Ninety-five year old Godfrey still remembers the
joy of getting his first train when he was 10 years
old. His mother bought it for him after much
begging. It was a wind-up train as there was no
electricity. The next year, he got another engine
and two more cars. He put a candle in the
smokestack for a light.
When his family moved from Nebraska to
California, he was just 14 years old but, being the
only member of his family who could drive, he
drove them the entire distance.
Now, he is amazed to have had such an
enormous responsibility at so young an age.
In California, he asked his mother
for another train. She told him.
"No, you're too old for those now."
Years later as an adult, he bought and
assembled a Lionel Train model. This was okay
until he saw an advertisement for a kit of a 10
wheeled steam engine. After 200 hours of work,
he watched it run for the first time.
What a great feeling of achievement!
"If you build it yourself, and everything works,
you're really proud...you can't keep the buttons
on your shirt!" After finding this kind of
satisfaction in a creation all his own, he kept
building...and kept adding...until his basement
housed a miniature of the South Shasta Lines.
You have to see it to believe it.
Godfrey is a stickler for detail and having
everything as authentic as possible.
The rocks in the railroad display are taken from
the places they replicate. Look closely in the
railroad scenery and you will find all kinds of
realistic miniature props to capture your interest.
Entering his basement is like stepping into
another world. It's a wonderfully imaginative
world...one where no one would dare tell a 14
year old boy, or even a 95 year old man for that
matter, that they are too old to play with trains.
Godfrey's first tractor...he still uses this one.
Godfrey's first 1912 steam
powered 60HP tractor.
The second steam powered tractor
For those farm machinery enthusiasts who enjoy looking at history,
a time capsule awaits within Godfrey Humann's shop in Gerber, CA.
Don't wait to see it because much of it will be sold after this year's showings.
Here's a small preview of what you'll see...
While we took our tour, Godfrey fondly recalled the time
when neighbors helped each other with the harvest.
Within the history of each piece are memories of an era
when women would heap long tables with food for men
who had worked a long, dirty day.
Walking through his shop, each machine seemed to be more and more advanced, from steam power to gas
and diesel rigs. A hand plow was propped against a tractor that had taken its place. At the end of the tour, a
large combine loomed over the smaller equipment. This was the machine that eliminated the need for
community. It was considered an advancement of the times that one man could do it all himself...but
listening to the happy times that Godfrey remembers, I can't help but feel wistful that those days are gone.
Adults $5.00 --