About the Museum

Our Mission: To promote, through the establishment and maintenance of a museum and allied projects, a program that will bring about a better understanding and appreciation by the community of its history, commerce, art, and natural environment.

Established in 1989, the NEW BUFFALO RAILROAD MUSEUM provides an historical record of the history of the area highlighting the significant role the railroad played in the development of the greater New Buffalo community. The Museum was built as part of the development and renovation of the vacated Pere Marquette Railroad Roundhouse property located on South Whittaker Street.

In the 1920s, the Pere Marquette Roundhouse was a major terminus connecting the rich trade area of Northern Michigan with the Chicago mercantile and shipping markets and served as the major employer for the residents of the New Buffalo area. The Pere Marquette Railroad later became the Chesapeake & Ohio line, and now the CSX line. The Museum building is a replica of the original Pere Marquette Depot that existed near the site in the 1920s, when steam locomotives ruled the rails. The original plans were discovered by life-long New Buffalo area residents Nadra and Al Kissman and Ron and Rol Oselka and the building was built from those original blueprints by Alvin R. Kissman, Dave Ohms and George Slechta.

Over the years, the Museum has played host to a variety of community events and services. Children’s activities were added to delight people of all ages. Thousands of visitors have enjoyed visiting the Museum and seeing its many exhibits and artifacts.

The programs, activities and daily operations of the Museum are under the guidance of Executive Director, Kimberlee Wendt.

Important Milestones

1989 – Established in a custom-built replica of the Pere Marquette Railroad Depot

1990 – Outpouring of “founding” donations

1991 – Addition of a C & O Box Car , Creation of model train layout built to depict the village of New Buffalo in the 1920’s.

1995 – Addition of a Troop Car, with interior displays and exhibit space, Historic fire engine

1999 – Establishment of New Buffalo Railroad Museum Endowment Fund that generates supports maintenance and repairs.

2010 – The City of New Buffalo moved Historic Hand-pumper Fire Engine to museum for display.

Museum Board of Directors

The New Buffalo Railroad Museum is an all-volunteer organization. Each board member takes on a “working” role in addition to their governance responsibilities in order to ensure that any activity of the Museum is successful.

2016 Board Members

  • Cookie Ferguson, President/Administrator
  • Mary Lou Wattman, Treasurer
  • Jan Adamec
  • Janet Hayes
  • Sherri Kerhoulas
  • Rich Knoll
  • Vincent Lauricella
  • Vanessa Holecek Thun
  • Brian Poynton
  • Todd Van Buskirk

Emeritus Board Members

  • Larry Bubb (deceased)
  • Norma Cook
  • Alice Drenten (deceased)
  • Ronald B. Ferguson
  • Judy Zabicki Handley
  • Alvin R. Kissman
  • Katha Kissman
  • Nadra D. Kissman
  • Art Lamport
  • David Lubke (deceased)
  • Karla Kissman Madison
  • Rolland Oselka
  • Ronald Oselka

Original New Buffalo Railroad Museum Endowment Advisory Board

  • A.J. Boggio
  • Kim Clark
  • Tom Gosh
  • Judy Gosh
  • Edward Lyons (deceased)
  • Mike Hojnacki (deceased)
  • Robert Hotovy
  • Phyllis Kelly
  • Ted Kerhoulas
  • Susanne Lake
  • Ron Miller (deceased)
  • Rolland Oselka
  • Tom Ray (deceased)
  • Chuck Ruth