Posts Tagged ‘Jerry Jacobson’

Paying Tribute to Mike Costill

July 18, 2022

Jerry Jacobson and Mike Costill (Photographs courtesy of Pete Poremba)

We are all saddened by the loss of Jerry Jacobson’s longtime friend from childhood and dedicated volunteer here at Age of Steam, Mike Costill.

Mike was with Jerry at that first fateful steam locomotive cab ride in Cuyahoga Falls.  The two of them made many trips to see steam locomotive last trips and dead lines of retired steam locomotives.

Mike was honored as AOSRM Volunteer of the Year in 2019 putting in many hours helping in the back shop, with Roundhouse tours and maintaining the signal lamps that are kept continually lit on the two derails behind the connector building.

Mike had also taken on the task of separating, sorting and shelving the many archival paper items that continually stream into the collection.

This past Winter Mike made presentations at both the Akron Railroad Club and our Winter Speaker series involving his extensive work of converting and sorting Jerry’s slides.

Mike shared his stories of their experiences, adventures and escapades as seen through the lens of Jerry’s camera.  Jerry had invited me to many dinners with him and Mike before the Akron Railroad Club meetings.

Just a couple of months ago Mike, a friend and I revisited that pre-meeting tradition by dining at the Polish-American club in Akron as we had with Jerry. 

Mike contributed an interview for our Roundhouse promotional video last Fall.  Tim Sposato and I just received a preview of the video to evaluate.  It should be completed and made public soon.

We are so glad that Mike tells his story on this video for all to experience and remember about his relationship with Jerry and the Age of Steam.  Mike will be missed but, memories will be cherished and his work here commemorated.  Thanks Mike, for all of your work, dedication, memories and always a cheerful smile.

Commentary by Pete Poremba

AOS Honors 2 Volunteers

December 2, 2020

The Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum has honored two men by naming them to receive the Volunteer of the Year Award and Master Mechanic’s Award.

Akron Railroad Club member Mike Costill of Canal Fulton won the mechanic’s award while the volunteer award went to Matt Arnold of Bolivar.

Costill is a regular member of the back-shop team and was a longtime friend of museum the late Jerry J. Jacobson.

A news release issued by the museum said Costill is often at the roundhouse for regular hours and has helped with numerous projects.

Arnold was recognized for his work as a videographer and digital media volunteer.

He contributed to several short social media videos and other virtual media during the spring and summer when the COVID-19 pandemic shifted the museum’s focus away from on-site programming and events.

AOS to Acquire ex-B&LE Steam Locomotive

August 6, 2019

B&LE No. 643 has been sitting in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, for several years awaiting restoration or a new home. (Photo courtesy of Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum)

The only surviving Bessemer & Lake Erie 2-10-4 Texas-type steam locomotive has been acquired by the Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum in Sugarcreek, Ohio.

AOS announced on Monday that it has reached an agreement to acquire B&LE No. 643, which for the past several years has been sitting in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania.

In a news release, AOS thanked Glenn Campbell and the Steel City Railway Historical Society for agreeing to allow the locomotive to join the AOS collection of 21 other steam engines.

The later Jerry Jacobson, who founded AOS, had long dreamed of some day owning No. 643.

During its active service life the 643 was a heavy-haul steam locomotive designed to move iron ore, coal, and other high-density commodities to and from Lake Erie.

It was built in 1944 but retired in 1952 as the B&LE phased out steam motive power in favor of diesels.

The 643 and two other smaller steamers were preserved by the B&LE in a roundhouse in Greenville, Pennsylvania.

Nicknamed “The King,” the 643 is believed to be one of the largest non-articulated steam locomotives in the world.

It is slightly more than 108 feet in length, more than 16 feet tall and weighs 308.32 tons without coal and water.

With 26 tons of coal and 23,000 gallons of water the 643 would weigh 908,720 pounds, which is more than 454 tons.

AOS said future announcements about moving the 643 to Sugarcreek will be made on its website at

AOS to Allow Regular Public Tours

May 1, 2018

The Age of Steam Roundhouse in Sugarcreek will begin allowing public group tours on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays starting May 3.

Admission is $20 payable in cash or check, but not via credit card.

AOS also announced an end to the prohibition on non-commercial photography by amateur photographers of the grounds and collection of the roundhouse.

Group tours will be offered through Oct. 27. Interested parties should use the “Contact Us” page at the website

Tours for individuals and small groups will be offered on June 9 at 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m., comprising the same content as that offered to larger groups.

Tour participants must be over the age of 5, wear closed-toe shoes and old clothing, and sign a liability waiver.

The roundhouse was founded in 2012 by the late Jerry Jacobson, a former life member of the Akron Railroad Club and the head of the Ohio Central System before its sale to Genesee & Wyoming.

The 18-stall roundhouse features a 115-foot turntable, 20 steam locomotives and a fully outfitted backshop.

Age of Steam Offering Public Tours

April 17, 2017

The Age of Steam Roundhouse in Sugarcreek is again offering public tours on Saturdays.

The tours require a group of 40 or more people and there is an admission charge of $20 per person.

The guided tours are being conducted between May 6 and Oct. 28. Participants must wear proper shoes that cover their entire feet and sign a liability release.

Children under age 10 are not allowed and it is recommended that participants wear old clothes.

The AOS said in a notice posted on its website that the roundhouse was never intended to be open to the public.

“But the public was curious, and their requests to come inside and look around were so great that [owner] Jerry [Jacobson] wanted to share his wonderful old trains with others who also love old trains,” the notice said.

The roundhouse has 18 stalls that house its collection of 19 steam locomotives ranging in size from 0-4-0 saddle tank engines to larger 2-8-4 and 4-8-4 locomotives.

The collection also includes old freight cars, passenger cars and diesels.

2-8-2 Headed for Age of Steam Roundhouse

April 13, 2017

Another steam locomotive is en route to the Age of Steam Roundhouse in Sugarcreek.

Yreka Western 2-8-2 No. 19 was loaded onto a flatcar this week and left Yreka, California.

AOS owner Jerry Joe Jacobson bought No. 19 for $400,000 last October at a sheriff’s auction after a boiler company placed a lien on it for nonpayment of work done in 2006.

The steamer was built in 1915 by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1915 and has worked for an an Arkansas logging railroad and California’s McCloud River Railroad. It appeared in the 1973 movie Emperor of the North.

No. 19 is the second ex-McCloud locomotive to be owned by AOS, including 2-6-2 No. 9.

AOS Buys Another Locomotive

October 7, 2016

Jerry Jacobson owns another steam locomotive. His Age of Steam Roundhouse purchased Yreka Western 2-8-2 No. 19 during a sheriff’s sale on Thursday in California.

Age of SteamAOS won out over the Valley Railroad of Essex, Connecticut, the only other bidder for the locomotive.

Trains magazine reported that the winning bid of AOS was $400,000.

The sale of the locomotive happened after the Chelatchie Boiler Works of Woodland, Washington, placed a lien on it for $264,000.

Chelatchie acted after not being paid for boiler work that it performed in 2006. By a 2013 court order, No. 19 was confined to its engine house.

A sheriff’s sale had been set for October 2013, but was called off when the previous operators of the Yreka Western alleged that they had a superior line on the locomotive.

Under terms of the sale, AOS will have two weeks to move the locomotive from its current location.

AOS officials told Trains they plan to load loose parts onto a truck and contract with a trucking company to move the locomotive on a low-boy trailer.

The tender will be taken by truck to Sugar Creek while the engine will move to Sacramento, California, where it will be placed on a railroad flat car for transport to Ohio.

The AOS owns another former McCloud River Railroad steam locomotives, No. 9, which it purchased last year from Steve Butler.

No. 19 last operated in November 2008. It appeared in the 1973 move Emperor of the North with Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine.

It also once ran on the Oregon, Pacific & Eastern Railroad.

AOS to Have Public Tours Sept. 10

August 16, 2016

Jerry Jacobson’s Age of Steam Roundhouse will offer public tours on Sept. 10 for a $20 fee.

Age of SteamThe tours will begin at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m., at the facility located just outside Sugarcreek, Ohio.

Following the tours, AOS will host a reception to raise money for the Garaway Education Foundation, which awards scholarships to Garaway High School students to pursue higher education.

The reception, which begins at 5:30 p.m., will cost $50 per person and feature access to the locomotives and other areas of the roundhouse.

Although periodic tours of the AOS facility have been held in recent years, it is not common for the site to hold an open to all event.

To purchase tickets online for the roundhouse tour and/or the reception, click on the following link:

Thanks, Jerry, For All That You’ve Done

March 25, 2016



Dear Jerry Jacobson,

Whether it was excursions, steam locomotives or diesel-powered freights, you were there for us then, are there for us now, and, hopefully, you will continue being a railfan friend through all the changes that have been going on and are still going on.

Here are two of my favorite images of Ohio Central past.

In the top image OHCR 13 is towing an Alco switcher toward one of the plants north of Sugarcreek on July 4, 1996.

In a few moments OHCR 13 will uncouple from the switcher, couple onto freight cars, and back them up to the switcher.

For one brief moment in time, OHCR 13 was perhaps the only steam locomotive used in freight service in North America on that day.

Here she is passing a billboard advertising your excursions from Sugarcreek. What good memories this image brings back.

In the bottom image, when you owned the OHCR, it often interchanged with CSX at Warwick. Here is a morning freight with OHCR 7574 and 5407 preparing to leave Warwick and head south on June 25, 1996.

Thank you again. May your present and future endeavors also bring you the thanks that we so owe you for all you have done.

Article and Photographs by Robert Farkas

AOS Roundhouse Has Run Out of Space

December 31, 2015

Jerry Jacobson’s roundhouse is full. The Age of Steam Roundhouse in Sugar Creek recently announced on its website sit that with the arrival of a 2-10-0 purchased earlier this year that all stalls in the roundhouse are taken.

The 18th locomotive to be housed in the roundhouse arrived on Dec. 29. It is Alabama, Tennessee & Northern as No.401, which was later owned by the Woodward Iron Company where it has roster number 41.

Jerry purchased it at an auction conducted by the Mid-Continent Railroad Museum in North Freedom, Wisconsin. No. 401 was built in 1928 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works.

More information about No. 41 and photographs of it being unloaded are available at: