Welcome to the Fort Smith Trolley Museum

Trolley Schedule

Monday - Saturday: 10AM - 5PM

Sunday: 1PM - 5PM

Museum Schedule

Monday - Saturday: 10AM - 5PM

 

Meet The Trolley Cats

 

(All of our Trolley Cats have been spayed/neutered, kept up-to-date on shots and are tagged)

 

KCS "Casey"

Trolley Cats - Casey

A calico like Katy, Casey had the good fortune to be brought to the Fort Smith Trolley Museum from elsewhere, by choosing just the right house at which to solicit food. Dr. Martin's daughter Nancy had been leaving food out for the stray at her home south of Fort Smith, but decided she couldn't add another cat to the household, and asked her father to take it. This was shortly after Katy had vanished, and Dr. Martin thought Frisco might like a replacement companion. 


She was officially named KCS for the Kansas City Southern Railway, but is called Casey (like the famous engineer!) for "short." She enjoys spending most of her time in the office upstairs at the car barn, which admittedly has the most comfortable seats. Casey is an "senior" cat in terms of age and while she does like to be petted it should be with a light touch or else she might scratch if petted too rough.

 

Uncle Pete

May 2010 saw another new arrival. The fact that he's a 'big boy' brought to mind the Union Pacific railroad (which ran Big Boy locomotives, the largest articulated ones ever built), so he was named Uncle Pete, which was the UP's nickname. He was very thin when he first appeared at the museum and his head looked huge. After he'd been cleaned up and treated for fleas and worms, he started to gain weight. When he came to be neutered he weighed 12½ pounds,  but now tips the scales at about 20 pounds! Bradley Martin says, 'He is one of the sweetest cats I know. He will stretch and then roll over to be petted. Even if not petted, he will start purring with a purr that can be heard 10 feet away.'

 

Daylight

Daylight is our resident ginger female — which is unusual — and made herself at home, first in the carbarn and then she moved into the library. Unofficially called Sunshine, she was later given the name Daylight, after a Southern Pacific train called the 'Daylight Special'. Said to be a feisty cat who 'likes to play rough', she has the dstinguishing mark of a curl in her tail. 

  

 

 

Narrow Gauge

In mid-2014 yet another feline appeared, probably heard there was a vacancy. The very handsome grey tabby now called Narrow Gauge was at the museum for 3 or 4 weeks before he let anyone get a good look at him. But he's quite friendly now and 'gets along with the other cats as well as can be expected'.  He has a very distinct loud meow and is no stranger to getting a head scratch from visitors.  We are tempted to start calling him "Wide" Gauge on the account of how big he has gotten lately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midnight

 

Towards the end of 2015, we started noticing a black cat on the property.  It was several weeks before he would let anybody approach him, but has since become a member of the museum as a Trolley Cat.  Due to being a solid black cat he was named Midnight after The Midnight Special passenger train formerly operated by the Chicago and Alton Railroad which use to run between Chicago and St. Louis using one of the last scheduled Pullman sleeper cars.  Although a little shy, Midnight is warming up to visitors.  He can mainly be seen in the Streetcar Barn but does like to visit other parts of the property.  And yes he is a little bit cross-eyed. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Former Trolley Cats


 

Katy

Katy was the first "trolley cat" to make her home at the Fort Smith Trolley Museum.  She was a beautiful stray 

Trolley Cats - Katy

calico who showed up at the car barn in December of 1997 and quickly won the heart of museum founder Art Martin (who already had two cats at home) with her affectionate ways.  After much debate, she was named "Katy" in honor of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Company (MKT), which used the name "Katy" in its logo.  This began a tradition of giving all the feline residents rail-related monikers.

Katy was very outgoing and loving, and made sure that every visitor to the museum was offered a chance to pet her.  Children delighted in her presence there, a feeling which was no doubt mutual.  Whenever a school group came for a tour, Katy would be found in the midst of them, meowing and purring.  Because of Katy's popularity, the museum began selling coloring books and other souvenirs adorned with her name and likeness, making her the museum's official mascot.

Sadly, Katy disappeared in 2002. After two weeks, a passer-by found her collar in a ditch with the buckle mashed flat, and turned it in to the museum.  Since there was no sign of Katy, we assume that someone must have taken her.

 

Frisco

Trolley Cats - FriscoFrisco, a dark gray tabby, arrived at the car barn a few months before Katy vanished. The two cats took to each other before museum volunteers even noticed he was around, and he was soon part of the trolley "family." He was the first male cat at the museum.

Trolley Cats - Frisco It's easy to see that Frisco was named after Frisco Freight Systems, whose memorable motto was "Ship it on the Frisco!" The company's namesake, however, does limited travelling and even less toting. Frisco spent most of his time hanging out in the office with Casey but would make appearances for visitors at the museum, especially children. Unfortunately Frisco unexpectedly passed away in September, 2011.  He is still missed to this day by everyone.

 

 

 

Smokey

Trolley Cats - SmokeySmoky arrived at the museum in December of 2003 and took up residence in the Frisco steam locomotive #4003.  Dr. Martin tried to give her a home inside the car barn, but she would scramble madly for an exit each time she was brought in!  Smoky likes to keep lookout from her favorite spot high on the engine, choosing to come down only after she feels safe with her prospective visitor.

 

She was named Smoky for her dark gray coloring, and for her 199-ton iron home.  In May 2004, Smoky gave birth to four kittens and started coming in the building a lot more, for food and "to get away from the kids," as one volunteer put it.  After all her kittens were found good homes she was spayed.

 

Throughout the years, Smokey had the Frisco engine to herself.  Not many cats had the opportunity to make a steam engine their home and Smokey took full advantage of it for shelter and safety.  Even in the winter, she had a small box and blanket up in the tender, but on many occasions spend the night in the car barn where it was warmer. 

 

In the fall of 2016, our volunteers had noticed that Smokey was not eating food.  An appointment with the vet was made and the news came back that Smokey had developed pancreatic cancer.  As a result, Smokey passed away in December of 2016 and made the trip to Rainbow Bridge.  Smokey was a good Trolley Cat, mother, and had the unique privilege of having her home be a steam engine.  The Frisco #4003 will never be the same without her and will be deeply missed.

 

Chessie

In the spring of 2004, we had noticed a new calico cat coming in and out of the car barn for food.  Although she was, a little shy at first, that quickly melted away after she became friends with the museum President at the time, Art Martin, and the other museum volunteers.  The calico cat then decided to stay and become a permanent Trolley Cat.  This new calico was given the name of “Chessie”, named after the famous mascot kitten of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway whose slogan was you’ll “sleep like a kitten.”

 

Chessie soon became a hit with the museum volunteers and visitors alike.  She would make every effort to greet everyone she saw and became a well-known greeter cat at the museum who would always solicit petting and loving attention.  When she was not being a greeter cat, she would often find a warm lap or sunny spot to occupy.  Our museum President, Bradley Martin was very fond of holding Chessie in his arms when she wanted loving attention, which our Trolley Cats get plenty.

 

For many years, Chessie was a big hit with visitors and became well associated with the museum for our repeat visitors.  Chessie was especially a big hit with our children visitors.  With her gentle easygoing nature, she would always have time to get loving affection from children and adults who were children at heart.  She would often walk the museum grounds and go from one building to the next look for a warm spot in the sunshine or for someone she had not said hello to yet. 

 

In 2015, our museum volunteers had started to notice that Chessie was losing weight.  A trip to the vet revealed that she had developed an overactive thyroid condition that would require medication in the form of a pill every day to help regulate it.  Now most cat owners know that trying to give a pill to a cat is not an easy task, but with Chessie, it was much easier than most other cats when it came time for her medication to be administered which was a blessing.  This stabilized her weight and she got back to being healthy again.

 

Unfortunately, in 2016, Chessie, in her elder years, had started to develop kidney failure.  Although she was not in pain, our volunteers could tell that she had begun to slow down and not be as active.  That being said she would still greet everyone who approached her and would return the affection with a loving purr.  Chessie made her departure from the world and started her journey to Rainbow Bridge on January 17, 2017.  She had a long and dedicated life as a greeter cat for the Trolley Museum that cannot be replaced.  Our museum, volunteers and visitors were very blessed to have a cat such as her and she will be deeply missed for a long, long time.  

 

Belle

Shortly after Frisco passed away we had a new arrival, a tabby kitten. She was named Belle — the Kansas City Southern Railroad used to have a passenger train called the 'Southern Belle', often referred to simply as the 'Belle'. Unfortunately Belle seems to have been a bit of a wanderer, and after going missing for a few days late in 2013, she disappeared again in February 2014 and sadly was later found dead.

 

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