The “DeWitt Clinton” Steam Locomotive of 1831

September brings carriage lovers of all types to the Lexington, Kentucky area – first with the KY Classic Combined Driving Event and then with the National Drive. Sometimes you’re ready for something just a bit different but which still contains familiar driving elements, in that case check out the Georgetown and Scott County Museum​​.

Named after DeWitt Clinton, the sixth Governor of New York, the “DeWitt Clinton” Steam Locomotive was America’s first steam powered passenger train. The passenger cars were made of stagecoach bodies; riders would sit either inside or on outdoor rumble seats. The locomotive was scrapped in 1833, however, the New York Central Railroad built a scale and operational reproduction of the DeWitt Clinton, complete with three carriages, for the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. This replica is kept on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

At the Georgetown and Scott County Museum you will find a 1/10 model of the original train. Working in cast aluminum, hammered steel sheets, brass and wood, the model was made by Mr. Douglas W. Cox. It was completed over a period of 43 years. Mr. Cox built from scratch every piece of the train, including the stagecoach bodies. The three stage coach style passenger cards, along with the locomotive and tender, are on display in the lobby of the Georgetown and Scott County Museum.

Located just a few miles down the road from the Kentucky Horse Park, the museum should be added to your “to-be-seen” list.