As a boy, Jerry Jacobson loved watching steam locomotives, but all were retired by 1960. In 1988, Jerry bought a 90-mile railroad, naming it Ohio Central (OC). Twenty years later his Ohio Central Railroad System (OCRS) had grown to ten individual freight-hauling railroads with 84 diesels and ten steam locomotives.

 

Jerry retired in 2008 from the railroad industry, selling his entire 525-mile OCRS freight railroad. However, Jerry kept all the old equipment, especially the steamers. Needing a place to safely house and restore his old-timers, Jerry acquired 34 acres of land adjacent to the OC track and constructed his Age of Steam Roundhouse. He built two miles of storage tracks, a depot, store house, coal loader, wood water tank, ash pit, back shop and, the jewel of the site, a working, 18-stall brick roundhouse that surrounds a 115-foot turntable. This was the first full-sized working roundhouse built in the U.S. since 1951.

 

The Age of Steam Roundhouse has three roles: maintaining its roster of 22 steamers, teaching future generations these fast-disappearing job skills, and bringing America’s railroad history alive.

 

The Age of Steam Roundhouse was constructed and is maintained with private funds donated by the Jerry and Laura Jacobson Foundation, Inc., a tax-exempt educational 501(c)(3) entity.