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From Our Editors
Once upon a time, the American landscape was ruled by great machines, giant, steam-belching constructs that criss-crossed the country in the name of commerce, exploration, and national identity. Although it shares a phrase with fairy tales, this passage describes a very real time: the days of the steam engine. At the Hesston Steam Museum, curators honor this crucial juncture in industrial history with exhibits and artifacts from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Although they cover everything from saw mills to electric power plants, the main attractions are the locomotives. The museum is home to three working railroads, including a narrow-gauge track. In addition to the impressive 1929 Shay engine, the museum is also home to two scale trains: a quarter-scale train designed for amusement use in the early 20th century, and an eighth-scale train hand wrought by hobbyist engineers and machinists. Guests can grab rides on all three before grabbing dessert at the museum's old-fashioned soda fountain or exploring the gift shop for commemorative mementos.