Amusement Park Train
George H. Lodge – 1905
Frances Fisher – 1988
This miniature locomotive was home-built by Mr. George H. Lodge in 1905 for an amusement ride at the Silver Lake Park that his family operated near Akron, Ohio. The scale locomotive is about 1/3 the size of a regular train engine. Miniature train rides are a common feature at many parks and amusement zones all over the world and were especially popular in America during the early decades of the 20th Century. Like its full-sized cousins on the regular railroads, this engine had multiple owners, ran on multiple lines, was retired then resuscitated several times over its long career.
Consider making a donation to help our museum volunteers restore the trains and improve your Travel Town experience!
After a few years of operation at Silver Lake Park, it migrated to Vollmar’s Park (near Toledo) and then on to Meadowbrook Park (near Bascom, Ohio) around the time of World War II. In the early 1960s, Lee Gaeke gave the engine a new boiler and remodeled her to mimic the famous Civil War locomotive “General” – thus he dubbed the rebuilt engine “The Little General”. The engine wrapped up its amusement park days at Ghost Town near Findlay, Ohio, in the 1970s – after which it was retired and sold to a hobbyist in Beverly Hills.
The Little General was donated to Travel Town in 1988 by Frances Fisher, widow of the hobbyist Marshal Fisher. It was formally unveiled at Travel Town in celebration of the Recreation and Parks Department Centennial in October 1989.