Trees and Trains brings out the magic of Christmas

If you head to Hill City over the holidays you may catch the Trees and Trains exhibit at the South Dakota State Railroad Museum showcasing the nostalgia and magic of trains at Christmas time.

HILL CITY, S.D. — Right next to the 1880 train in Hill City is the South Dakota State Railroad Museum which has been around for nearly a decade.

It’s a nonprofit dedicated to preserving railroad education and the railroad’s impact on culture and way of life in South Dakota. It emphasizes the importance of the rich history of the railroad in our state and nation.

Rick Mills, Director of the Railroad Museum, says, “In a lot of cases, where the railroads were built, that is where our highway system was created to parallel that, so the railroads had a lot to do with the way our state developed.”

The annual Trees and Trains exhibit is up now, where Black Hills area businesses sponsor decorated trees. The exhibit is a festive way to enjoy the history and nostalgia of model trains at Christmas time, as model trains exhibit a universal enjoyment and tradition for many families.

Mills says, “How many of us in our families, whether we were real train nuts or not, had a model train running around a tree or running around a Christmas village? It is just something that so many of our families share and it’s a tradition that we like to remember as well as promote here at the museum.”

The railroad museum has both self-guided and guided tours and welcomes school tours a well.

“We want the kids to come in, learn about trains, learn about their history and have a good time,” says Mills.

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