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In Memory of
Alexander M. Hamilton
August 25, 1927 - March 13, 2017

Museum Co-Founder, Charter Member, Loyal Friend and Supporter

After a long and fulfilling life, Morris County Central Railroad Museum (and by extension, Whippany Railway Museum) Co-Founder & Charter Member Alexander M. Hamilton passed away at 89 years of age, Monday, March 13th... two years to the day that his wife Dot passed away in 2015.

Al's steadfast support in championing desires of many young people to be a part of the then blossoming Morris County Central RR (MCC) was one of his many hallmarks. Al, amicable and always ready to patiently respond to a question he'd most likely given the answer to dozens of times before was by far one of the greatest assets the MCC ever had. His hard work, enthusiasm and support of MCC founder and president Earle Gil earned him the respect of everyone at the MCC. Al generally was the first to go to bat for any young interested teen who wanted to be a part of preserving steam railroading in northern New Jersey.

Earle Gil always thought very highly of Al and his dedication to the Morris County Central. When Al and his family moved to New Hampshire at the end of 1971, Earle immediately felt the loss of such a valuable friend and associate. As the years rolled into decades, Earle would occasionally comment that the MCC seemed to begin its decline after Al moved away.

In the year in 2000, Al wrote down his thoughts about the MCC and his words were included in the WRyM's newsletter of the era, "Along The Whippanong" , some of them appear below:

"Hardly a day passes without thinking of the Morris County Central and the many people we came to know as friends. There are many reminders around our home, and I am sure that the Conway Scenic (NOTE: the Conway Scenic mainline runs right behind Al & Dot's former residence in Conway, NH) has some effect as well.

I became aware of Earle Gil and his dream because of my interest in railroading. I became involved as a volunteer in 1965. I knew little of the mechanics or operation involved in steam locomotives or railroads for that matter, but I did know how to use a paint brush and was willing to push a broom. These talents were needed and appreciated. My reward was in the satisfaction and contributing to the realization of the railroad and in the association with all who were involved directly or indirectly.

In time I was offered the opportunity to become a stockholder in the Railroad. This unexpected turn of events led to direct involvement with the operation and management. I was REALLY a part of it... what more could you ask for ? I was able to utilize my trade skills as a press mechanic and pressman in the design and production of the printing needs of the MCC.

The souvenir shop opened as a combined museum / shop which was operated by my wife, Dot. With considerable research and effort, the "Railroad Shanty Gift Shop" blossomed into a local mecca for railfans as well as a source for a memento of the day for all visitors. The shop was attractive and provided a place for visitors to pass time while waiting for their train.

I became the first director of the Morris County Central Railroad Museum (NOTE: the predecessor organization of the present-day Whippany Railway Museum). With some help from volunteers and the persistent dedication and drive of Earle Gil, the Museum did expand. I am very proud and pleased with the Whippany Railway Museum as it is today. It just gets better all the time.

Each year there were marked improvements in the operation and development of the MCC and its satellite functions, i.e. the Museum, Souvenir Shop, Snack Car, picnic grove, public facilities, etc. There was much gratification in witnessing this growth, and there is always pleasure in reminiscing about the MCC."

Al lived a good long life, and right up until his final days, he kept fairly active. Now Al has joined all the other MCC veterans that have gone before... it is so sorrowful to see all our heroes and heroines pass, one after another, year after year.

Rest In Peace, Al... such a good, kind friend and gentle man.


The Whippany Railway Museum is a member of the Association of Tourist Railroads & Railway Museums
and the United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey.
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Whippany Railway Museum
P.O. Box 16
Whippany, NJ 07981-0016
(973) 887-8177
E-mail: info@whippanyrailwaymuseum.net

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