The Milton Clipper Express
The Milton Clipper Express operates seasonally. You will find it in operation every Wednesday Evening from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It also operates during Festivals and various events held in Milton Memorial Park throughout the year. Rides during normal operations are still only 25 cents.
The 1950's to 1970's
The Milton Clipper Express began its life as Engine 910. It was built by the Allan Herschell Company in 1957 according to records obtained by this historian.
Engine 910 was built and delivered to Lake View Park in Royersford, Pennsylvania. Lake View Park operated in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania until the mid-1970’s.
Records indicate Engine 910 was sold and relocated to Shawnee, Oklahoma around 1963.
In the early 1970’s Engine 910 found its way to Delaware and was located in Woodside, Delaware at a small amusement park called Cedar Park. This historian first met the now Milton Clipper Express at this location.
By 1980 Cedar Park had fallen on hard times and Engine 910 was again for sale. The next phase of her life started as a vision of 2 men. Richard Bewick, Secretary of the Department of Highways and William Henshaw, Manager of the newly constructed Smyrna Rest Area envisioned it as an attraction for the Rest Area and it was purchased for 25000 dollars. However this vision was never realized as the Attorney General’s Office determined the liability of operating it was far greater than the Department should take on. Engine 910 would now spend it years in storage, only brought out for a couple of days each year for the Department’s Annual Transportation Festival. It was while in the possession of the Department of Transportation the Train was painted the blue color it now wears today. Originally painted in Allegheny Valley Railroad colors it was decided to match the blue, gold, and white colors of the flag of Delaware. Allen Warnick restored and painted the engine and cars. Another gentleman, Herbert Rash restored the mechanical portions of the train with some of the parts being built by Shop Supervisor and machinist Arthur French.
The next phase in the life of Engine 910 begins in 1992 with the efforts of organizers of the Delmarva Hot Air Balloon Festival to help promote the festival. An agreement between Organizers and Officials of the Department of Transportation brought the Engine to Milton for the Event. Conversations between Event Organizers, Town Officials and then Representative George Carey led to the Engine being declared surplus property enabling the transfer of ownership to the Town of Milton.
A committee of Town Officials, Interested Citizens, Civic Groups and volunteers was formed. Initially Chaired by Phillip Bowman, Town Clerk the committee was charged with preparing the Town of Milton as the new residence of Engine 910 now renamed and forever known as the Milton Clipper Express.
A large number of groups and volunteers rallied the cause. The Town of Milton former Town Clerk Phillip Bowman, Former Mayor Jack Hudson former Councilwoman June Millman, Milton Chamber of Commerce and Charles and Barbara Fleetwood, Milton Lions Club and members Dr. Mike Mock, Jack Clark, Jim Coverdale, Volunteers Millard ”Bud” Jenkins Dr. Charles Wagner, John Chirtea, Dennis Hughes, Ed McGinness, David Dodd, Ron Marshall, Mike Ritter, James Clark, and many others worked diligently to raise funds and perform work and services to make the Milton Clipper Express the reality many have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy for generations to come.
The Milton Clipper Express owned by the Town of Milton and operated and maintained by the Milton Lions Club continues to be an integral piece of the fabric of Milton. Now in operation for over 20 years; thousands of children and adults alike have enjoyed this attraction.
The Milton Clipper Express operates seasonally. You will find it in operation every Wednesday Evening from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It also operates during Festivals and various events held in Milton Memorial Park throughout the year.