Bradford RR Museum aims to improve tower

Museum to extend exhibits into BF Tower

By Sam Wildow -

BRADFORD — The Bradford Railroad Museum is setting its sights on a new project to continue honoring its railroad heritage.

“Our next project is going to be working on the tower,” said Dr. Marilyn Kosier, president of the Bradford Railroad Museum. Kosier has been with the museum since its inception in 2004.

Bradford, founded in 1865, is named for Tom Bradford, a railroad official, is situated at what was the intersections of Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago, and St. Louis rail lines. Trains took on provisions and changed crews in Bradford.

The Bradford Railroad Museum finished their exhibits in the museum in the old bank building in 2017, so the museum is also finishing up their first full season with all of their new exhibits. The Bradford Railroad Museum is housed in the former First National Bank building at 200 N. Miami Ave. The former bank building is believed to have been built in 1919, so the structure will be celebrating its 100th anniversary next year. Chuck Petty of Bradford, who is also a volunteer at the museum, said that they hope to have the old bank building included on the National Register of Historic Places.

The BF Tower is already included on the National Register of Historic Places, and the Bradford Railroad Museum is planning on extending their interpretive exhibits into the BF Tower as well as make improvements to the BF Tower.

Kosier said that they were recently awarded at $15,000 grant from the Ohio Humanities Council to go toward installing interpretative exhibits in the BF Tower. The project is expected to approximately $155,000 to complete the exhibits in the BF Tower and an additional $50,000 to make improvements to the structure, including doing repairs and restoring the signals to make them operational.

“Working in a small village, it takes us years to raise funds to get a project done,” Kosier said.

The BF Tower is a two-story brick building constructed in the 1920s and was a switching tower used to direct railroad traffic.

“It’s the only building that’s survived the wrecking ball,” Kosier said.

The Bradford Railroad Museum welcomes new members and donations. “You don’t have to be a member to contribute,” Kosier said.

Donations can be sent to the Bradford Ohio Railroad Museum, P.O. Box 101, Bradford, OH 45308. For more information about the Bradford Railroad Museum or how to donate online, visit

The Bradford Railroad Museum hours are Saturdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April through October, or by appointment at (937) 552-2196. Admission price is $5 for people 21 years old and over. All others are free.

After their regular season is over, they will be holding a free day for veterans on Nov. 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They will also be showing the 2004 film “The Polar Express” for children on Dec. 8, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Museum to extend exhibits into BF Tower

By Sam Wildow

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