While we might be enjoying this mild winter around this time of year most of us start to experience cabin fever. So, what better way to cure cabin fever than getting out of our house and trying something new? We are so very fortunate in Jackson County to have an airport, train station and yes even a car museum. So, pack up the kids and go for a ride to explore Jackson’s planes, trains and automobiles.
Jackson County Airport Reynolds Field began in 1927. The Airport was originally known as Reynolds Municipal Field and resulted from a donation of 160 acres of farmland owned by Mr. and Mrs. Wiley Reynolds to the City of Jackson in 1927. The Airport was owned and operated by the City of Jackson from 1927 until 1976 when it was sold to the County of Jackson for $1.00.
Today our airport is currently on 700 acres and is home to over 100 general aviation aircraft and Jackson College’s Flight Center. One of our airports many features is The Aviation Heritage Park (like a museum). Of the many displays you won’t want to miss is the larger than life bronze statue of a WWII aviator. To enjoy the experience of the aircrafts that use our airport every day just sit back and enjoy breakfast or lunch at the Airport Restaurant and Spirits, open every day from 7:00 am until 3:00 pm. They serve American food –everything from light and fluffy pancakes to a hot beef sandwich with options available for children and seniors.
If you are interested in learning more about our airport please check out: https://www.co.jackson.mi.us/242/Key-Events
Trains, Trains and more Trains. Amtrak’s Michigan Central Passenger Station depot was built in 1873 by the Michigan Central Railroad. It opened to the public on September 1, 1873 and is believed to be the oldest passenger station in the United States still in use as a staffed railroad station. The depot building is listed on the US Department of Interior’s National Register of Historic Places. As if this wasn’t impressive enough several famous people have arrived in Jackson via this railway, including: President McKinley in 1899, President Taft in 1910, and presidential candidates Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 and John F. Kennedy in 1960. The mural pictured below was painted in 1976 by Jackson artist Lee Beaman for the US Bicentennial Celebration. The train station is open every day from 7:00 am until 2:30 pm. So, pack a snack and head over to our train station and sit back and watch the trains come in. It’s truly a part of history and how Jackson grew rapidly in the 1800’s.
Jackson Automobiles and so much More! The Ye Ole Carriage Shop focuses on Jackson-made automobiles, but offers a surprising number other automobiles and memorabilia. Ye Ole Carriage Shop is a museum showcasing Lloyd and Judi Ganton’s collections. They have been collecting cars, toys, peddle cars and Jackson memorabilia for 45 years, and the museum gives the public a chance to take a step back in time and enjoy history.
Lloyd’s prized collection is his Jackson-manufactured Automobiles. Over the years, he has collected 18 of the 24 Jackson-made cars. The museum also features many other classic and historical cars and seven additional rooms housing dozens of impressive collections. You will find Coca-Cola memorabilia, motorcycles, model airplanes, gas pumps; kids' peddle cars, and much more! To schedule a group tour, call: 517-750-4300
- Available by appointment only
- Tour fee: No charge, donations accepted
- Great for school classes, senior groups, family gatherings, or any other groups of ten or more!
Get out of your house and take a trip within Jackson and learn all about the planes, trains and automobiles our town has to offer.
Valerie Herr is a passionate community member, writer and regular contributor to the Experience Jackson Blog. This series of blogs, entitled Learn To Be a Tourist in Your Own Town was originally published in the Jackson Area Collaborative Kids Source (J.A.C.K.S) Newspaper and we've been graciously allowed to republish them electronically. Enjoy.