Over 12,000 people call my town, Fostoria, Ohio home. Like many Midwest cities it has been hammered hard by manufacturing job losses, but our resilie working hard to reinvent their hometown.
Having earned the title Train City USA, it has over 100 trains rumbling through each day representing every railroad company. People come from all over to view our trains, often hoping to see the Iron Triangle area where rails from all directions intersect sending cargo throughout the nation. The city has purchased the old Pork Packing Plant on Columbus Ave., demolished and cleaned it up, and is in the process of turning it into a Rail Park complete with a safe viewing platform. Currently visitors can be seen nearly every day standing along the tracks near the old Amtrak station on South Main St., cameras in hand, waiting for a specific engine or train to make its appearance.
These visitors often stop in at Dell’s Family Restaurant, located two blocks north of the station. They meet friendly locals who often provide information besides being able to look at a large collection of old photographs of Fostoria during its early 1900’s glass factory heyday and its long rail history.
Every September we have a Rail Days festival featuring many different activities, food vendors and large model railroad displays, attracting young and old alike.
While dad and the kids are watching the trains, mom can walk a couple of blocks down Main Street and visit the Fostoria Glass Heritage Museum displaying some of the beautiful pieces once made here, including everything from fruit bowls to chandeliers. Fostoria was home to 13 glass factories between 1887 and 1920. Also in order, is a stop at the Fostoria Historical Museum in the old Fire Station on West North St. where they will learn among other things the history of the Allen Touring car that was once produced here. Despite the economic setbacks, I’m proud to say my hometown, Fostoria, is working hard at becoming the little town that could.