundraiser, click here.
Donations are accepted any time, however, to qualify for dollar-by-dollar matching, donations must be made before Dec. 1.
The car will be refurnished on the outside to how it looked when it was originally built in 1942. The inside of the car will be renovated to house the military display, which currently sits in the museum's second floor.
Malek said the car will be handicap accessible. Currently, the military display is not handicap accessible and is difficult or impossible for seniors or those with disabilities to access.
Acquiring the train car is an opportunity to preserve history for others' enjoyment, Malek said.
“Our mission is to preserve and promote history," Malek said. "Just the fact that we would be able to preserve tis car is very important.”
The car was built by the Pullman Factory in Detroit in 1942 and was used to prepare meals for U.S. troops. The "army range" wood/coal stove is one of only two left in the entire country. The dry sink is also original to the car, the release said.
The history of the car has a distinct tie to the area, as many men in Thumb left their farms to head to work each day at the Pullman Factory, according to the release.
Contact Laura Fitzgerald at (810) 941-7072 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Port Huron Times Herald: Here is how you can help the Sanilac County Historical Society get a train car