Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas and Model Trains: Eastern U.S. Firehouse Christmas Train Gardens

(Time for the annual Christmas and model trains post! This time, a repeat from a year ago.) 

Trains and Christmas have gone together for a long time, whether it’s a model train around the Christmas tree or a department store Christmas display.

But model trains, Christmas gardens and fire departments also go together in some U.S. east coast communities, as I recently discovered.

Ellicott City, MD

It goes back to the 19th century, when Moravian immigrants that settled in Pennsylvania and Maryland brought along with them the custom of creating an indoor miniature garden to tell the story of the Nativity.

Thesse gardens, called a “putz” (pronounced “pootz”), would include people, animals, buildings, and landscaping.

Wise Ave. train garden

Locals who saw the Moravian gardens began putting them under their Christmas trees. Later, they added trains to the scenes.

Since not everyone was rich enough to afford a garden in their home, firehouses began creating and displaying train gardens so everyone in the community could experience them—a tradition that is still practiced in some firehouses in those states.

Baltimore Fire Museum

One city where the trains gardens are likely to be found is Baltimore, where they can be found in homes, firehouses and businesses. Other communities also have them.

Read more about the train gardens here.  Check out this Christmas train garden at the Wise Avenue Volunteer Fire Company in Dundalk, Maryland. Also check out this one in Highlandtown. 

Read more in the Christmas and Model Trains series.

Jarrettsville, MD

1 comment:

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