The Magic Age of Steam, a small amusement park that included the museum and operated on the grounds of Auburn Heights, represented a turning point in the history of the estate and the Auburn Valley Railroad (AVRR). Until the 1970s, the Auburn Heights estate constituted the Marshall family’s private home. The roots of the Magic Age of Steam date to October 1969, just after the death of T. Clarence Marshall. Clarence’s son, Tom, sought a suitable way to memorialize his father, opening the Magic Age of Steam in September 1971 to celebrate and preserve the steam era that his father loved. The launch resulted in several changes to the estate to accommodate public visitors and inspired Tom to redesign the AVRR. 

Every railroad needs a trestle, a tunnel, and a pond. – Tom Marshall, referring to improvements made to the Auburn Valley Railroad.

Magic Age of Steam brochure, cover

Brochure advertising the Magic Age of Steam, 1970s.