The Clemenceau Museum's Model Train Room is a moving history lesson and a model railroader's dream come true. A passion for trains has attracted a group of committed railroad buffs who've come from across America and from all walks of life to form the Museum's Railroad Committee. Together, they've recreated the heyday of the rails in the Verde Valley and keep the trains running on schedule.
At the height of mining, smelting and cattle ranching, nine railroads served the Verde Valley. Miles of track crisscrossed the valley, connecting mines to smelters in Clarkdale and Clemenceau and from the smelters to markets across the nation.
The diorama has been completely built from scratch, using old photographs of landscape, buildings and equipment to make it as authentic as possible. It includes Jerome, Jerome Junction (now Chino Valley), Clarkdale, Hopewell Junction, Clemenceau, "Old Town" Cottonwood, and the surrounding ranches.
Attention to detail enhances the diorama, making it great fun to study. Housewives hang out laundry, men work forklifts and take lunch breaks, playing checkers outside a machine shop, a man peeps from a manhole in Clarkdale, pack mules wend their way along a hillside and vintage autos and trucks dot the roads.
Recent work on the diorama includes rebuilding Jerome's hillside to make it more realistic, adding the Phoenix Cement Plant in Clarkdale and Main Street in Old Town Cottonwood.