Gertrude Chandler Warner Boxcar Children Museum

I have been wanting to get this museum for YEARS but we never seemed to be able to get there when it was opened.   Ian had went with his class when he was in kindergarten but the younger two boys had never been and we enjoyed listening to the Boxcar Children stories so I thought it would be neat to see.

We had a fun time and learned a lot.  The museum is in an actual restored Boxcar so it's quite small.  They don't charge admission but run off of donations and the staff are all volunteers.

It's pretty endearing even just looking at it!  

Inside we found so much to read and look at!  They had the actual desk that Gertrude sat at to write her stories.  Photos of her family and there were stories to go along with each item/ photograph.

Half of the boxcar is set up to look like it has been described in the books complete with things like the hay they slept on, Benny's bear, their dishes, and even a few replicas of some of their collections (like the seashells from the book where they go to the island and put together their own museum).

In this end of the boxcar there are scavenger hunts and games for the kids to play too.

They have a bunch of her books on display; including those that are not part of the Boxcar Children's series.  My boys were  quite taken with this display which shows her actual writing journal and process.

If you look closely; the left hand side of the page is upside down because Gertrude only
wrote on the right hand side of the page until reaching the end of the journal.  Then she'd flip the book over
and being writing only on the right side of the page filling up those pages that had previously been the left hand side

From the steps of the museum you can look down the street and see the actual house where Gertrude Chandler Warner lived (it's the dark green one just after the brick house).  Her home overlooked the railroad tracks and since she was home sick a lot as a child began to wonder what it would be like to live in one of the boxcars that frequently passed by her windows.

We learned that she began writing at age 7 and became a teacher at the local school during the first world war when there was a teacher shortage.  She mainly taught first grade and would have two classes of 30-40 students a day (back then first grade was a half- day program with a morning and afternoon class).  

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by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg

What to Read Wednesday


  1. Love this! We loved her books too.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. It was such a cute museum and I just could not get over how much they managed to squeeze in there.

  2. I loved those books as a kid! I haven't shared them with the gang here yet because of the gendered roles of the characters, (boys go adventuring, girls stay back and mind the boxcar), but the museum looks awesome!

    1. Yeah, the roles are pretty gendered but when you take into effect the time period they were written they are historically accurate.

  3. How cool is that?! These books were one of our absolute favorites in our early days of homeschooling. Thank you for sharing!

  4. This was one of the series that really got me reading as a child. What a wonderful place to visit.

  5. We love these books! This looks like such a fun field trip.

  6. interesting field trip to go on. I love small museums like this.

  7. How cool is this! I just noticed my youngest picked up the Boxcar Children book from our shelf to read!

    1. They are such a great series of books. The docent and I were commenting on what a great job the ghost writers did when they took over the series; you just can not tell any difference.

  8. I didn't know this existed, but we sure loved that series in our family!

    1. It's such a small museum most people don't know about it but it is darling.


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