Temple train museum offers interactive experience to Five Hills royalty

Special to Leader-Press 


The shiny silver train sitting on the tracks made the eyes of 7-month old Nakoa Ramirez widen as a smile spread across his face and he pointed at the locomotive. Not only was he viewing some of Central Texas’ history but also his family ties.

This was the first visit for the reigning Baby Mister Five Hills and the Ramirez family to the Temple Heritage and Railroad Museum that hosted the Copperas Cove Five Hills royalty for a special visit as one of the pageant’s annual sponsors. 

“Nakoa enjoyed the big train set the most,” Brooklyn Ramirez, Nakoa’s mother, said. “Nakoa’s great uncle works for the railroad as a thermite welder who travels the southeastern railroads providing maintenance to them.”

It was also a first-time visit for Preteen Miss Five Hills Romella Spitzer and her family.

“It was nice that we were still able to attend even with COVID-19,” the nine-year old said. “We followed the arrows that the museum put in place to guide us on our tour. We saw a picture of a sewing machine that my mom has in our house. That was the best part because it made me feel like we have history in our home too.

“We also were able to get on a caboose outside the museum that we were able to get on,” Spitzer said. “That was the best…seeing one up close and everything.”

Tiny Mister Five Hills Dominic Pollastro and his family visited the museum last hear during its Harry Potter event.

“We had not been upstairs to tour the museum before,” Dominic’s mother, Caitlin Pollastro, said. “We loved the section of the museum that shared the history of the railroad and the U.S. Army since Dominic’s dad is in the military.”

Little Mister Five Hills Jordan Hendrix, Jr.’s favorite part was seeing all the different trains and boarding “the big train.”

This was the second visit to the Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum for Five Hills Junior Ambassador Hayley Sawyer.

“I learn more each time I go. I especially loved learning this time that the violin had a part to play in the history of the railroad. This was special to me because I play my violin every day and it’s amazing to think that music has such an important impact on our lives,” Sawyer said. “I think everyone should come out and learn just how much the railroad has influenced the lives we live today. It’s a wonderful place to take a glimpse back in time.”

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