Kevin Boozer Staff Writer
October 31, 2013
WINNSBORO — Over a thousand people embarked on an adventure Saturday as the Pumpkin Patch Express rolled out of the S.C. Railroad Museum.
The open air car was a hit with several warmly dressed passengers on the brisk fall day, though the bulk of the patrons rode inside of closed Pullman cars. People attended from throughout the tri-state area including Mindy Thompson who made the trek up from Summerville with her 3½-year-old son, Connor.
Thompson’s great-grandfathers worked on locomotives and trains in the Pennsylvania area so trains were a big part of her heritage she was excited to share with her son.
Rufus Timms said that as far as he knew that was a record for a one-day event at the museum. Last year they had around 350 people ride the pumpkin patch express.
This event was the first held since the completion of a loading deck at the field in the Greenbrier area where passengers disembarked for Halloween-themed activities.
One child was in a wheelchair after having medical procedures done on his legs.
“To see him get off of the train on that platform (this year) just made (all the hard work to get that platform there) worth it,” said Timms, who works with the museum.
He said elderly passengers on the trip with grandchildren also appreciated the easy of access. The children received sugar pumpkins Timms said would be good for making pies, so their parents eventually could scrape off the ink and stickers and bake with them if they wanted.
Some of the extra pumpkins were donated to area churches, to Richard Winn Academy and to home health services around town.
Timms thanked the Town of Winnsboro and Fairfield County for being partners with the museum. The steam engine rides begin with that locomotive being fired Nov. 2 and Nov. 3. Timms said the Halloween event has them excited about the prospects of the Santa train excursions coming this December.