Frisco Historical Society?

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by friscomike, May 7, 2010.


Should we form a Frisco Historical Society?

  1. Yes

    74 vote(s)
  2. No

    18 vote(s)
  3. More discussion needed

    24 vote(s)
  1. In my view the primary purpose of a formally constituted HS is to collect and make arrangements for the long term safekeeping of documents and artefacts and not primarily as an information exchange.

    This excellent board servers the exchange purpose well, but without a formal organisation with it's own premises and secure long term funding to meet the first purpose, there is a serious possibilty that the material collected may get disposed of by family and friends who don't share our fascination with old trains when w shuffle off this mortal coil.

    Now this long term funding issue is one many historical orgnisations face. Some like the Southern Railway HA have been able to partner with existing museums by donating or placing material on long term loan to ensure that it is kept safe.

    Cataloguing and preservation have taken a priority over quicker wider dissemination, but the fruits of that farsightedness are stating to pay off in the form of a number of useful books.

    My first concern is not making historical material generally avaialable (though that is the long term objective) but to make sure that is is properly conserved and protected and catalogued for the benefit of future researchers. A formally constituted society stands a better chance of doing that than a loose federation of individuals

    I voted "yes" as there will obviously need to be a lot more discussion on the subject in any case

    Regards to all

    Aidrian Bridgeman-Sutton
    Ramona CA
  2. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    The biggest reason historical societies have problems is the same reason many marriages have problems: money. Everyone has good intentions but it takes hard work and money to make either work.

    The ultimate issue is that, more and more, the cost of proper space (humidity, temperature, light) to physically store historical documents and paper materials is a major concern, whereas megabytes are easily and cheaply stored. Documents and images of objects are perfect for digital storage and are thus perfectly preserved as-is with no further degradation. The main concerns are getting the digital images first and then protecting them (backup).

    The collection and storage of objects, while highly desirable, requires space and care and also limits access to those who can physically be in the presence of those objects.

    I am not trying to take sides in this discussion, but merely trying to point out the pros and cons for better decision making.

    Either way for the collector who wants to see that their items are preserved for posterity, it is important to make certain that the collector's relatives or executors know their desires for the disposition of their collection.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2010
  3. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Be it a meeting on the Frisco prototype, or on Frisco modeling, or anything in between, I would come to the meet if at all possible.

    I couldn't attend last years meeting in Pittsburg because I was on a vacation trip to Utah/Arizona - Bryce/Zion/Grand Canyou National Parks.

    I couldn't make it to this year's meeting in Overland Park because I was on a family trip to Germany & Switzerland. Just got back home late last night. Terrific trip! Lots of rail miles on Deutsche Bahn. Terrific rail system !!!

    Looking forward to 2011's meeting! I'll offer to do a clinic or whatever is needed.

  4. renapper (Richard Napper RIP 3/8/2013)

    renapper (Richard Napper RIP 3/8/2013) Passed away March 8, 2013

    I voted yes to forming a Historical Society. I was on the BOD for the Frisco Museum for many years and I was a life member. I was the one that gave all of the Frisco Depot photos to the museum; I was very sorry to see it desolve, but one person simply cannot do all that work. Becoming a formal 501c3 organization is woth the time and trouble. Having four officers can help spread out the load and keep this website going strong. As 501c3 we could take the Station list books, etc. that the membership has stached away, reproduce them and sell them. This would do two things, get the information out and make money for the maintainance of the web site. The business meeting could be held at the annual Frisco Convention, and, yes, a 501c3 organization can make money, up to $25,000 per year. I am willing to continue with The Meteor, but it sure would be nice if some of you would wirte some articles for it.
  5. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Richard -

    Right now, I'm adding some detail and finishing off a Walthers (new release) o/w F-M H10-44, SLSF 270. I'm taking notes as I work, so I could easily write a short article on it for you for The Meteor, with pics of the finished loco.

    It will likely take me another week, however. When is your deadine?

    Like you, I sure wish others from this organization would write up some things they have done for you, so that each issue is not always full of stuff from the five or six of us who have provided all the material so far.

  6. renapper (Richard Napper RIP 3/8/2013)

    renapper (Richard Napper RIP 3/8/2013) Passed away March 8, 2013

    I can take the aritcle anytime you finish it. thanks.
  7. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Will do, but it might take a while yet. I had a set-back last night with the F-M. :mad:

  8. friscochoctaw

    friscochoctaw Member

    There was way too much discussion to be covered in one sitting, but here is a suggestion (if not already covered), take it or leave it:

    If we do start a Frisco Historical Society, why don't we just take over the incorporated (and defunct) SLSF Historical Society in MO and go from there? It's already established, all we need is some one willing to do whatever voodoo it is they need to do to get hold of it and report whatever needs to be reported.

    Yes, we already are basically a historical society, but shouldn't we seek a name/establishment to have associated with ourselves and our conventions, other than just a website:, that sounds about like "The Online Encyclopedia Convention, sponsored by: or"

    Respectfully submitted,
    John C.
  9. tomd6 (Tom Duggan RIP 2/11/2018)

    tomd6 (Tom Duggan RIP 2/11/2018) Passed Away February 11, 2018

    If the SLSF Historical Society is defunct, wouldn't that mean we would have to obtain IRS approval for 501(c)(3) status as a non- profit ? Some states have rules that do not permit the reuse of corporate names.
    Just some thoughts to ponder.
  10. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Vince York, a life member of the Missouri Pacific Historical Society, is an attorney (former McDonnell-Douglas/Boeing) and did the incorporation and registration work for the Frisco Railroad Historical Society (I don't recall if that was the exact name we used) in the mid-1980's and our proposed publication The Meteor.

    I'll get with Vince and ask him if any of the work we did back then is still of any possible use to a new organization. Probably not, but we'll see.

  11. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    Re: the appeals for contributions to the METEOR, of course this is a problem every organization goes through. I used to the "passenger editor" for MPHS and an associate editor for PTJ, so I know about this. What kind of articles are you looking for?

  12. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member

    I hope I won´t have to eat crow again, but I voted yes for a Frisco Historical Society, despite the fact I am a newcomer. I turned 65 on the 4th of July and retired off of the Deutsche Bahn. It has serious problems and anyone who has vacationed Germany recently and didn´t have to ride an InterCity Express without the air conditioner working in 90 degree heat, congratulations! Jim Wrinn, editor of Trains Magazine, had high praises for the DB too, but this is another issue.

    I was born in Dallas, Texas, July 4, 1946, and raised just north of there in Farmers Branch. The Katy´s Dallas-Denton branch ran through the town and the Frisco´s Ft. Worth-Sherman mainline ran behind our chicken farm, albiet with some woods in between. I was always more of a Katy fan than a Frisco. My great-grandfather and an uncle were Katy men in Denison. I was to go on to finish high school in Tampa, Florida, and volunteer for the US Army Transportation Corps. Schooled at Ft. Eustus, Virginia, in the Fall of 64 with Saturday morning steam-ups were fantastic! Then the rest of my tour of duty was spent in Germany with steam steam steam on the German Federal Railway (Deutsche Bundesbahn).

    After my discharge, I returned to Dallas and hired out on the Cotton Belt as a switchman. I also switched for the SSW in Ft. Worth. Cut off the extra board in September 68, I hired out with the Santa Fe. I marked up on the East Dallas Yard extra board. There I would remain until my move to Germany in late 76. I retired off of the DB last year having been a passenger service represenative at the Nuremberg Passenger Station. Yes, I speak German, albeit with a heavy Texas accent!

    Summer of 1961 found me in Farmers Branch between a move from Florida that would take me back to the Sunshine State in 1962. I spent quite a few hot Texas summer days at the depot in Carrollton. The depot was owned and manned by the Cotton Belt and the agent, Kenneth Dafft, befriended this Texas teen. It helped me in my decision to become a railroad man! Carrollton was a neat place to watch trains and was a joint agency for the Frisco and Cotton Belt. The Frisco, Katy and Cotton Belt crossed at grade right at the depot. Covered wagons were the norm on the Frisco in pure ABBA lashups provided by both EMD and Alco. Katy´s Denton Local that summer usually drew the #29, a Deramus rebuilt EMD Baldwin switcher and a well worn Sloan Yellow wooden caboose, the #823! Cotton Belt still ran F units on their freights in the true Blue Steak Merchandise tradition advertised on their boxcars.

    Working for John Santa Fe in Dallas was a great place to railroad. You had the feeling you were part of the family. The Santa Fe´s East Dallas Yard was a joint agency for the Frisco and Louisiana & Arkansas (KCS). Frisco would deliver solid coal trains from Oklahoma to the L&A who in turn moved them to the Texas & Northern for final delivery to Lone Star Steel in East Texas. Frisco powered their trains with SD45s whereas L&A ran faded Deramus red F units and pretty white GP30s. Santa Fe´s job was to exchange cabooses for the SL-SF and L&A. We also had to provide pusher service on the outbound loaded L&A trains as there was a grade leaving the East Dallas Yard up the Paris Branch towards Farmersville. Frisco´s power coupled up to outbound empty coal hoppers for the trip back to Oklahoma. Frisco´s inbound loaded coal trains were a site to behold! Great big SD45´s coming up-grade from the Trinity River bottoms into East Dallas Yard taxed the 45s to the limit and they really put on a great show! From black and yellow covered wagons in 1961 Carrollton to 1970s red-orange and white SD45s in Dallas, this all made a Frisco fan out of me! As a kid I always longed for a set of Lionel Texas Special F3s with the Frisco and Katy herald proudly displayed on the cab units. Poorer than a church mouse, I could only dream about them and the beautiful layout on the rear cover of the 1957 Lionel catalog!

    This sounds as if I got off track but to put this in perspective I would like to see the return of the Frisco Historical Society with set dues and an honest to goodness magazine format publication and a calendar! I did join the Santa Fe Historical & Technical Society for one year and I still have a lot of respect for it but their decision to increase the yearly dues for overseas membership to $66.00 without a calendar and my fixed income due to retirement regretfully made me have to decline membership for an additional year.

    I have cancelled subscriptions to all the major railroad publications for the same reason. Kalmbach Publications really takes overseas readers to the cleaners for overseas delivery of magazines. Carstens rates are fair and within reason but again, I am confronted with the fixed income syndrom. OK, Joe, you´ll drop the Frisco bunch too? No I won´t! I have adjusted my hobby dollar to permit me to join a reorganized Frisco Historical Society and I am taking out a subscription to Tim Blackwell´s excellent bi-monthly magazine The Cowcatcher! It covers railroading, both prototypical and modeling, throughout the Great Southwest and this includes Frisco territory!

    By the way, Ed Seay, Jr. put me onto The Cowcatcher. Junior literaly read me a copy over the phone! He still runs the M-A-L Hobby Shop in Irving, Texas. It is still one of the good old boy down home family run businesses where you get a big Texas sized Howdy! when you walk through the door! No funny recorded message or heartless machine to do bizz with here!

    OK, Get Goin´ and reorganize the FHS and be sure and sign me up as a new charter member.

    Thanks y´all!

    Joe Toth
    The Trinity River Bottoms Boomer
  13. HWB

    HWB Supporter

    Thats a great story. My Avard Sub may become East Dallas...
  14. patrick flory

    patrick flory Member

    I’m in the MPHS and the biggest use I get from them is the Company Store. I presume there’s no Frisco correlation.
  15. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    No; attempts to form an organized, formal organization have not been met with enthusiasm, I believe primarily due to the existence of this forum.
  16. patrick flory

    patrick flory Member

    Ok, I gathered that from the thread, I’m
    good with that. Is there any updated list of Frisco models?
  17. palallin

    palallin Member

    As noted above, the primary function of a HS is arguably the preservation of a physical collection of RR documents, images, and artifacts. At one time, such a collection existed in the museum.

    IIRC, that collection was scattered to the four winds at the dissolution of the museum. Do I remember correctly? Is there a Corporate collection somewhere that needs preservation provisions? Or are all the pieces in many private hands right now?

    What provisions for preservation are the private owners making, if any? Will we see the Frisco heritage end up in the trash over the next 25 years as those owners have no place to pass them on to?
    qaprr likes this.
  18. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    I have the slides.

  19. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Years ago, early 1980's, a few of us in St Louis formed a formal Frisco Railroad Historical Society, a LLC. It had a short life, as few wanted to join in and help, and there was some friction, which was regrettable, with FMIG. After about a year-long struggle, we terminated FRHS. Shortly thereafter. was born.

    Even though we have discussed a formal Frisco historical society since, I for one do not want to pursue it. is great, and meets all my needs with involvement with excellent people and sources of great Frisco knowledge. I regret we do not have a formal bulletin - we tried to create one several years back, but it failed after a year or two. So be it.

    I'm happy with Let's keep it as is. We should recognize, however, that many other RR historical societies do publish a great, quarterly bulletin/magazine that is quite good. Examples - ATSF, UP, GM&O, ACL/SAL, IT, MoP, PRR, TRRA, Monon, Wab, RI. I am member of each of these, and greatly enjoy their publication. It would be good if we could do likewise with the Frisco, as our favorite railroad is just as interesting as these.

    Long live!

    modeltruckshop likes this.
  20. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    When the museum failed, I believe one individual came to the rescue and either collected or bought all of the materials that were there. I do not know what his long term plans for the historical materials is.

    There are a lot of people out there that have Frisco materials (I'm talking about paper items) in their possession, who either don't have the means to scan and preserve digitally or don't have the willingness to share what they may have purchased in the interest of preserving digitally here. Everything that I have purchased that can be scanned has been and posted or I am in the process of scanning in order to be posted here. I am pretty sure there are operating records out there somewhere that really need to be captured and preserved digitally so they are not lost to history.

    Additionally, I am working through part of the materials that Ron Williams had and determining what needs to be scanned and posted here. A lot of what he had that I have seen so far has already been posted by others, however, I have found some stuff that is not yet available on this forum.
    modeltruckshop likes this.

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