All of us are children at heart. Find the child within you by visiting the Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum, a hidden gem in Wheeling, WV. Discover toys from your childhood as well as multitudes of model trains.
A one hundred-year-old Victorian schoolhouse, Kruger Street School on the edge of Wheeling, WV, has been converted into a haven of toys from years gone by. With two floors containing ten rooms of toys, the child in you will want to explore for hours.
This lifetime dream of a toy museum for father and son, Allan Robert and Allan Raymond Miller, came true back in 1998. The vision began with a collection of Lionel trains, and the Millers’ thoughts and plans expanded to the present day museum.
Upstairs, trains fill several rooms and all offer interactive buttons so you can be a railroad engineer for a short time. While the HO-Gauge Train set, with dinosaurs hidden within, is a major attraction, there are several layouts on display. One attractive display uses local business names on stores and train cars. Names like Riesbeck’s, Coleman’s, Bleifus Tires, and Wes Banco draw viewers’ attention.
A slot car room gives opportunity to participate in driving the track, and is a favorite of many youngsters. Even this gypsy had to give it a try. Every room contains something children can play, as well as chairs for parents to sit and watch. Perhaps you will even meet Loo, the cat, who wanders freely while enjoying encounters with visitors.
The present curator, James Schulte, enjoys seeing entire families bond wth new memories as they discuss their favorite toys. Schulte also constructed the rides in a room called K-Land Amusement Park, from his own creative designs using the K’NEX building system. There you will find a ferris wheel, old-fashioned swings, and roller coaster that work at the push of a button.
Downstairs an old-fashioned Nickelodeon plays tunes for a quarter, while at the other end of the lobby you can play a vintage pinball machine, the most popular game here. This gives children a chance to experience fun before video games. It is a favorite of all generations with a long line quite often waiting for a chance to play.
The Game Room contains a mixture of traditional games from the 1900s, such as Candy Land, Rubik’s Cube and Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, a long ago favorite. A large selection of games are available to actually play such as foozball, checkers, blocks, and dominos.
Dollhouses and many dolls, including Barbies, Raggedy Ann and Andy, and Dippity Flip Flop, entertain the young ladies. Packed from floor to ceiling, dollhouses of all eras, Barbie cars, and several doll collections are on display.
For the 17th year, the Marx Convention will be held mid-June at the Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum. Over a hundred tables display Marx toys, but the biggest attraction is the group of former enthusiastic Marx employees, who have stories to tell regarding their part in the toy making.
Stop by their Gift Shop, which has been described as one big toy box, to take home a lasting memory. A special section features glassware from Wilkerson’s Glass in Moundsville, WV. The museum is open every day from 9- 4 in June – December. During January – May, they’re only open on weekends, except for special arranged tours.
Relive your childhood memories at Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum sometime soon, when you can spend the day. So many toys create a wonderland for the young at heart.
Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum can easily be reached just off I-70 in Wheeling, WV at Exit 4, Elm Grove. Take a right on Route 40, then go straight through the intersection to Kruger Street, with the museum on the right hand side. The sign is easily spotted.